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The Macarena in Tibet

January 24, 2009
tags: ,

I love international travel.  I’ve got a philosophy on it too.

My philosophy on travel

  1. Form friendships with people
  2. Immerse and understand the local culture
  3. Act as diplomat of America and share my culture with integrity and passion
  4. Engage communities and “do stuff” rather than “see stuff”
  5. Enter into ambiguous situations that lead to adventure

I visited Tibet with a college friend in the Summer of 2007.   She and I met a couple from Australia/Scotland in a hotel lobby and decided to rent a vehicle and hire a guide to take us down to the border of Tibet and Nepal to hike around and check out Mount Everest.

During our trek, we walked through a handful of villages.  Each time the village kids would run around like crazy, play with us, and ask us for food and stuff.  We only had enough food to feed the 4 of us for our 4 day hike, but we had a little extra, and we did our best to leave behind chocolate bars and empty water bottles (they use and recycle) for the village kids we met.

In the video below, we were cooking some lunch, and the kids creeped up on us.  At this point, we really didn’t have anything to give, so I took the job of distracting the kids.  We played tag, hucked my frisbee, and ended our fun with a little Mararena.

I find that so many people fly to Paris and take pictures of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe.  Then they grab dinner at an overpriced tourist restaurant in the Latin Corner near the Pantheon.  The next day, they race to the Louvre and take a picture of the Mona Lisa, even though they aren’t supposed to.   They have a couple of rager nights at a gay bar they read about in the Lonely Planet.  They do some boring stuff for another week.  And, then they fly back home and talk about how wonderful French culture is.  Why not just read Wikipedia?  It’d save you $4k in transportation and lodging costs.

What are your philosophies on travel?

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