We are thrilled to announce that in a big 10th birthday year for The Intrepid Foundation, we have again broken our records for funds raised. The combined donations from Intrepid travellers and Intrepid Travel, totalling AU$427,333 for the 2011-12 financial year, are being distributed between 47 not-for-profit organisations around the world.
This brings us to topping $3 million raised and distributed globally, since The Intrepid Foundation’s inception in 2002. Thanks to all who have contributed – hundreds of children are being educated, health is being restored, wildlife protected, and many other wonderful outcomes achieved. The list of ways in which we’ve made a difference is long, so we’re pleased to share with you some of the highlights in Asia…
Why would a warmth-loving Aussie girl want to pass up her summer, spend two months in mostly freezing temperatures and sail on some of the roughest waters in the world? These questions and more are what we posed to Intrepid’s Responsible Travel Manager, Jane Crouch, who will be joining the Shackleton Epic – a big adventure that includes a re-enactment of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s perilous Antarctic voyage of nearly a century ago…
Q: Congratulations Jane – why did you want to do this?
A: Lots of reasons: there’s no activity that excites me more than participating in a challenging expedition with a purpose in a wilderness environment. I’ve had a long interest in Antarctica, inspired by several friends who have worked there. Some years back I flew over Antarctica and was entranced, but frustrated to not land! Shackleton’s achievements are incredibly inspirational. And to go on a magnificent tall ship, the TS Pelican where ‘everyone is valued as an individual’, sounds fabulous. All the ingredients are there for an amazing voyage of discovery.
If one person is going to know that slow and steady wins the race, it’s Michael Turtle. This engaging travel writer recently won an Intrepid trip that saw him gaining an appreciation of a different travel style…
“Sailing the Greek Islands is about more than just movement. The stopping is just as important. But it took a week on a boat in the Ionian Sea with Intrepid Travel to discover this. The ways of the island hoppers were a mystery to me before I joined the trip. From all across Europe, they come – Greek flags on the boats mixing with those from Italy, Germany, England and Norway, among others. And these waters to the west of mainland Greece become their summer playground.
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 the cure. Intrepid’s Jacqueline Donaldson discovered a drink made from corn that’s a curious colour but 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.