Honestly, it doesn’t get much better than time spent away, as a family, whatever age your children are. We all can relive some of our most cherished memories of family bonding and togetherness on vacations, weekends away, hikes, or just day trips. When you have your children all to yourselves, away from friends, electronic devices, and all the other distractions of daily life there are moments to tuck away forever.
Once they’re grown (ours are currently 27, 24 and 18), the moments become few and far between, whether they live at home (two of ours do) or around the world (our middle daughter currently lives in Thailand). So, a long awaited family reunion/vacation for us in Thailand was a simply unforgettable experience. The things we experienced together…from kayaking through sea caves in Phang Nga to private cooking classes in Chiang Mai…were made that much more special because we were together.
There is no debate: Instagram is having a profound affect on the travel industry. Now six years old, Instagram has more than 500 million active users sharing an average of 80 million photos a day. Influencers with large followings are being tapped by destinations worldwide to inspire those followers to visit. Some say it’s causing overcrowding of once undiscovered places, while other feel that tourism brings the awareness needed to protect those places.
In my humble opinion, the beautiful places of the world are meant to be shared and experienced. The special places we all dream about are not ours to own, though we need to find a way to responsibly share them with each other. Travel mindfully, respect the environment, and respect one another’s space, and keep seeking out those unexpected adventures that happen when we wander off the beaten path.
Now that that is said…here are a few of my favorite Instagramers that are inspiring me to grab my camera (or my phone) and get out there.
We are honored to feature this post by Julie Beckers
(A Not So Young Woman Abroad) www.anotsoyoungwomanabroad.com
Julie Beckers is a travel blogger and writer from Melbourne, Australia. She loves sharing tips, interesting and juicy stories about her adventures, from witnessing a shooting in New York to stories about cheeky Frenchmen. Aimed at the not so young woman, Julie’s blog, “A Not So Young Woman Abroad” was born from her experiences as a solo traveller who has no desire to “do” any country much less be confined on a “guided” tour. Her blog has been awarded Top 100 Travel Blogs for 2016 and 2017.
For some women, the very thought of traveling solo can be daunting. For women in their 50’s who have never travelled on their own, the thought of solo travel can be down right terrifying. For me it’s the only way to go.
“Sea Change” – a change wrought by the sea
— from William Shakespeare’s “The Temptest”
I am so proud to introduce our goherethereandeverywhere community to Sea Change. Our daughter Juliane started this support group five months ago, and has already organized beach cleanup events in Thailand that are truly making a difference. She was moved (and pretty pissed off – not a good thing to do, if you know her) by a tragic image of a dead sea turtle washed ashore on a local beach. This inspired her to organize a group to take action and actually clean the beach. From there, she has launched the support group on Facebook, which you can join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1646054452391755/
A Growing Problem
as published in Scientific American
‘Plastic can be detected in the bodies of more than 50 percent of the world’s sea turtles. Scientists estimate 90 percent of all seabirds have ingested plastic at some time in their lives. Fish, too, contain plastic and appear to consume it in large quantities when it is available.
Although there is a huge amount of plastic trash that has accumulated on land, much of the world’s plastic resides in the oceans, where it is deposited after being whisked there by the wind from land, being dumped at sea or on the shore or being carried there in runoff from rivers and streams. Scientists predict that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish.
Current estimates put the oceans’ total plastic load at 165 million tons. But that is just based on plastic samples collected from surface trawling. More microplastic found at greater depths in the oceans means scientists might be greatly underestimating the total amount of plastic in the ocean—and its total effect.’
Sea Change at Work
Juliane writes: ‘…we did a great job! I want to thank everyone for coming all the way to Pattaya and supporting this little nugget in her endeavors. It really means the world to me to have such a great support group….we got to hang out with old friends make some new friends and spend a great day together. And we still got so much done! It only takes one person to make a difference.
Support Sea Change
Here are a few things YOU can do!
1) Start using Reusable bags! (it’s a lot easier and more fashionable than you think!).
2) Take the time and actually sort out your recycling.
3) If you see garbage, just pick it up!
4) Join/Share our FB group to help us get more exposure –Sea Change .
5) Set up a clean up with a few friends! (then share your stories with us, we aren’t keeping it to just one location, the beauty of cleaning…. you can do it anywhere).
6) While you’re at it.. go compliment someone today too because the world needs a lot more of those as well.
Juliane writes: ‘And now an update about how going plastic-less in Thailand is going… Surprisingly a lot easier than I thought it would! However, I’m sadly still finding myself buying things with plastic, or forgetting my tote bag and picking up a straw/bag here and there. BUT, as promised… I’m keeping all the plastic I use and I will make a donation to non-profit in Bangkok. I think the most surprising thing is that some people here really can’t wrap their head around not using a bag.’
We hope you’ll all click the link https://www.facebook.com/groups/1646054452391755/ to follow Juliane and her amazing group, and do your part, in however small or large a way you can, to make a difference.
We (and our Oceans and Sea Life) thank you!
We are honored to feature our first guest post from Sasha from at Well Bein‘
Saha writes: ‘Well Bein’ is ultimately a blog about hope and positivity.
I’m Sasha, a twenty-something wanna-be-fiction writer and blogger.
Through Well Bein (and my @well.bein instagram) I aim to open up the conversation about mental health, and connect with others who also suffer from this – we are not alone. I also want to explore what can help to create a life of ‘well bein’ and a happy mind, so the blog will also feature lifestyle ideas, such as being vegan, London living, photography, travel…
It’s the little things in life that can keep us going at the hardest points – so I try to focus on the wondrous things in life that, amidst the daily grind, the admin, the constant rush of the twenty-first century, we can sometimes overlook.
Here’s to your Well Bein’.
‘There are many reasons why we travel: to explore, to escape, to see new places, meet new people, to reconnect with people you love as you journey together. But travel can also improve mental health and well-being. Travelling can be a welcome distraction from what you have to carry with you everywhere – your mind. It can provide perspective and an external focus from mental health issues, which are often a very internal and isolating struggle. For me, I travelled to Barcelona during a particularly difficult period – in fact, the night before, I wasn’t sure I would be able to go at all. But being there, in the heat, in a new city, full of life and colour, with new places to discover, provided an escape away from the usual places that I had started to associate with my mental illness.
Barcelona provided a few days of comparative bliss. And when I came home, I noticed a shift in feeling. It was not instantaneous – travel is not a cure, and I was seeking help throughout this period and for months after, but I found, it helped me to see that life was really worth living after all. Here’s to travelling, enriching your life and broadening your mind. It might just help. #wellbein’