Intrepid’s Responsible Business Assistant, Taz Liffman, is renowned for his laid-back temperament, but when it comes to sustainable travel he’s a man on a mission. We put Taz under the spotlight to find out a little more about his travel passions…
Q: How do you describe your occupation?
A: I’m primarily responsible for reporting and calculating the carbon offsets required for purchase to ensure that Intrepid’s trips are all operating as carbon neutral.
If you’re feeling a little blue, then travelling to Bolivia could be right up your alley thanks to a great local treat.
Maize is a food with endless permutations; fresh, popped, ground into flour for bread, as a syrup, or an oil. Travelling through Latin America you will find so many delicious foods with maize as the main ingredient. Travelling in Bolivia you will find something extra special. A blue maize drink called api.
One of the greatest joys of travel is discovering the local food specialties and eating out in different styles. This can be doubly terrific when you know your dining is helping to support and benefit formerly disadvantaged people. Intrepid makes a point of seeking out truly fair trade restaurants and cafes, and in all the following wonderful examples the food and friendly service will not disappoint!
Where’s the best food in Asia? You’d be hard pressed to top the great choices in Cambodia:
Your Trans-Siberian highlight could be the excitement of getting on in Asia and disembarking in Europe, or it could be thrill of actually being aboard the iconic train journey. For Intrepid’s Rebecca Willis it was what happened on the platforms that she loved most, and it was all about trying the local treats…
“My favourite part about the Trans-Siberian train ride is the platform food! When the train stops for a short break you can jump off and search out the babushka, Russian grandmothers, selling hot, fresh, homemade goodies. It’s a carbohydrate addict’s utopia! There’s fresh bread, peroshki (bread pies filled with veggies or potatoes), boiled potatoes with carrots and onions, trubochki (rolled waffles filled with sweetened condensed milk) and my personal favourite, vareniki.
On your travels have you ever met youngsters who completely wowed you with their resourcefulness and admirable command of other languages? For Amy Hill it was a chance meeting with an impressive group of girls that remains one of her favourite travel experiences…
“There are many reasons to fall in love with Vietnam, but for me it was the people who sealed the deal. One particularly fond memory I have of my month long stay is during a trek I did in the hills of Sapa. Along the way we were joined by a charming group of young girls making their way home from a long day of selling their art and craft in the town centre. Their smiling faces and bright personalities were infectious and equally impressive was their ability to speak English.
There’s an amazing team of women working with Intrepid around the world, and as you can imagine we’re more than a little obsessed with getting out there and exploring our planet. Amy Bolger is our Responsible Business Coordinator, so we quizzed her for responsible travel tips and asked what she loves most about her job…
Q: Can you describe your role at Intrepid in one sentence?
A: I get to work on putting into place the amazing socially and environmentally inspiring things Intrepid does, such as tackling climate change or promoting gender equality in the destinations we visit and in our workplace.
The difference between a disaster and one of your best travel days can come down to the littlest things. A helping hand from a few locals was all it took for a rough day in Burma to end in smooth sailing for former Intrepid group leader Ian ‘Swamp’ Marsh…
“Another perfect travel day unfolding on the mighty Ayeyarwaddy. We were heading back to Mandalay on our small riverboat after spending an adventurous and fun morning in the ancient capital of Mingun. The sun was out. Smiles and waves from other riverboats kept us on our toes, as the 40 minute journey back unfolded. What could go wrong?
“One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.” Wise words from Gilbert K. Chesterton and the sentiment is echoed by Sean Kennaway after his visit to a very special part of Peru…
“I travelled with Intrepid to a small community called Chawaytire in the Sacred Valley, about 2 hours outside of Cuzco. Chawaytire sits at about 3300m (10,830 feet) and has a population of around 600, whose primary source of income comes from selling textiles.
Flea is the world’s smallest Intrepid traveller on the world’s tallest Mountain, in a new e-book called Flea, A Himalayan Adventure, by former Intrepid Group Leader, Bruce Foreman. Most of us love travel. Not Flea – an insect who gets booted off his frustrated and itchy host, Bazza the dog, and transported inside an envelope to Durbar Square, Kathmandu.
Homesick, culture-shocked and intent on getting back to Bazza, Flea ends up instead on the top of Everest, where his thwarted plans make for a wonderful guide to the Sherpa homelands in the Everest region.
When you travel with Intrepid in Thailand, you will be given a very special cloth bag that is having multiple wonderful impacts, like helping grow forests and benefitting women’s livelihoods! You may well ask “How so?”
Since 2006, Intrepid Thailand travellers each receive a special shoulder bag, emblazoned with the call to action “Say No to Plastic” in Thai and English. The bags are produced by a women’s cooperative, Tae Moh Hai, meaning ‘Our Friends Hands’ in local dialect. The group live in a small village, Baan Sawaii, located in Sri Saket province, in north-eastern Thailand.