Get Off the Tour Bus
When I left to sail around the world, I had no idea how far I would get; but four years later I returned with a lot of stories to tell about the islanders I had met along the way. As those stories coalesced into my book, VOICES ON THE WIND, I realized that I had enjoyed experiences that few people ever imagine. Not only had I crossed the world's oceans on a small sailboat, but I had sat with an aborigine chief and his wives in Australia and feasted with Trobriand Islanders in New Guinea. I had been entertained with stories told by the natives, and they had laughed at my stories, finding common ground despite vast cultural differences. I had learned much from these islanders.
When my book was released, reviewers commented on how refreshingly different my book was. Good Old Boat Magazine said it was "a book to be experienced, not just read." Five time circumnavigator Webb Chiles said it was "beautiful beyond all expectation." TV personality and sailor Hugh Downs called my stories, "fascinating."
I began to peruse travel magazines and websites in search of other writers who had learned lessons from other cultures as I had in my travels, but I couldn't find any. Travel writing sounded as if the writers hadn't gotten off the tour bus. They wrote accurately about the places, the sights and smells, the food, the traffic, and the cafes, but the people who gave life to the places were missing. So I decided to create a blog that might help travelers get off the tour bus and experience the essence of a place: its people.
As this blog unfurls, I'll offer some thoughts on why people travel on tours and cruises and why small group travel ( or solo) is preferable.
I'll address common fears that create a herd mentality and how to overcome those fears.
I'll offer practical tips on how any traveler of any age can interact with locals in ways that enhance the travel experience, and may in some small ways promote world peace. Stay tuned for some surprising and useful information. I hope to learn from you, too.