India has been offering travellers life-changing experiences for centuries, so it’s particularly special when we have the opportunity to return the favour. We are delighted that now one remarkable traveller will help bring positive change to the lives of many young Indians.
A great friend of Intrepid, Allan Watt, passed away too young, two years ago. In Allan’s memory and recognising his wonderful contribution to The Intrepid Foundation’s work in his position on the management committee, we chose to fund the building of a primary school in one of the neediest areas of India, Bihar, through The Intrepid Foundation partner Plan.
We all have those rote learned phrases from our school days that we can miraculously still regurgitate on demand. Most of which we remember for inexplicable reasons, but some of them actually resonate and stay with us for a reason, like the verse of Robert Frost. The Road Not Taken, Frost’s renowned work, is one of those poems that probably isn’t fully comprehended by rambunctious teenagers, but we come to realise later the wisdom in his words. Reaching a crossroad in our lives and having the courage to take the less conventional route can result in great rewards…
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
In the world of travel, Los Angeles suffers from an image problem. Visitors often complain of lacklustre attractions, inaccessibility and aloof locals. Yet this often-misunderstood city is actually exceedingly interesting and as Jo Stewart discovered, “you just have to find the organic heart that lies beneath the glitz, glamour and silicon!”
“If you find yourself in LA and don’t want to be disappointed, why not step away from the usual tourist traps, hire a car and scout out more authentic experiences? Authentic may not be a word typically associated with Los Angeles, but remember, there are millions of citizens who call this vibrant city home, who don’t frequent Hollywood Boulevard or Universal Studios.
There is something about travelling from Delhi to Mumbai and throughout the whole fascinating country that stirs our senses and taps into our spirit of adventure. Diane Turner puts her experiences of India beautifully into words…
“The sound of prayer
The smell of spice
The colourful culture
The taste of rice
When trying to come up with new fundraising ideas sometimes it pays to think outside the box. Or what about painting and decorating that box? Alison King shares her creative ideas for combining fun with helping others…
“Having travelled with Intrepid to Vietnam in 2005 and to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos in 2007, I was aware of the great work the Intrepid Foundation does in supporting many small NGOs that are running wonderful projects in these countries. I was also aware that Intrepid match donations, so that gave me even more incentive to do something to help, so last year my partner and I decided to host a ‘Paint-off Party’ to raise money for one such project.
The Galungan festival is one of Bali’s most important religious ceremonies and the next festival will be held 1-11 February, 2012. It symbolises the victory of Dharma (Virtue) upon Adharma (Evil), and honours ancestors as well as the creator of the universe. Though it is a Hindu festival, participation of people from all castes and denominations is all part of the fun, as Erin Secomb discovered…
“Bali’s people are very religious, in the truest sense of the word – their beliefs are reflected in the way they live their lives daily and hourly, and they happily devote much of their time to preparing and giving offerings, and especially to the celebration of their favourite festivals.
Puno is renowned as Peru’s folklore capital. It’s evident why if your visit coincides with Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candelaria in February or La Diablada, the fantastic Puno festival that Liz Foster happened upon in November…
“After spending a fantastic night, although a very cold one, on an island on Lake Titicaca, we returned to Puno. The city was in the full swing of a fabulous festival. A festival that pays respect to the ancient spirits of Lake Titicaca.
What’s in a name? Well as it turns out, more than you might think. Boris ‘Bob’ Golodets is an Intrepid group leader in Russia, Mongolia and Central Asia and he’s certainly a great linguist, so he shares his thoughts on what we choose to be called…
“All of us at Intrepid believe that we can learn, or at least try, to call locals by their proper names. But in the tourism industry it’s common for guides to change their names in order to please the clients or make it easier for their travellers. And it’s understandable – in some countries the names are very long and hard to pronounce.
Once a year in the holy town of Puri on the east coast of India, the Gods enter the fray of the common man to mingle with the mob. Claire Prest was in the state of Orissa to experience this frenzied celebration and Chariot Festival first hand…
“Attracting thousands of pilgrims, the annual Festival of Faith is an orchestrated riot of colour, spectacle and sweat. Steeped in folklore and mythology the origins date back centuries, but its significance as a festival ‘of the people’ reigns.
Every day Machu Picchu attracts adventurers, archaeologists, photographers and intrigued travellers to view the amazing Inca city. Many will make the challenging trek to this New 7 Wonders of the World, but although Lisa Rollinson took the easier route she was still overcome by the legendary site…
“I had heard tales about the mystique of Machu Picchu and dreamed of visiting the ancient ruins since I was young. I had seen pictures and read books, but finally the time came for me to jump on a plane and visit this man-made wonder for myself.