Why is it that the best places are often the hardest ones to get to? Travelling to Bardia National Park in Nepal (sometimes spelled Bardiya) is no exception. It takes at least 15 hours to travel to Bardia by a gruelling and bumpy bus ride from Pokhara or 17 hours from Kathmandu. But it’s worth it, we promise! This is because Bardia is the natural home to majestic royal Bengal tigers where you may see them the way they are meant to be seen: wild and free.
We have an exciting announcement to make, the Zen Travellers are 2019 Granite Gear Grounds Keepers!
Continue reading “We Are 2019 Granite Gear Grounds Keepers!”
Travel is more than a beloved hobby for some people; rather, it’s a veritable lifestyle. Travel is something that enlightens souls, expands horizons, and as the old cliché goes, is one of the few things in the world that makes you richer as you spend money on it. Responsible tourism is important as it unfortunately takes a tremendous amount of resources to make travel possible. In this post we’ll define what responsible tourism is and how to be a responsible tourist.
From all-inclusive resorts razing natural vegetation to make way for manufactured white sand beaches while paying local staff a pittance, to national parks being destroyed by careless visitors, to locals being priced out of their neighbourhoods by entrepreneurs looking to rent whole apartment buildings out on AirBnB, travel is not without its downsides. And none of those examples even touch the problem of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are required to transport a person from point A to point B.
We just finished two weeks volunteering with All Hands and Hearts in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico and it was an incredible experience. We met so many amazing people and helped make close to a dozen homes safer and more resilient to future threats from hurricanes. We even got to help clear away rubble for a new community garden! People often ask us what we have been doing since we arrived here, so let us walk you through a day in the life of an All Hands volunteer.
Travellers are blessed in so many ways and paid in experience, so what better way to give back than to volunteer while travelling? As we planned our 14 month round the world adventure, Mr. Zen and I pondered ways we could give back to the world that has given us so many incredible experiences. My previous time spent volunteering with All Hands and Hearts (All Hands) in post-earthquake Haiti was easily one of the most profound experiences that I have ever had while travelling and I was eager to volunteer with the organisation again, because their commitment to responsible volunteering is commendable.
With their fiercely staring eyes, pointed razor sharp fangs, and sleek powerful bodies, wolves have captured people’s imaginations throughout the ages. This popularity is perhaps to their detriment since people have begun breeding them with dogs and then swiftly learning that wolfdogs make rather terrible pets. Given how many are surrendered to shelters, who tend to have a kill-on-the-spot policy for animals that are suspected to have any wolf in them, sanctuaries for wolfdogs like the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary are extremely important.
With so many stunning trails and views picking a highlight of Jasper National Park can be a challenge, but hiking in the Tonquin Valley must be a contender. The combination of sky-high views of the rugged “Ramparts” range jutting up from serene alpine lakes, and the chance to see rare wild mountain caribou make it as worthy a destination as any.
It is also an accessible backcountry trail that can cater to many ability levels and even be trekked on horseback. Considering all these factors, it’s easy to see why the Tonquin Valley is a popular area for locals and tourists alike. But it just may be getting a little too popular for its own good.