The Major Advantage of Learning a Local Language

“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” ~Rita Mae Brown

When Coen and I started traveling, in 2003, everything was new and exciting. Having our first conversations with strangers with whom we didn’t share a language was a challenge.

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Is Tourism Welcome? – Tourism vs. Traditional Life of Bartering

Tourism is welcome in Lençois Maranhenses, and making hats is now a tourist product to sell to visitors.

“We would leave on Monday, be gone the entire week fishing in either the lakes or if there was not enough water we’d go out on the ocean and return on Saturday. We’d have one day at home and we were off again.”

With his six brothers and parents, Marinaldo lived on fishing. Day in, day out.

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Living in Fear – It Is Not Normal!

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”~Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Aren’t you afraid to get robbed?” is a question we receive on a regular basis.

“No, we’re not. And if it happens, so be it,” we generally answer pragmatically.

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5 Places to Hike Forest Trails in South America

The rustling of leaves brings peace of mind. It slows me down and makes me aware of my surroundings: nuts and flowers, delicate mushrooms, fabulously twisted lianas, colorful leaves. I spot butterflies, crickets, leaf cutter ants. I take note of the soothing sounds of humming insects and scurrying lizards.

A forest is hardly ever silent.

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Boating Through the Ecological Sebuí Reserve in Brazil

In the early morning we sailed through the Baia de Guaraqueçaba in an open motorboat: a world of sapphire-colored water surrounded by blue-grey mountain ranges outlined against a cobalt, slightly clouded sky. With dolphins accompanying us in the distance, the scenery couldn’t have been more peaceful.

We were on our way to the Ecological Sebuí Reserve in southern Brazil.

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Slow Travel is Not for Sale

“You know, for me, this is what travel is about.”

“What?” I asked.

The sunset?

The rough camping on this white beach of the Tapajós River?

Is he looking at some birds?

Enjoying his cup of coffee?

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Letting go of Control

Yesterday I came across a post by Leo Babauta, the Illusion of Control

The article describes exactly what has been happening in my life these days: Going from the illusion of control to letting go of control.

Interesting detail: it turns out to be surprisingly simple.

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The Difference Between Slow Travel And Traveling Slowly

Traveling slowly down the BR319, Brazil's infamous highway

The Land Cruiser crawls through potholes, jolts over bumps, and carefully drives onto wooden constructions called bridges. Hour after hour, day after day, we drive at a turtle’s pace on the infamous, 800-km-long BR319.

Welcome to the main highway between Manaus and Porto Velho, in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon.

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