Travel Stories Week 2
What’s your favourite place you have visited?
Ed's answer: Without a doubt, it would have to be Belize. I went to Belize in 2002 and 2005 as part of a scientific caving expedition - XMET. It was my first, international trip entirely for me, not as a kid, parent, spouse or employee.
I kept asking - is this the jungle? Finally, after bouncing an hour down a 4x4 track, and hiking through a cave to reach yet another cave, the answer was an unequivocal yes.
Besides the jungle, I saw Mayan ruins, including Tikal and more caves than you could shake a stick at. I saw the fully articulated skeleton from a human sacrifice in Actun Tunichil Muknal. I canoed to the back of Barton Creek (and since it was an expedition we pushed another two km past the end of the water). We were the first expedition into Chiquibul since National Geographic, and I personally mapped 2 km of cave passage that nobody in the world has ever set foot in. It was truly an epic adventure.
What’s the best thing you have seen while traveling?
Jenn's answer: Baby elephants in the wild in Sri Lanka. We to Kaudulla National Park and saw elephants just being elephants. They played, loved, and lived as a family. It was the cutest thing ever!!
What makes this the best thing was it demonstrated how ethical tourism can be a force for good. Sri Lanka has taken an active interest in elephant conservation over the last 30 years. Kaudulla Park is part of a massive elephant corridor Sri Lanka has put in along the rare wetlands in the dry interior of the island. The results - the wild elephant population has rebounded from a low of 2,000 animals to 6,000 today and is still growing. Human encroachment is still a threat, and this level is below the historic levels of 12,000 elephants. It doubtful that all of the historical elephant lands can be turned into national parks, or those landmark levels can ever be reached again, but the active conservation efforts are making a difference and appear to be working.
What’s your best travel story?
We took a 150 mile, 4-day bike tour in Thailand with the most amazing guide ever - Tick. He was an ex Buddhist monk, ex Thai chef, and the perfect guide to the authentic Thai life we saw along the way, but that wasn't what makes this our best travel story.
Our route and time exactly coincided with Toon Bodyslam's (a Thai rockstar) 400 km run for charity. Every town we pulled into was buzzing with excitement from his journey. At one small beachside cafe, we came across Nod Udom (the Thai version of Jimmy Fallon) eating with his entourage. Tick just had to get a picture with Nod for his wife. We got to see Toon run by our hotel on the last day of our cycle tour. After he passed, he took a break, which gave us the opportunity once we got on our bikes to actually beat him to the finish line. The streets were lined with miles and miles of people out rallying to witness the historic event. All we could do was wave and smile as they clapped and cheered for us. I bet they were wondering who these strange Americans were going down the route but it wasn't going to curb their enthusiasm. We were even able to capture the scene with our helmet cam and be a small part, of this epic adventure.
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Coleman Concierge offers inspiration and practical advice for activity based transformative travel. We believe real life starts outside of your comfort zone and personal growth can be fun. Fun therapy is a real thing in our world. We are all about amazing adventures for ordinary people.
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Who do we have next week?
The Travel Stories spotlight focuses on Saurav Purkayastha from Exoticphototravel.com!