We all know that gender inequality exists in the world, but these BIG stats may shock you:
- 53 million girls in developing countries are denied access to primary school education.
- Out of the 1 billion people living in extreme poverty, 70% are women and girls.
- A girl without an education has a 90% chance of being poor and raising children who will also live in poverty.
With almost 3.5 billion women in the world, Intrepid has 3.5 billion BIG reasons to shine the spotlight on gender issues. That’s why Intrepid has started SAMA, a three-year global gender equality initiative. SAMA is working with Plan and The Intrepid Foundation to improve the lives of communities, bridge the gender gap and help break the cycle of poverty through education.
The Ultimate Train Challenge was a concept that Michael Hodson came up while traveling in South America in 2010. He had recently finished a 16-month travel challenge to circle the globe without flying and his mind wandered to the question: “What is the world record for the longest continuous train journey?”
So it began…
In September of 2011, Michael set out with two travel-blogging friends to answer that question. The challenge: Lisbon to Saigon in 30 days – all on trains, of course. From the edge of Europe to the edge of Asia. The furthest you can go entirely by rail.
Simply hear the name and it evokes images of great expeditions, astounding landscapes, incredible wildlife and adventures as wild as they come. Antarctica is a Holy Grail for many of us in the adventure travel industry, so David Phillips didn’t need to be asked twice…
“I had wanted to visit Antarctica for as long as I could remember, so when the opportunity arose for me to join an expedition cruise to the ‘great white continent’, I jumped at the chance! Our days around the Antarctic Peninsula were filled scenes of awesome beauty. From high up on the decks of the ship we could look out upon glaciated mountains coated in the purest white snow, across to islands and coves that were home to thousands of penguins.
It’s always a wet start to the year in Thailand – not due to the weather, but because Thai celebrations to see in the new Lunar year include ancient cleansing rituals, that have developed into a national water fight! The Songkran Festival takes place from 13-15 April, 2013, and during this time of family reunion, houses will be cleaned, Buddhas bathed and kids will sprinkle water over the hands of monks and elders. But this is also no time to wear your best outfit, as Judie Turner explains…
“The first day of my 3-month Asian journey was spent in Bangkok. Unknown to me, it was Songkran, the New Year holiday. I decided to walk along the canal track and was most surprised when several children started to squirt water pistols at me. Having visited Thailand prior, I thought this behaviour was strange, especially all the giggles that accompanied the water jets.
Tibetan New Year, or Losar, is the most significant festival on the Tibetan calendar. Starting on 11 February in 2013, it’s a celebration of ancient traditions and rituals, accompanied by a sense of fun, and Megan Hassett loved being swept away by the experience…
“Hundreds of the oldest Tibetan pilgrims imaginable were dressed in their annual best to circumambulate Jokhang Monastery. Smelling of years-old yak butter, they intently spin prayer wheels, some with tea cosy-like covers, some silver, some as ornate as the 5th Dalai Lama’s quarters, all at a constant steady spin speed, not for just one minute, not for just an hour, but some all day and days on end.
“The world is book and those who do not travel read only a page.” Several years ago, Michelle Di Rocco was in Costa Rica when she first saw this St. Augustine quote…
“This phrase was painted in one of the hallways in eclectic form true of so many hostels around the world. It resonated enough that I took a photo to remember it always. Education through travel has been a big part of my life. If I think back to when I started realizing its impact on me, I would have been about 12 years old and in Acapulco with my parents. I vividly remember being struck by the young children milling about the city’s busy streets, selling Chiclets for whatever change they could inspire. Older women found their place on sidewalks accompanied by signs as testimony to their need for food and money.
Intrepid’s Jane Crouch is poised to take part in a real adventure of a lifetime. Here’s her first Shackleton Epic post from Punta Arenas…
“As I take in the view across the Straits of Magellan, I ponder the explorers past and present that have passed through the region. Ferdinando Magellan sailed up the straits that now bear his name, during his quest to circumnavigate the globe nearly 500 years ago.
Many Antarctic explorers have used Punta Arenas as their staging point: De Gerlache from Belgium in 1897; Amundsen from Norway in 1897; Robert Scott from England in 1904; Sir Ernest Shackleton coordinated the rescue of his men from here in 1916; and in 2013 …Jane Crouch of Melbourne. Yes, lucky me, but something tells me I won’t be listed on the foreshore plaque, or immortalised in a statue as Magellan is around town!
Intrepid Express reader Alice Hancock found a universal language in India…
“We had built houses together all week, sharing little more than a few nods and hand gestures. Then, on day five, we took turns singing our favorite songs while we worked, their lyrics in Tamil and ours in English. Neither of us understood a word of what the other was singing, but it didn’t stop us from dancing and laughing as though we’d known each other for years. I still don’t know what the residents of that small village in southern India were singing, but I remember them all as my friends.”
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* photo by Kristie Hough- Intrepid Photography Competition
Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro is one of life’s great challenges and Intrepid’s Jane Crouch discovered that even when you’re oxygen starved on the highest mountain in Africa you can apply the fourth rule of success and ‘have fun’…
“They say it’s all in the journey, not the destination, but when you talk to people about climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, they ask: how high is it? (5895 metres or 19,340 feet). Did you make it to the summit? (Yes). Did you get altitude sickness? (Moderately). What was the view like? (Great). But they don’t ask much about the journey and what it was like during the walking before and after the summit. So let me tell you… it was fabulous!