TRAVEL FOR A WEEK. REMEMBER FOR A LIFETIME.

Why do people travel? For some, it’s to get away from the day-to-day and unwind. For others, it’s to make memories or maybe even to make a difference. What if it could be both – and also be so memorable that you still talk about it, years later, to anyone who will listen?

Exploring Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, with a group of Australian veterinarians, was such an adventure for me. All the boxes were checked, all “the feels” were real. Fun? From Day 1, the group had it in spades! Easy going, adventurous, inclusive…it made the difference, for sure, and the little hiccups along the way – a bus break down necessitating a several mile hike to the animal hospital we were visiting, uncooperative patients at the same hospital causing a minor injury, one or two missteps, and even a few illnesses on the cruise throughout the Galapagos Islands – didn’t squash the enthusiasm. And oh, was it worth it!

Seeing animals, like the legendary Blue-Footed Booby, that you won’t see anywhere else in the world…truly spectacular! Likely to be forgotten? Never!! The entire group, traipsing in the hot sun across miles of lava rock, to see the Galapagos Island’s unique creatures must have been quite a sight to the casual observer. To us, it was one of many wonderful memories during that trip.

Did we make a difference? Sure, to the Ecuadorian veterinarians who both sought and gave helpful advice, but also to the Galapagos officials and guides lending their hand to insuring the continuation of these rare species. That’s what making a journey to another country, in a nutshell, means to me…leaving a little piece of yourself and bringing a little piece of another country’s culture, traditions, and uniqueness back with you. Happy travels!

(Check out this video on the Charles Darwin Research Station/Charles Darwin Foundation)

COMING SOON – Journey of Purpose and Discovery Ecuador & Galapagos Islands. Register your interest HERE

Family Recipes from Kerala

We were thrilled to hear from Anjan Mitra who shared just how inspired he and his Executive Chef, Arun Gupta were by their recent journey with us to Kerala, India. So inspired were they, that they have adapted their spring menu at their two San Francisco restaurants DOSA SF, to reflect the home-cooked tastes they experienced in India. Here they reflect on their journey and share some insights in to their Nanda Journeys, Kerala inspired menu! Thank you Anjan and Arun, we look forward to our next journey together and of course your new menu!

blog main picture

The best dishes you can eat are definitely the home-cooked meals prepared in India that reflect the cuisine of the respective regions, the influences of their community, while using fresh, local ingredients in family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.  Many of these dishes never make their way to the restaurants in India, let alone the U.S. or London (which is certainly a hot spot for great Indian food).

Consider the rich diversity of delicious recipes prepared everyday by countless families in a country of 1.3 billion people and you realize that we have barely scratched the surface! 🙂

For this reason, Executive Chef Arun Gupta took a two-week culinary trip to India to cook with several families and local chefs in Kerala, along the West coast of Southern India.  This picturesque region has forty-four rivers that flow from the Western Ghats, and gently meander into the Arabian Sea to create a dense network of waterways known as the Backwaters; a picturesque ecosystem that defines not just the flora and fauna, but the lifestyle of the local people.   You will see miles of rice paddy fields, millions of coconut palms and thousands of fishing nets all across this thriving landscape.     The climate, topography and soil also makes it the spice capital in a land of many spices!

 

In addition to eating a various spots every day, Chef Arun Gupta explored the Spice plantations of Periyar and Kumarakom, enjoyed delicious family meals at the Home Stays of the Philipkutty’s Spice Plantation and the Kalaketty Rubber Plantation Estate.    This region has a relatively significant presence of Christians and Muslims who define their own non-vegetarian culinary styles with dishes such as Fish cooked in banana leaves, Mutton Biryani and Beef Chile Fry.

Many of these local dishes are currently on our Spring Tasting Menu at DOSA on Fillmore which includes different dishes that are prepared to be shared family-style, and start with light bites and a delicious spice-driven salads.  We promise it will transport you to this wonderful region of Southern India without being over indulgent.   Or you can opt for our a la carte dishes like the Phillipkutty Chicken Curry (the best one we’ve done to date), Lake Kochi Grilled Prawns, Asparagus Avial, Kerala Fish Fry or even the Periyar Curried Pork, which is only served at the DOSA on Valencia menu.   Of course, some ingredients change daily depending on what’s available at our local farmer’s markets in San Francisco.

We are exploring hyper-regional and obscure dishes from India that we love, but are unfamiliar to most people in the West!  We might not serve what people are commonly familiar with in the U.S., however, we deeply respect traditional Indian recipes, techniques and spices, to create dishes that use seasonal and local ingredients.   We are excited to help you explore this richly diverse cuisine that varies from region-to-region, city-to-city, and often household-to-household.

Should you find yourself in San Francisco, be sure to explore Arun’s new menu at DOSA on Valencia, or DOSA on Fillmore.

 

Rise and Shine Globally – Dr. Dolores Battle

What could a speech-language pathologist learn about clinical service by travelling to South Africa?

Imagine visiting a small Anglican school in a township outside of Cape Town South Africa, called Khayelitsha, which is home to 2.4 million black and colored persons who were displaced during the apartheid era. Imagine learning how the 3E Learning Project aims to screen the hearing and vision of 10,000 5-6-year-old children in underserved communities. Imagine a community where 40% of the residents are under the age of 19 years and where the annual income for a family of four is the equivalent of $1872 USD.   Imagine a school with no electricity and no running water and no indoor toilet facilities.  Imagine a school where the official language of instruction is English, but the language of the community is Xhosa, or Sotho, or any one of 11 other official languages in the country.  Imagine a school where books are not in evidence and where there is no computer or television.  Imagine hearing screening being done using bluetooth to deliver the sounds and an app on a mobile phone being used to test vision.  Despite all that there is, and all that there is not, imagine a mural painted on the wall of the school that says, “Rise and Shine Globally”.

Imagine visiting the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town, home of Bishop Tutu, and the city of Johannesburg, home of Nelson Mandela.  Imagine visiting the island where Nelson Mandela was held for 27 years and who later forgave those who retained him and later became the president of the country to lead its transformation to a country where equality is the goal of everyday life.  Imagine visiting the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, and the District 6 Museum in Cape Town, and talking with those who lived through apartheid and are now involved in transforming the diverse nation to  its place in modern society driven by a recognition of the value of diversity but the importance of equality.

Imagine standing on at the Cape of Good Hope and reflecting on a vast country with diverse people, diverse geography, diverse vegetation and amazingly diverse animal life.  Imagine being among the elephants, lions, rhinoceros and hippos within days of being among African penguins, seals and baboons.

Imagine what we can learn about the glories of the world around us, the wonder of what our fellow man has accomplished against all odds, and the challenges that remain and optimism of what the future holds.  Imagine what the world could be if we all took the advice from that school in Khayelitsha to “Rise and Shine Globally”.  What a wonderful world it would be.

Impressions —A Human Resources Journey Through Japan. Dr. David Miles

In November of 2017, I traveled with China Gorman and Gerry Crispin on a Nanda Journeys continuing education experience to Japan.  This is a random collection of thoughts and opinions seeing Tokyo and the surrounding areas with a group of loosely related HR executives.  Most of the group have travelled together on prior HR journeys with the Nanda Journeys team, to such areas as Cuba, India, China and other locations.  The focus was to experience the people, culture, education, business and labor environment in real time as well as to participate in the “farm to table” agricultural life.

This journey, like the ones before, provided an unforgettable experience.  Learning about world cultures and people is an awesome privilege.  A special thanks to all that made this possible from the team at Miles LeHane for their support; our clients; Nanda Journeys; the participants and of course all of the people in Japan who made sure that we had an educational, safe environment and an enjoyable learning 9-day experience.

Impression 1 – The People

ToykoDay to day life is played out in a very small geographical area with 13 million people in and around Tokyo.  Think lots of people in a total space about half the size we would be used to in the Tokyo metropolitan area.  Yes, physically they are smaller in stature and size (I should be that slender!) but are amongst the most courteous and helpful when engaged.  Some are shy, but culturally it is not appropriate to stand out and or make excessive noise or talk loudly.  While this may seem unnaturally quiet it is a norm you soon learn to appreciate.  In fact, you start adopting this approach when in a group setting, always mindful about others in a crowded space.

Impression 2 – The Environment

We may talk about common problems such as trash and litter.  The people in Japan live a life that is in my opinion very respectful of the environment.  For example, trash and litter are basically nonexistent.  There are no public trash cans except in food locations.  You are expected to carry your trash until you locate a receptacle.  It is the cleanest city, roads, highways and public areas I have ever witnessed.  While they do clean the public areas, they do this during the middle of the night to be efficient.  We even witnessed the cleaning of a bullet train of 9 cars to include “reversing each seats direction” in under 10 minutes by a crew of just a few workers. Homes, public spaces and businesses all follow a very strict level of cleanliness.

Impression 3 – Structure and Procedures

Hitotsubashi University round tableMuch of Japan follows a culture of compliance and structure as compared to the US. While on the surface this may seem negative to some, it certainly has advantages when integrated across all areas.  For example, education is very structured and provides a solid foundation that has universal meaning.  Employment is also structured in that ALL college graduates are offered equal starting salaries when graduating.  Literally all hiring is done over a few weeks. For example, it is expected that when a family decides to have children that the mother will take years off to raise their children.  In addition, the adult children will care for aging parents.

Impression 4 – Life on the privately held farm

Japanese Farm landsFood and dietary are much simpler in Japan.  Fresh food and an emphasis on fish from the surrounding waters of the country with a staple of a few starches such as sweet potatoes, other root vegetables, a variety of greens and of course rice; provide the basics at all meals.  Japan prides itself on a high level of self-sufficiency in feeding the population.  Given the environment-mountainous from volcanoes-think Mount Fuji- and being surrounded by ocean water, most items when served in balance provide an extremely nutritious diet.  Preparation, natural flavors and using some seasonings, provides a variety but healthful food culture.  Yes, there are fast food restaurants and other processed food items, but from a cost and diet perspective the people prefer to “eat healthy” and more natural.

Our journey included 2 nights and 3 days living with a “farm” family in their home and practicing traditional life style.  This was quite an eye opener experience.  First, sleeping on a floor with the traditional tatami mats is a concept I do not plan to adopt (I enjoy my Marriott plush foam 10” mattress too much). Eating at a low table on a cushion –no shoes of course- is something that I also will not adopt.  The simple life of minimal creature comforts along with the work of running a farm, is something I am pleased to have experienced but am glad to be back into my normal routine.  Believe me, they work hard and steady from sun up until the end of daylight.  I must admit that the meals were some of the freshest I have ever eaten.

Impression 5 – Trains, Planes, Automobiles and other

With so many people in a smaller geography, transportation is a key focus area.  It is amazing to view the highways (what we would call interstate roads) from a macro perspective.  ToykoAs you fly into Narita airport (90 minutes from downtown Tokyo) you are immediately focused on the number of waterways throughout the entire coastal area.  In conjunction with staying in harmony with the land, the major roads are created as elevated roadways along the “river” waterways therefore allowing the land for buildings.  Fortunately, snow is not common in Tokyo but the temperatures do drop below freezing.  These elevated roads connect with a series of bridges and tunnels that rival no other location I have visited.  The underground main tunnels through certain segments of the city make the Boston “big dig” look small.  As expected the tunnels were clean, did not leak or have pot holes, and appeared as accident free as you would hope.  A polite society also carries over to polite drivers.  Impressive!

Bullett Train.jpgThe cars were mostly those that are produced by Japan.  Yes, a few luxury imports but mostly Japanese cars.  Also, the government supports hybrid and other alternative fuel vehicles which are abundant.  Since Japan has very limited natural energy sources, pure electric cars are at this time not very common.  With a population of approximately half of the United States and people clustered in key areas, public transportation is the lifeblood of most workers.  We rode a bullet train, which some utilize on a daily basis, at speeds of 140 plus miles per hour.  These trains then connect with other more local train s and rail options.  While buses are available they are not a primary source of transportation as many streets are narrow.  A surprising number of bicycles and moped supplement public transportation.

Impression 6 -Traditions

Japanese WeddingEverywhere you go in Japan has a long history and values tradition.  From the appropriate and respectful “nod” or “bow” to the presenting of your business card, is all done with respect for others.  What is more important is that the people do care about the meaning of these traditions and learn them from both the family and the education system. The joy of greeting and saying goodbye is equally important.  Taking time for these little gestures builds a feeling of respect amongst all.  We also had to opportunity to visit a couple of Temples and Shrines and observe 6 or more weddings.  Again, these sacred places are open for Weddings, Religious services, tourists and locals to enjoy all.  Most are free of charge to everyone except for Wedding Ceremonies.  Families come together from the youngest to the oldest.

Having formal tea is also a tradition with strong religious overtones. Many of the pottery cups and tea pots have significant design implications.  For example, we were served in special reserved cups that were made for the 1964 Olympics.  Note 2020 will bring the Olympics back to Tokyo.  The brewing processes, the tea leaves, and the small treat candy is all important to the gathering for Tea.  Respecting the past-celebrating the present-and hope for the future is all embedded in the ceremonies.

Impression 7 – Language-Kimonos-Calligraphy

Calligraphy LessonAs expected, language barriers are always difficult to navigate.  While living with our “farm family” the four of us and our hosts utilized simple body gestures and hand movements to attempt to communicate.  This proved both interesting and somewhat amusing.  In the end it all worked well. For all business meetings an interpreter was provided by our host.  While many government and professionals understand other languages, all speak Japanese on a daily basis.  Fortunately, with a little effort we were able to navigate.

One of our opportunities was to learn calligraphy, an art form in Japan.  This was to say the least, difficult for me.  But I did gain an appreciation of Japanese letters (3 styles over the centuries).  In addition, we also made decorative paper notes and were fitted with a Kimono for a Tea Ceremony by the Buddhist Priest. My thought -t hank goodness for word processes that make perfect Japanese letters!

Final Thoughts

Like prior journeys this will always be remembered. A smaller group of 14 allowed for more time to share and process our experiences. I will continue to mentally draw parallels and differences between prior trips.  What stands out most is the genuine “care” embedded in day to day life and relationships.  Yes, they really do care about you and your needs as a person.  The sincerity of how they interact, learn from you and share their knowledge is encouraging.  A highly successful culture that has endured for centuries looks forward to the future.  Yes, they too have issues: a declining birth rate of less than 1.4 / couple.  An aging population putting social programs under stress.  A shortage of talent in the work force and of course the ongoing global disruptors that we face also. But in summary the people of Japan are up for and open to the challenge.  It was a personal honor to have this experience which they made possible.

Dr. David Miles SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CMF
Chairman Miles LeHane Employable Talent

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Travel Memories

When you work in the travel industry, it is easy to acquire the travel bug. I am often asked about my favorite travel memory by family and friends. I am thankful to have so many precious memories of the places I have been blessed to visit over the last 20 years, so honestly it is hard to choose.

What always comes to mind first when asked is Cambodia. I loved visiting Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and fell in love with the people and their laid-back lifestyle. Who wouldn’t be thrilled to cross a visit to the Angkor Wat Temple complex off their bucket list, made even more memorable accompanied by an insightful local guide? I think my favorite was Bayan Temple, but each site was unique and incredibly captivating. There is so much more to Cambodia than just the temples however! I would encourage everyone to pay homage to the millions of victims of the brutal Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge regime. A reflective visit to S-21/Tuol Svay Pray High School (turned processing center and prison for the victims) and the Killing Fields allows a chance to pay homage to the innocents who lost their lives.

15304215_1342451729153782_7199646242089733862_o

Then I recall hiking up the Great Wall of China! Touristy? Sure, but you need to step outside the huge cities to truly see what the rest of the country has to offer. Some of my favorite memories of China include visiting rural towns like Guiyang. It was incredible to talk to local people who had never, at that time at least, seen a Western person in their life. Every region visited has something unique to offer, from the amazing Terra Cotta Warriors of Xi’an, to the dramatic landscapes along the Li River near Guilin, to the amazing restaurants, nightlife, culture and fascinating history of Beijing and Shanghai. I have been many times, but there is still so much left to explore.

How could I not mention exploring the Pyramid complex in Cairo, Egypt. What child of the 70’s didn’t grow up learning about King Tut with dreams of becoming an archaeologist? Perhaps that was just me, but one of my fondest memories of Egypt aside from seeing the pyramids and sphinx in person was meandering through the Egyptian Antiquities Museum off Tahrir Square. We were lucky to have a private viewing of their exhibits accompanied by our incredible Egyptologists. If you go don’t miss Tutankhamun’s Gallery on the upper floor and make a stop at both royal mummy rooms to see who is on display. You may see Tuthmosis III, Amenhotep III, or the last warrior pharaoh Ramses II.

Deciding on my favorite travel memory with so many to choose from is a bit more challenging than I expected. Over the last 20 years, I have to say that spending time with and getting to know the local people has been what I remember and value the most. It is hard not to fall in love with the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, culture and history of each city, town and country; but no visit would have been complete without the fabulous people I met along the way! So, I would recommend you get off the beaten path and talk to the locals. Visit a local pub or restaurant and eat the regional foods. Hire a local guide or driver to show you around. You will be glad you made the extra effort to experience the most each country has to offer rather than just crowded tourist attractions and Western restaurants catering to the tourist palate. Make your own travel memories!

Collage Image Blog 2
Debra’s favorite travel memories. 

 

“All in a day’s (or week’s) work…”

The path to entrepreneurship has been an enlightening one.  I have learned so much and been humbled by just how much it takes to launch and grow a new business. As a self-confessed procrastinator with “shiny new toy” syndrome, I found it difficult to create a routine for myself that ensured I focused on both the exciting, and not so exciting tasks required to manage my business. This challenge plagued me during my corporate career, however, with a more structured environment and project deadlines, I was able to course correct and ensure I didn’t drop the ball. Truth be told, procrastinators work best with hard deadlines, so the pressure served me well!

Today the responsibility sits firmly with me to determine my own priorities and ensure the needs of the business are met.  I’ll admit the task can sometimes fill me with dread while other days be a great joy. Free from structure, I’m able to allow my mind to explore new ideas unencumbered, but this is both a blessing and a curse. On the upside, I can let my imagination run wild and I can act quickly on a new idea. Conversely, I miss the energetic debates and conversations with my esteemed colleagues, the energy, the building upon an initial thought, the support and collaborative promotion of a new project.

In the last few months I began to realize I needed a little structure (not too much) and set about trying to find a solution that would fit my “busy brain” personality.  In February and March, I attended two very enlightening workshops for women entrepreneurs.  The first was a three-day Women Rocking Business Workshop with CEO and Founder Sage Lavine, The creator of the Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy and online Women’s Business Training Programs, she has shared the stage with Neale Donald Walsch, Jack Canfield, Janet Attwood and many more. Sage introduced the “Freedom Schedule” concept and how she works three weeks each month while running a multi-million-dollar business. That got me listening! While I do not presently aspire to that (in a year or two maybe…) the concepts Sage introduce resonated with me and started the wheels turning. She walked us through an exercise where we began to structure our week and allocate themes to each day to allow for a greater focus and allocation of time to specific tasks and projects.

Sage Lavine Freedom Schedule
Photo Credit Sage Lavine, Women Rocking Business

 

 

40Thrive_RBP-22
Jackie Morgan MacDougall

Immediately following the Women Rocking Business event, I drove to LA for the launch of a dear friend’s new business Forty Thrive. Jackie Morgan MacDougall is passionate about helping women become the best version of themselves.  She is dedicated to supporting women in the best years of their lives to launch their dream business, get healthy, create and fulfill their bucket-lists, and live out the life they have envisioned for themselves. Jackie talked about committing to yourself and for me that spoke volumes. We can often commit to the business, but without commitment to yourself you are somewhat limiting the possibilities for yourself and your business.

 

So, what ultimately did I learn and what am I doing differently today? I now have a new approach to the work week that provides me with a structure that has some fluidity to it (allows the busy brain to play sometimes!) and creates focus where it is needed the most.

MARKETING MONDAYS – designed for all things marketing. Blog posts, social media ideas, PR and media, new web pages, promotional ideas, creative space

TEAM TUESDAYS – Nanda Journeys is a remote office with team members and partners across the US and the around the world. Each Tuesday we spend time connecting, catching up on our priorities, what’s new with everyone and how we can help each other stay on task

WHAMAZING WEDNESDAYS – my mid-week recharge! Today is about doing everything I love, connecting with my network groups, analyzing data (I love a good pivot table project!), and “me time” be that a yoga class, time to reflect or time to have fun

THRIVING THURSDAYS – Jackie taught me to focus on Thriving Forward, today is all about how we can grow the business and thrive. Connecting with potential leaders for our programs, looking at our prospects and designating projects to follow up and nurture our leads, new program ideas

FEARLESS FRIDAYS –  today is about tackling everything I have been avoiding or putting off! By clearing my “nagging” to do list I can go in to the weekend free of guilt and feeling accomplished.

I most certainly do not have my new week mastered, but I sure am seeing an improvement in my productivity and creativeness and the business is THRIVING  so I guess that tells its own story!

Share in the comments below how you organize your time, I’d love to hear your ideas.

Happy Thriving,

Nicola

14207826_1260347760697513_7007560335413106411_o.jpg

The key ingredient; global partnerships built on trust and friendship.

Excellent global partnerships are integral at Nanda Journeys and enable us to create our unique and immersive journeys. To be successful in the travel industry, you must surround yourself with a team who strives for excellence and has an eye for detail. We truly believe our global partners are just the right addition to our team. Through these collaborations, we develop our customized journeys that ensure a unique and rewarding educational program. As you may know, Nanda Journeys sells more than just cookie cutter sightseeing tours. We prefer to focus our trips to include an immersive, career enriching experience, allowing professionals the opportunity to engage in site visits and roundtable discussions with their overseas counterparts.

For the last 20 years, we have been collaborating with our South African global partner headquartered in Cape Town. They are a passionate South African team with a deep love for their country and, through programs like ours, they have the chance to showcase all Southern Africa has to offer. Nanda Journeys counts on industry experts in their team and values the friendships that are built by working closely with them. Our mutual passion for international travel, along with the ultimate goal of providing a unique journey, cements those bonds. The opportunity to visit their country and spend time training with their team is one I will never forget. I have fond memories of driving from Johannesburg to Kruger National Park with their managing director. She shared her passion for her home country with me, leaving an impression of not only the diversity of the flora and fauna but an appreciation for the rich culture, history and people themselves.

south africa

Our global partner in Tanzania focuses specifically on inbound travel to Tanzania. Their knowledge and passion for their country really shines through and their dedicated staff are truly unique. The teachers and music enthusiasts enrolled on our Music Education Journey to Tanzania will be spending time at the School of St. Jude this coming July. They are a non-governmental organization (NGO) I had the pleasure of visiting a few years back and one that we continue to support with each new journey that visits their lovely country. The school is dedicated to providing innovative educational services to the most disadvantaged children of Arusha and you can really see the love for the children and country the staff have. Our upcoming group will explore the education system in Tanzania and take part in various school activities like joining in a music and art class with the children. We are passionate at Nanda Journeys about giving back and proud to support organizations like this one, who is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the children living in poverty. I would encourage you to take a look at their website and learn more about their fantastic school.

I will forever have memories of exploring Egypt guided by an incredible team of Egyptologists. They are truly experts in what they do! From bringing the history of ancient Egypt to life, to making sure every experience is not only educational but magical and fun too, they make sure each journey is an incredible experience. One of my favorite memories is visiting the Step pyramid of Djoser in the Saqqara necropolis. It is the oldest complete stone building complex known to history and was truly a marvel for its time. Djoser was the first king of the Third Dynasty of Egypt and was in power around 2670 BCE. He is believed to be the first to build in stone. It’s amazing to have the opportunity to step back in time and just take it all in!

 

 

Egypt
Learning to walk like an Egyptian from our Egyptologist

Our dear friends in India have hosted, adopted and nurtured us as if we are family. The experiences they have helped us to build over the years have been truly remarkable.  Imagine, meeting the Supreme Court Justice in India, chatting with the King & Queen and Prime Minister of Bhutan, being the first western guests in a remote village in Rajasthan,  dining with a family and learning how to cook true South Indian dishes. These are all experiences we have collaborated on and designed with our colleagues in India. We  know, without a shadow of a doubt, that our clients will be cared for like family when traveling to India, Bhutan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar & Thailand.

We are honored to be able to deliver the programs we are so passionate about. We couldn’t do what we do without our global partners! Nanda continues to build on these relationships and to seek new partnerships each year to offer even more exciting destinations. These relationships are built based on a lot of hard work, mutual respect and trust, and dedication to a common mission. I am honored to call our global partners my friends and want to really express how much we value their professionalism, dedication and passion.

When you travel with Nanda Journeys, you can trust that you will have a wide network of industry experts putting their extensive experience to work to ensure you have a fantastic, educational and fun program! We at Nanda want to extend a big THANK YOU to our global partners. We could not do what we do without each one of you. Here is to the next 20 years!

Debra Arthur

A message from our national guide in Peru, Daniel Flores.

ENJOYING INCREDIBLE PERU WITH NANDA JOURNEYS

Nanda Journeys Mental Health Peru

As a Tour Manager in Peru, I meet many people coming to visit Machu Picchu. This of course is one of the highlights of my country and I enjoy knowing that travel companies include this visit as part of their experience.

There are however, many different ways to organize tours in Peru and I love to participate in ones that show a real taste of my country. The best part of every Nanda Journey is connecting people to local communities through authentic and meaningful activities. Not only visiting museums and archaeological sites, but also local markets, talking with local people in a plaza, trying different fruits, vegetables and local dishes that you prepare yourself under the instruction of a local chef or member of the community.

I have had the chance to lead some Nanda Journeys in Peru and it was great to meet so many awe-inspiring, passionate and generous people. I feel so blessed to see our guests working alongside our Andean communities; visiting young children that have never seen a Deontologist; sacred valley dental examsvisiting Peruvian Universities to interact with our professors and eager to learn students;  bringing medical supplies and donations to a remote medical center in Ollantaytambo, a small rural community in the Sacred Valley. These are just some samples of what we collaboratively do with Nanda Journeys to immersive our guests and create a truly experiential and authentic journey.

Working with Andean communities is a powerful and energizing experience to me. It enriches me in many different and positive ways and I love to share with others enrich and make a difference in their life. It feels great getting involved and connecting people because it helps me to grow as a person and fulfill my need of purpose. This is what inspires me to work with Nanda as their National Guide.

peru

Being a National Guide for Nanda Journeys makes me feel fabulous, we create meaningful and rewarding experiences that make a difference in my local community.  I look forward to meeting you in Peru!

Daniel Flores – Professional Guide, Peru.

Daniel will be the national guide for the following upcoming journeys:

 

 

 

Does travel change your life? You bet!

Imagine being five years out of college, working at your dream job, and then being part of the prestigious 4th UN World Conference on Women in Beijing. I was, and it changed my life forever. It strengthened and enforced my love of travel, international cultures, and the power of strong and influential women from that day on.

Hillary Clinton, Mother Teresa, and many more influential women were there. The enormity of it struck me when our group of a few hundred women took up only a small section of the Opening Ceremony. A sea of women all excited to be a part of history!

Click here to listen to First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s remarks to the Fourth Women’s Conference in Beijing, China. This footage is provided by the Clinton Presidential Library.

Hilary ClintonBy gathering in Beijing, we are focusing world attention on issues that matter most in our lives — the lives of women and their families: access to education, health care, jobs and credit, the chance to enjoy basic legal and human rights and to participate fully in the political life of our countries.” Hillary Rodham Clinton, 1995 remarks to the 4th Annual UN Conference for Women. Photo credit UN/DPI 051210 Yao Da Wei

This was my first, but not my last, journey to China and it truly made a difference. Travel became a passion, making a difference became a priority, and mentoring other female co-workers a new vision.

Beijing_blog photo

Life changing? Yes! A must? Yes! In my opinion, no matter your circumstances and other priorities, traveling to experience other cultures and to have those memorable experiences is something you will never regret and always hold tight.

Travel well!

Marcia Dartley – Program Director, Nanda Journeys

Links:

Official Video UN Fourth Women’s Conference, Beijing 1995 

Official Website UN Women

Traveler, Tourist, Global Citizen, what’s the difference and does it matter?

14712824_1297855553613400_2384662115463653132_o

When you start to envision your international travel experiences, do you do so as a traveler or as a tourist? Do you believe there is a distinction between the two references or are they one and the same? This conversation cropped up all the time in our team discussions and product development meetings as we established the core values for Nanda Journeys. There are many articles written on the subject and as many alternative perspectives on the topic!

Ultimately, we decided our guests would be referred to as global citizens or travelers and not tourists. Our belief is that there are enough nuances and differences to make the distinction unique and that we believe our programs lend themselves to a traveler vs. tourist denomination. In fact, we went a step further and the term “Don’t call me a tourist, I am a global citizen” has become a secondary tag-line as we talk about our unique journeys and how they differ from other international travel opportunities.

I’m sure at this point you are asking, “So what exactly is the difference between a traveler, a global citizen, and a tourist and is one better than the other?” My own personal belief is that any type of international travel is a great thing, a glorious thing. Travel deepens our understanding of other cultures, their history, their beliefs and ultimately enriches our lives and the lives of others living in communities where tourism dollars are often key, if not the primary source of income for the local economy. I also believe it helps us to nurture global relations and promote a more peaceful and collaborative world.

As President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed in his “The Chance for Peace” speech in 1953 to the American Society of Newspapers, “A nation’s hope of lasting peace cannot be firmly based upon any race in armaments but rather upon just relations and honest understanding with all other nations.”

Landscape
U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (from left) greet South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem at Washington National Airport. 05/08/1957

 

Mark_Twain_by_AF_Bradley
Photo Credit – A.F Bradley, New York

Or as Mark Twain so eloquently put it “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad

 

So, while we actively support and promote all modes and types of travel, we do see us fulfilling a particular niche that lends itself more to a global citizen and traveler than to a tourist.

As a global citizen or traveler, a key component of our experience is the desire to connect with local educators, business professionals, community leaders, government officials or community members to learn firsthand about their language, culture, history {past and present} and how we can deepen our connections and relationships to improve cross-cultural understanding between nations. As a tourist, a key motivator is more likely to be traveling to a beautiful new country that has unique elements which there may not be easy access to in one’s home country/state. A primary driver is likely to be access to activities, natural resources such as beaches, lakes and mountains and hotel chains that are somewhat familiar.

A global citizen or traveler is excited to learn about local customs and meet people in their homes, maybe shares stories over a home cooked meal. Or, head to a local culinary school or restaurant and learn how to cook a local dish. A tourist is likely to be more driven to find a restaurant that has an English menu and has food options that are a little more familiar.

A global citizen or traveler wants to personally impact the local community they visit and show their gratitude through support of a community project or service opportunity. Maybe they, as we do at Nanda Journeys, take gifts for people they will encounter along the way, help teach English at a local school, provide much need supplies that the community does not readily have access to such as basic medical supplies, hygiene products or as on one of our groups recently, flutes for the local music group who had never seen the instrument or practiced on it before. A tourist likely loves to participate in the activities offered by their local hotel, stay a little closer to their resort, or relax on the beautiful beach or waterfront.

A global citizen or traveler takes a little time to research local customs and language and may even take a basic language skills course before they travel. At a minimum global citizens and travelers learn basic phrases so they can be gracious and thankful in the local language. Tourists are likely to expect that all interactions and communications be conducted in their own language. They are less likely to be motivated to learn the language and will select a destination where they know they can communicate easily in their mother tongue.

A global citizen or traveler is likely to select accommodations that are locally owned, boutique style and non-chain ownership. Loyalty points and rewards are less likely to be a factor in the decision as to where they might stay whereas a tourist is more likely to be loyal to a certain hotel brand to ensure they can reap the benefits of their loyalty. The location of accommodation is also likely to be different. For travelers, they are more comfortable with a non-central location vs. being in the heart of the city or town, if the accommodation is unique to the area and adds value to their cultural experience. Maybe a converted historic building, a former Maharaja Palace, glamping tents in a remote village, or a unique home-stay appeals to a traveler or global citizen. Tourists are more likely to select a chain hotel or a cruise where the amenities and facilities are more familiar and comfortable.

As you can see, there are merits to all styles of travel.  None is better or worse than the other, rather the way we experience a destination is quite different in the same way that we are each different both in life and in travel. We at Nanda Journeys are excited to provide programs that are more likely to appeal to the global citizen and traveler while at the same time broadening the appeal to the segment of tourists who want to do or see more but maybe just don’t know how.

We encourage everyone to seek out new experiences, visit new places, and engage in a journey that will open your eyes and awaken your senses!

“That’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.” Bill Bryson, Neither Here Nor There

Safe and happy travels wherever and however you may choose to explore.

Nicola Balmain
Founder/CEO – Nanda Journeys

041A9607
Cooking class, Kumarakom India
Textile and carpet making experience Jaipur (18)
Learning art block printing, Jaipur India
Caligraphy class (19)
Calligraphy lesson, Japan
IMG_0628
Pediatric dental exams, Sacred Valley, Peru
JSHRM meeting (37)
Meeting HR Executives, Tokyo, Japan