This is a letter written in Mumbai this summer to Afar Magazine, another company who seems to have the tools and the vision to make meaningful travel possible for those who desire it. (Response pending.)
Dear Afar magazine,
This is the current scene: A rooftop restaurant post-sunset. The yellow, red and blue boat hulls in the harbor have that perfect, saturated glow as if to kiss this day adieu. Incessant horns seem far away now, resonating stories below and hoping to ease their tired voices soon. Birds squawk. Heads nod. This is Mumbai.
I am writing you simply to say, thank you. You embrace all that is this world in a few matte pages filled with colors and words and stories authentically portraying the beauty and the veracity of the variety that abounds on this planet. You show us the elaborate and engage with the socially conscious. You encourage travel, not through a window, but through fresh eyes, new perspective and meaningful interactions.
The first thing friends ask me when I return to the US is, “When are you leaving?” The sincere inquiry enables me to reflect on a life I have stumbled into; one of wonderment and “wanderment” and one whose great fortune cannot be denied.
In seventeen years of international travel, I have been welcomed into Maasai bomas in Kenya and ventured on Hedzabe bush hunts in Tanzania. I was embraced by Rwandans, shared tea with the Turkish, ate roti and masala on the floor of Indian homes and stared back at the cui on my plate as I celebrated the earth in Peru. Nicaragua has become a home for me and Spain will always have a piece of my heart. My travels have been vast and intimate, adventurous and soulful, alone and surrounded by others, chaotic and tranquil, spontaneous and purposeful. And one certainty prevails: benevolence exists no matter where I wander. Around the world, requited smiles shatter walls built with the mortar of language and fear.
I founded a small business, Away2Be. We facilitate innovative education, and interpersonal and intercultural connection through local and global relationships. First and foremost, we encourage the connection with self through yoga and reflection. Secondly, we engage in meaningful conversations with educators, students, local leaders and corporate clients alike about global issues, leadership, interpersonal relationships and effective communication. We travel abroad and walk with and learn from the people of the world. We believe sustainable, global change depends on the power of these relationships and personal stories are the pathway to peace.
Because our values align and because I so appreciate all you do, I write you this message. I would love to collaborate and communicate with you further. I am based in Denver, though probably spent about 8 months away last year!
Let’s continue this work of traveling deeper together!
Owner, Away 2 Be