Combining culinary adventures with your travel journeys is a must, especially in Japan where you can enjoy the freshest sushi, be tempted by tempura and even design your own okonomiyaki! And this is where delicious (and healthy) fast food meets super-fast local transport, as Aaron Davis explains…
“Part of the enjoyment of travel is getting from place to place. What can seem a chore in many countries is an enjoyable, speedy and sociable treat in Japan.
Like so many girls living in rural poverty in Cambodia, Wattana was forced to leave school in grade six to help support the nine people in her family. To make money, she cut wood for a pittance in a nearby forest. Wattana always knew she was capable of much more. So, when she heard that a Plan partner in a nearby town offered restaurant and tourism training, she decided it was precisely the opportunity she needed.
The course provided young people like her with hands-on training in restaurant and housekeeping services, and included office and English skills to help them get jobs in the Sala Bai tourist industry. However, the training involved an intensive, 12-month course away from home, and her mother believed this to be inappropriate, given Wattana’s gender. She thought her daughter should remain in the village like the other girls, cutting wood and getting married and raising children.
“No pain no gain” they say, but is it really worth the sweat and tears to steam yourself in a sauna, sizzle in a solarium or dirt-up for a mud bath? All Denise Ellson really wanted was a hot bath, but she got more than she bargained for in Turkey…
“Going to Turkey and not having a Turkish Bath is like going to Sydney and not seeing the Opera House. Or so I was told, as I steadfastly refused to even contemplate the idea of being bathed by someone else. I had never felt comfortable having a massage – in fact I had never had one, and having some complete stranger give me a scrub did not sound like something I simply had to have.
Saidia is based in Gilgil, north west of Nairobi in the Rift Valley of Kenya. Extended family networks are very strong in Kenya and orphaned children are usually taken in by their relatives. But a sad reality is that in this region many families have lost the entire parent generation to HIV/Aids.
A recent survey of single Aussies reveals that travel makes you more attractive. The Intrepid Travel poll of more than 880 singles on RSVP.com.au found that over half (55%) of respondents thought having travel listed on a potential mate’s profile makes them more attractive.
“The attitudes of singles show that a bi-product of travel is that it adds to your sex appeal,” said Jo Stewart, Intrepid Travel Spokesperson. “Travellers are generally considered curious about the world, open minded and adventurous – all of which are attractive qualities.”
If they made a movie of this man’s life there wouldn’t be a dry eye in the house, because to see what can be achieved by one person’s commitment to helping others is very moving and inspiring. KOTO stands for ‘know one, teach one’ and that’s exactly what Jimmy Pham has done since founding the not-for-profit hospitality training organisation in Vietnam in 1999. Hundreds of disadvantaged youth have benefitted from Jimmy’s vision, passion and dedication and now’s your chance to travel with him to Vietnam on a very personal Intrepid journey.
Jimmy Pham, KOTO CEO and Young Global Leader 2011, is returning to his roots in Vietnam to take you on a very special journey departing 5 August, 2012. It’s an exciting full-circle for Jimmy, as his concern for street kids in Hanoi started when he was an Intrepid group leader and the travel company supported him in his efforts to give these children a better future. The Intrepid Foundation has been a long-time benefactor of KOTO and Intrepid travellers enjoy being taken to KOTO restaurants to see for themselves what a difference the hospitality training is making to these young lives.
It’s just 5 weeks to the end of The Intrepid Foundation’s financial year – a time when we tally up all the travellers’ donations received in the last 12 months and Intrepid Travel doubles it by matching donations. Then we speak with 50 fabulous organisations to let them know the good news of how much of their work we are able to support. Jane Crouch, Intrepid’s Responsible Travel Manager, shares the joy of this role…
“I was just talking with the ever-smiling Rith, from Ptea Teuk Dong in Battambang, Cambodia, yesterday and he gave me an update on their marvellous vocational programs for vulnerable young women in their community. Their programs include literacy, vegetable cultivation, sewing and weaving, as well as hospitality training. Rith says they have approximately 30 girls in their programs now, but the demand and need is huge, and with more funding they can build their capacity to take up to 80 girls.
Kyila was raised in a remote village on the Tibetan plateau. Her father, her twin brothers and Kyila were all born blind. Villagers believed that the family were cursed. “Children didn’t want to play with us,” Kyila says, “adults would throw old food on our doorstep.” Today Kyila is the founder and principle of the first integrative kindergarten in China.
Here she teaches blind and sighted children to become confident, critical and alert little thinkers. “I want to prove that blindness is not a punishment! I am educated, I have travelled the world and I am the richest woman in my village, and this because I am blind.”
Intrepid’s Susan English has seen the world’s 3 biggest waterfalls, swam in the 3 biggest oceans and climbed the highest peaks in Australia, South East Asia and Africa. But she was obsessed with one niggling omission on her bucket list and for that she had to travel to Africa…
“My quest? To tick off the ‘Big Five’. Even though I’m not a fan of the term, since it’s a throwback to days when these animals were the hardest to hunt on foot, I was desperate to see lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros in the wild. Imagine watching a lion patiently stalk its prey, or seeing our planet’s largest land mammal foraging for food and snapping tree trunks like toothpicks!
Emanuel ran away from home when he was just 11 years old. He was living in Northern Tanzania. His parents divorced when he was young and when his father remarried support stopped for Emanuel, his sister and their mother. To try to make ends meet, Emanuel’s mother would send the children to the street to beg, while she took up with various men. One long-term boyfriend was an alcoholic and beat Emanuel frequently. In 2009 Emanuel fled.
Emanuel was homeless for 6 months before coming to Amani Children’s Home. When he arrived, he could not read or write, but Emanuel proved to be bright and eager to learn. He is well-organised and meticulous with his school work and now, after 2 years in Amani’s program, he’s preparing to enter Grade 4.