The Power of Stories
The memories burnt into my heart that blaze the brightest, are always compelling stories from the local people we meet and befriend. People we are transformed by through the power of their stories. Thus, my life and this venture is ultimately influenced by these experiences. Therefore, no experience of travel should be underestimated in its potential to transform you.
A story woven from the loom of our travels which transformed me, was one we experienced while living in the Valley of Longevity. Here, deep in the south of the Ecuadorian Andes, in Vilcabamba, the place where people lived to be well over 100, we met Jaime. He worked for the local adventure company, which was right underneath our rented apartments.
We were gifted his friendship and because of this, we got to see a different world. Everyday we went down in the afternoons to chat and learn something new. Over the course of our stay, not only did we learn Spanish, but also we were made to feel a part of the community.
Through our friend, and his story, we learnt of all the special places we could visit. The forests and mountaintops, the valleys and river-bends, all those little secrets held from outsiders for so long. We got to experience Carnevale, as if we were locals. We supported the local Million Women Rise movement. And we would salivate on Sundays, knowing that the most delicious, Pay What You Feel It’s Worth vegetarian empanadas were waiting for lunch.
These were the creations of a local Hare Krishna family. With their multi-generational approach to living, learning and being together, they were nothing less than inspirational. Mostly importantly, we got to know Jaime. His aspirations and dreams, a young man with a romantic heart and belief in humanity. His story embodied the potential for a better world.
We shared many afternoons and talks on that street corner by the town square. As a result, we got to see into the heart not only of Jaime, but also of Joseph and Ernesto and many of the other local people of the village. We got to do more than sample a taste of the local culture. For a short but significant and transformative moment, we got be a part of their lives and they a part of ours. Our lives and our experiences in this world are interconnected. This is the real power of stories. As a result of these experiences I am forever changed. I carry them with me in my heart.
Travel: A Cultural Learning Experience
This is the kind of experience I wish for you. It is the inspiration and one of the compelling reasons behind developing my Tailored Cultural Experiences Offering. I know travel to be a catalyst for people’s own development, thus, the opportunity for them to expand their world view and with this, their own horizons. This offering’s intention is to put to good use the many contacts, experiences and connections that I have developed while traveling the world.
It is to offer this directly to people who long for that experience that is waiting to transform them. The intention…to give you what I trust will be a truly unique experience and thus an opportunity to see different world. One made up of the stories of the local people, their lives, the places where they live and the power their stories have to transform you. All this, in an effort to inspire you too to share your stories with the world.