Fantastic news from our friends at Amnesty International. After twenty years of campaigning, millions of actions and thousands of hours speaking to politicians, at last we have an international Arms Trade Treaty. This treaty literally has the power to save millions of lives! Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, shares news with us of this huge human rights victory…
“After decades of planning, strategizing, drafting treaty language, intensive research, advocacy and campaigning, Amnesty International is celebrating the adoption of a global Arms Trade Treaty by the UN General Assembly. 154 states voted in favour of the treaty; 3 states (Iran, North Korea and Syria) voted against and 23 states abstained. While many individuals and NGOs played an important role in ensuring its passage, I can also say proudly and unequivocally that the Arms Trade Treaty adopted on April 2, is a testament to Amnesty International’s singular global reach, tenacity, and ability to focus on making long-term, lasting change.
Not far from Moscow, there is a charming country town where you can see traditional Russian wooden architecture, taste the best honey mead in the country, enjoy a true banya experience and meet fascinating local people. In this wonderful town of Suzdal, Intrepid’s Oxana Derzhavina enjoys getting to know a special lady who has left a lasting impression on so many…
“Suzdal is remarkable and memorable for me. I love its traditional wooden houses, visiting the monasteries and churches and eating in little local cafes, but my fondest moments are when our Intrepid groups meet with babushka Tonya. In Russia babushka is what we call senior women and what is unusual about this nonagenarian is that she’s is a very outstanding person! A former scientific researcher, for over 50 years Tonya Makarova has helped local orphanages by making handicrafts, felt boots that we call valenki. They are small ones, just as a souvenir that you can take away with you.
You might not feel too attractive when you’re weighed down by your backpack, have really bad hat hair after shoving it under a beanie for days or could do with a decent shower – but it turns out you are way more appealing than the average Joe or Joanne!
Intrepid teamed up with online dating site MySingleFriend.com to get to the nitty gritty of what ignites the spark and 8/10 (79%) of those surveyed said that you’re more attractive if your dating profile says you love travel. Keen travellers were also thought to be curious about the world (84%), open-minded (75%) and cultured (68%), plus over 56% of survey respondents admitted to having a holiday romance and 1 in 3 continued the fling at home! Check out our infographic below for more..
Recently Darrell Wade, Intrepid co-founder, has been discussing on this blog the dire situation surrounding climate change and what Intrepid Travel has been doing to meet our corporate responsibilities. But now Darrell’s challenge to all of us is to find ways to make a personal commitment to change…
“Say this out loud: I am going to help save the world. Sounds good don’t you think? Now say it again, louder this time: I am going to help save the world!”
Why not join me and make this your new year’s resolution? I promise you it will feel even better than it sounds. But of course a new year’s resolution is only as good as the actions that happen as a result of the resolution. So as a part of your resolutions you’ll need to draw up a commitment list that really will help to save the world.
Avid bird watchers in the Czech Republic are keen to spot a white stork or saker falcon, but to track down the golden nightingale you will need to look in theatres and music halls or turn on the radio, as Intrepid’s Stefan Hellmuth explains…
“Pilsner beer, Bohemian dumplings and Prague citizen Karel Gott are arguably the most well-known exports of the Czech Republic, even though the enjoyment of all three is ultimately a question of taste. I am sure I don’t need to tell you much about beer and hopefully you get to sample the delicious dumplings yourself, but too little is known about the extraordinary singer Karel Gott.
Many corners of our world have now been discovered and in each of these places we have set about solving their ancient mysteries. But there is still one great puzzle awaiting an answer, as Kate Drummond explains…
“Being a stepping stone between Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, many great explorers have travelled through Turkey. Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Gengis Khan and Julius Caeser are just a few of the famous names, who were not only renowned leaders but pioneering explorers of their time. However the one who captured my imagination is a little known Turkish sea explorer, Piri Reis, whose claim to fame is one of the world’s greatest mysteries.
Long before Google maps, Gortex and GPS, the world was a very different place. With so much land yet to be discovered, ‘Explorer’ was a legitimate profession on the census. These roguish, charismatic heroes would return, ravished and ragged, from months of exposure to the severest of earth’s elements – all in the name of discovery, conquest and endurance. And one destination above all had the allure to attract more than its fair share of explorers… Antarctica.
Nestled between the Polar achievements of Scott, Amundsen and Mawson, there is one story that stands out; not for its flag-planting, all-conquering race for recognition, but for its endurance and hope in the face of irrevocable isolation.
Mount Everest – just the name evokes an air of majesty, danger, exploration and for Intrepid’s Jared Alster, a personal challenge. Would Jared be at the top of his game at altitudes of over 5400 metres (17,700 feet), or would a roll of the dice be his downfall in Nepal?…
“Everest National Park lies within the Khumbu region, home to the Sherpa people. They are renowned the world over for having super-human strength and the ability to climb mountains, like Everest, with relative ease compared to un-acclimatised Westerners. On our expedition, we had one Sirdar, or leader, and about five other Sherpas who would watch after us on our adventure.
A few weeks back we asked our global community the question “what inspires you to travel?” Well, the results are in – and thanks to you guys we now know a little bit more about what gets our travellers out of a daydream and into the real world.
When it came to inspirational people, perennial Intrepid favourites such as Shackleton and Nelson Mandela got plenty of love, as did Sir Edmund Hillary, who was clearly responsible for more than a few honorary base camp climbs. Also, apparently a few of you are sporting Che Guevara T-shirts in your wardrobe, because this mustached revolutionary (along with the Buena Vista Social Club) managed to get plenty of you dreaming about sipping Mojitos in Cuba.