In the spring of 2011, OTPYM, Ed-in-Chief, Michaela joined the Adventure Travel Trade Association, a global membership organization to more than 700 responsible businesses, destinations and media who advocate for sustainability and justice worldwide, on an advisory meeting in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. When we touched down in a helicopter in La Palma, Chiapas we were greeted by the children of the town. Since then I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how to marry the world of luxury travel in which I work and helping the local people who make each destination so special.
In an interesting turn of events, a corporate reorganization left me with the time, means and passion to make it happen. I contacted Africa specialist, Askari Travel to help me, a solo female traveler, plan my epic journey across Africa. I spent three months exploring the lodging, food, wine and beaches, locate the BIG Five on safari, but most importantly the people who make each place unique. Whenever I return from a trip, it’s always the human connection that serves as my favorite memory. Tourism is the world’s largest industry and has the power to help people in need through sustainable initiatives. Luxury can have a conscience. And who isn’t interested in knowing how these safari lodges create such gourmet meals without running water?
On April 6, 2012, I departed for my three-month journey across southern and eastern Africa. In advance of my trip, I launched this blog, OhThePeopleYouMeet.com, so you can learn about the interesting folks in each place, the FAB hotels & lodges I am staying in, and use OTPYM as a resource for planning your dream trip to Africa…and if Africa wasn’t on your bucket list, hopefully inspire you to reconsider. In June 2012, when I returned from my life-changing journey across Africa, I came to two revelations:
1) there are so many other destinations in the world to explore where travelers can have a relaxing and culturally immersive vacation, but still work with travel companies who are sustainable
2) there was no possible way that I could cover the globe in a timely fashion myself. I’ve enlisted the help of The Traveling Team, to share their insider knowledge, in order to provide travelers with unconventional service-oriented travel tips
OTPYM strives to provide relevant and edgy information, whether it’s eating out in Portland, Oregon, or Giving Back while traveling through Peru. Please enjoy our stories, photos and videos from destinations all across the world. We would love to hear your favorites too.
“Travelers come to Africa for the animals, they fall in love with the landscape,
but they come back for the people.”
Anna Trzebinski, designer and lodge owner, Kenya.
Zebra and landscape pictured above are courtesy of Borana Lodge, Laikipia, Kenya.