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I could always hear the Sea calling, the ebb and flow of the waves, playing like an omnipresent lullabye; gently humming in the background of every significant scene of my life.

The death of my mother, the long talks with my father, birthdays and kisses, even heartbreaks.

My heart had been broken before, but this last time was different somehow. Perhaps it was because I was at a crossroad with my life and keenly aware that each decision (or non decision) I made would define my future. Somewhere along the way I ceased to marvel at life’s fleeting moments and I needed to be awed by simple pleasures again. Each day blended into the next with no spice or flavor to proclaim the novelty of existence to the point I could not find evidence, except the pain of heartbreak, that I wasn’t lost in a dream.


I had to escape.


It was time to go and and it was instinctual like a child knows the sound of it’s mother voice or the acceptance that tomorrow is never promised.

The prison I’d designed was built from baseless fears surrounding survival and security and it was rooted down deep in my psyche.

Freedom isn’t convenient and doesn’t offer any comfort of the familiar, nor assurance of a safe return. Explorers and travelers know that choosing freedom means confronting the very makeup of ones soul and that such a journey will inevitably change every molecule of one’s entire being.


On impulse I bought a one way ticket to Costa Rica.


I wanted to release my clutter, I gave away all my worldly possessions. I visited my mother’s grave to ask for her blessings on a sunny day, while hummingbirds whizzed past my head.

Hummingbirds are the messenger of spirits, I read somewhere once, I took it as a good sign and that gave me courage.


Waiting for the plane, my fears played upon my emotions and resulted in a racing heart and sweaty palms. As a young woman traveling solo for the first time out of the United States, there were a plethora of fears to choose from and I danced around each as a dancer around a fire.


What if the hostel I booked fell through? What if I get lonely? What if get hurt? What if…


“Fear attracts predators,” I remember my father once said. “Even if everything is falling apart around you, wear a smile, play a guitar and relax and you’ll attract adventurers.”


Once my foot hit the sand of Cocles Beach in Puerto Viejo, Limon, I crumbled before the vision of the sea, like shipwreck survivor finally arriving on land. The sun was setting so magnificently I forgot to breathe and I looked down to process the moment. I saw peeking from the white sand, a shiny 500 colones, as if to say, “congratulations brave one, wonders await.”

I laid in the sand until the stars replaced the clouds and the flies began to bite me. I belonged to the sea now, fully and completely and knew I could no longer live a conventional life as I had before. I had no plans, but just to be present in the moment and reflect upon acquiring peace and worshiping the beauty of my surroundings.  

Thank you for reading and commenting. Please enter the Gratitude Travel Writing competition and tell your story.

“I’ve always said I didn’t want kids because I wanted to travel and adventure… but meeting you guys has blown that argument out of the water…”

I laughed over my wine glass as our backpacker guest of the evening proceeded to ask a million questions about “How we do it” with four kids, and expressed her surprise that our life didn’t “end” when we had kids.

I’d love to say that’s an isolated incident, but it isn’t.

Most people can get their minds around taking their kids on a two week beach holiday, or heading off for the childhood pilgrimage to Disney World, but that years of open ended adventure with the world as a classroom is not only possible, it’s a fantastic way to thrive as a family, opens a whole new world of possibilities for many of the folks we meet.

If you’re one of the masses who believe that twenty-somethings have the corner on the adventure travel market and your backpack has to be traded in for a diaper bag, may I suggest that you are mistaken? My friend Keri & I wrote a book about it actually, and  I’d love to introduce you to about a hundred of my friends who are on the road full time with their kids, learning as they go, and loving every minute.

Okay… maybe not every minute:

  • Camping in the rain kind of sucks, on all continents
  • Kids puking out the window of third world busses isn’t my favourite
  • Learning to use a squatty is a story that would make you laugh, but only after the fact

But you know what? There are moments in “real life” that are hard too.

It’s a trade off.

Almost five years ago we sold our house and all of our stuff and hit the road on an journey combining education and adventure, we called it the Edventure Project. The children were 5, 7, 9 & 11 when we made them homeless by choice.

  • The first year, we rode our bicycles from London, UK to North Africa and back. It was a good way to spend a year.
  • The next year we road tripped most of North and Central America.
  • The following year we spend 6 months going deep instead of wide in the highlands of Guatemala.
  • Then we loaded up 7 of our kids’ best friends and took an epic cross country road trip for a couple of months to see some of “our” country too.
  • Now we’re in Southeast Asia with just our backpacks (and Hannah’s 3 instruments) working our way towards the equator.
  • The kids are now 10, 12, 14 & 16 and dreaming up ever bigger adventures for us to have as a family.

We gave up a lot of things:

  • Our house that we remodeled and loved
  • Proximity to good friends
  • A delightful community
  • The comforts of home
  • A six figure job
  • Boxes and boxes of toys & shelves of books
  • The ability to go to playgroups and lessons

But we gained a lot of other things:

  • World citizenship
  • Teachers from a range of lifestyles and cultures for our kids
  • Language proficiency
  • The ability to reach across cultural and language barriers
  • Religious and cultural tolerance
  • Historical and Geographical perspective
  • Epic experiences
  • The confidence that we can do hard things together and overcome

Is is hard to travel with four kids?

Of course it is. Anyone who tells you it’s a breeze is either lying to traveling with a full time nanny.

But parenting in general is hard, isn’t it?

The question shouldn’t be, “Is it hard?” It should be, “Is it worth it?”

It’s overwhelmingly worth it.

A short list of what my kids have learned on the road that they wouldn’t have in a classroom:

  • Flexibility
  • The ability to communicate without language
  • Confidence in their ability to overcome real obstacles
  • Bravery in the face of real danger
  • An understanding of why their course work “matters” in the real world
  • The importance of dreaming big
  • How to design a passion driven life (from so many fantastic teachers living them out in real life)
  • That they are capable of more than they thought they were
  • That their life doesn’t start at 18, but that they are living it fully now
  • That their age shouldn’t hold them back

I could go on, but it would bore you.

Extended world travel isn’t for everyone.

I’m far from suggesting that it is. But if it’s your dream, you can make it happen, and you can take your kids with you.

My parents traveled far and wide with me as a child, it was the very best of my education and childhood.

We’re coming up on our fifth anniversary of full-time adventuring with our kids. We know we’ve got at least two more years ahead of us as we work our way through Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand, Central Africa and eventually South America as we wander towards “home” in Canada.

Having kids doesn’t mean your travel days are over. It just means you have to adjust your pace and change your focus a little. You’ll be surprised how different, how much bigger and more beautiful the world looks through the eyes of a child. Even the most jaded long term traveler will see the difference. If you have kids, and the road is calling you, buy that hobbit a backpack and go in search of adventure together. Afraid of the logistics? Email me, I’ll help you sort it out.

We each get one life, one childhood, one shot at “family” together for a few, fleeting, years. Do it your way.


Jennifer Miller was born under a gypsy moon and has been pulled with the tides across continents ever since. A teacher by trade and a passionate traveler she’s in her fifth year of an open-ended world tour with her four children, combining education and adventure through their Edventure Project. A freelance writer for the alternative education and travel communities she’s passionate about encouraging others to dream big dreams and find the courage to live them. Along with her friend Keri, she’s the author of Bottles to Backpacks: The Gypsy Mama’s Guide to REAL Travel With Kids. When she’s not writing, or riding a chicken bus, you might find her climbing a volcano, sipping wine under Orion’s watchful eye, or swing dancing to bad Thai karaoke.

  Thanks to Dave’s Travel Corner for publishing my article on Slow Travel to Gili Meno. It begins like this:

Sometimes traveling slowly can be more enjoyable than the “preferred,” faster transportation. During our return trip to Gili (a series of islands located just off the northwest tip of Lombok, Indonesia) we meandered rather than take the Gili Cat, a brand new speed boat. We had more time to meet people and ultimately arrived in the Gili’s after several days in Senggigi.

Gili T seems so different compared to our time here in 2008. Is that why they say, “You can never go back?” I wish infrastructure would develop without compromising beauty, the coral and the shoreline. Last time we traveled in Southeast Asia we did not arrive until September which is after the “high” season. I remember all the coastlines being quiet, as most tourists had returned to school from their holidays.

READ the FULL article here!


by Penny Sadler

Traveling isn’t as easy as it used to be. TSA restrictions on carry-on items, weight limitations, and checked luggage fees, make it more difficult than ever. Trying to decide what you can’t live without and what you can jettison, requires some serious mental gymnastics. Add to this the possibility of delayed flights, rental car agencies that actually don’t have a car ready for you upon arrival, overbooked hotels, you name it, anything can happen. And that can wreck havoc on your hair, your skin and your mood.

Beauty and grooming products have taken an especially hard hit with the new 3- 1-1 limit. Moisturizers, hand lotions, shaving creams, shampoos, sunscreen and some cosmetics most often come, in a liquid or gel formulation. But don’t despair, I’ve got some ideas how to combat the TSA, and other travel gremlins, and still look stylish on the road.


I’ve selected a few items that in my opinion are absolute necessities, whether you’re on a extended hiatus or a weekend getaway.


1. A really great scarf, in a color that you know looks good on you. Blue is a safe choice for just about anyone, especially a royal or dark denim shade of blue. Obviously it’s especially flattering if you have blue eyes. If your eyes are green, try a lavender scarf or a print with a dominant shade of green. Your eyes will “pop” and you’ll look instantly more awake and pulled together.  Any color that is either complimentary or matches your eye color will be perfect.  A scarf can keep you warn as needed, ad flair to your wardrobe and color is psychological pick-me-up.



2. Comfortable but stylish shoes. Let’s face it, when your feet hurt, it shows. You look tired and your posture is going to suffer. When you are standing up straight, you’ll feel better mentally and you’ll look more confident.


3. A variety of hair ornaments and hats that will fold up. You can quickly change your look, and feel groomed and sophisticated. Maybe there’s no hot water in your hotel room, or you’ve been traveling for twelve plus hours and have a serious case of airplane head.  Or maybe you just don’t have time to wash your hair. Pop on a hat or pull your hair back with a pretty pony tail holder. Whether you sport long or short tresses, you can use clips and hats to hide a multitude of sins.



4. A makeup kit.  My basic kit contains: concealer, mascara and blush. You could try a crème blush stick that can double as a lip color. If your skin is oily you’ll need to add powder or blotting papers. It will take you five minutes to apply all of these products but you’ll feel like a million bucks.


5. A basic skincare kit. Cleansing wipes for cleaning off the days grime and any makeup you wore, and a moisturizer with SPF. A few additional items that are not a must, but that I always take are, an eye moisturizer and cotton cleansing pads. The skin under the eyes is different than the rest of the face, thinner and more delicate. I use the cotton pads and an alcohol- free toning lotion for cleaning the residue off my skin in the morning. At night I use the wipes and follow up with the toning lotion and moisturizer. It’s an extra step but I think it’s worth it. People tell me I have great skin so I must be doing something right!

There you go. A few items that will weigh less than three pounds but will be worth their weight in gold.


Penny Sadler is a professional makeup artist and hairstylist with a long list of credits in television and event production. Perhaps because of her career, she has a special fondness for Italy, where beauty is a natural part of daily life. She writes for both travel and beauty publications, and is a frequent guest and beauty expert on a local lifestyle program.  She loves to travel and pursue  her passion  for photography and prosecco.  You can find her online at pennysadler.com and Adventures of a Carry-on.





lee abbamonteAtul Gawande says in his book, Better, count something interesting, be it an object or an abstract concept, and you will learn interesting new ideas. Some people count the days to summer camp or the nights until a Saturday night date; I enjoy counting the countries I’ve visited.

After seven years at sea and a year in Asia with my husband, George, I have touched ground in 108 countries. But we are far from the top elite of this hobby. This past December, we met Lee Abbamonte at a Traveler’s Century Club luncheon. He has currently checked off 301 of the world’s 321 countries! (photo December 2011 Traveler’s Century Club Meeting with Joan Schwarz, Pam Barrus (VP TCC), Lee Abbamonte (301 countries), and Lisa & George Rajna)

photoMy family has been counting, too. My parents rang in the New Year with us to celebrate their seventieth birthdays and nearly forty-nine years of marriage. My sister counted and collected over eight hundred photos that represented every decade of their lives, from images of their great-grandparents to their grandchildren, including shots of hilarious 1960s hairstyles, and our home’s mod wallpaper during the seventies.

Using the fantastic site, www.picturemosaics.com, we turned our collective photos into a photo mosaic masterpiece. A picture might be worth a thousand words, but this photo mosaic was so impressive that when we hung it in the photo and art gallery on the Voyager of the Seas to surprise our parents, total strangers inquired whether the piece might be for sale! I told them, “You can’t have ours, but I recommend you make your own!” Naturally my dad said, “Sell it to them! We can hang on the wall in their house also!”

momdadI love the photo mosaic and I love the personal history it represents. I think I may create one from the five years George and I have spent together, including shots from our travels. Here is a novel and unique art project for travel pictures and now I can count one more important aspect of my own life.

Article first published as Count Something Important on Technorati.

Our movie about Bahia De Kino: “The Movie” is on Technorati! Check it out on youtube


Our Latest VIDEO from Thanksgiving in Mexico! Enjoy!

Thank you to EVERYONE for reading, commenting and sharing our blog and website! We really appreciate it! We were very well read in December 2011~ and we hope your support continues!

A few articles that featured LISA that you might have missed:

Finding your passion
After dropping out of medical school in her 20s, Lisa Niver Rajna of Los Angeles traveled for almost seven years on the high seas. “In my 30s, I worked on a cruise ship like Julie McCoy [on the TV series “The Love Boat“] and also worked for two seasons at Club Med. My family said I ran away and joined the circus.”
While some people worried that she might be “wasting her potential,” Niver Rajna discovered that she really enjoyed both traveling and working with the kids’ programs on the cruises. These experiences, plus her educational background, led her to become a science teacher and travel blogger in her 40s.
“I have no regrets about taking this other path,” Niver Rajna says. “Once I decided that leaving medicine was the right choice for me, everything else fell into place. When I am teaching or traveling, I know I am in the right place doing what I am meant to be doing.”

Lisa’s Tips to Stop Emotional Eating at: Always New You

Tips to Stop Emotional Eating

  1. Know that you do it – Awareness FIRST
  2. Have a plan for what you can do instead, go for a walk or call a friend when you are mad about what someone said. Chocolate is not the answer (but, it sure can feel like the answer at the time).
  3. Don’t let yourself get too hungry. If I get over-hungry I make the worst food choices. If I keep an apple and nuts in my desk I will eat those at 3pm. If I don’t have a good snack I will find anything to eat – especially chocolate!
  4. It is not a straight path, be gentle with yourself! Eating a small chocolate is better than a pint of ice cream.
When my doctor told me I had gained 13 pounds, we had a mini-fight in her office. No one in my family or any of my friends had been brave enough to tell me. I still can’t believe I had no idea how I looked and I could not figure out why I couldn’t get a second date. I did meet George online at my heaviest of 176 and 39 years old.  I almost missed our first date because I did not write back, but luckily he wrote to me again.  At our wedding, just 3 years later, I weighed 114 lbs. It was a long journey of weight loss and of eating less but it has been worth the effort!
— Lisa Niver Rajna, Happy Traveler, We Said Go Travel   http://www.wesaidgotravel.com

Everyday Ways to Help Kids Learn!

Most adults think of science as an experiment or equation that has nothing to do with everyday life. But science is the process for figuring out how things work, explains Lisa Niver Rajna, a K-6 science teacher in Los Angeles. When you think of it that way, even a construction site can turn into a physics lesson.

Observation is the basis of science, so do what Rajna does when she takes her students out on a walk: ask your child to put on his imaginary detective hat and tell you everything he sees.

More news and stories coming soon! Check us out at http://www.wesaidgotravel.com/

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kinoConsidering the way that we came to hear of Kino, from a Canadian miner in Mongolia, our expectations of the place were lofty. We were ready to explore, taste, and find paradise.

After eating breakfast while taking in the lovely bay, Perry, the co-owner of Casa Tortuga, joined us and said in a matter-of-fact tone, “I’m not busy this morning – you know, being retired and all – and I would be more than happy to take you on a tour of the area.” Since we did not have wheels but did enjoy his company, we immediately accepted the offer.

Perry first drove us to the northern side of Nuevo Kino, an area with great ocean views, volcanic landscapes, and a white church perched atop a hill. The area is no doubt being built up; a gated community is under construction as I write. Unfortunately, the cool morning air and overcast sky hurried us back into the comfort of Perry’s vehicle. We drove through the desert viewing volcanic peaks that I yearned to scale ,as well as a humorously-situated desert golf course, without grass but not devoid of small synthetic putting greens, all punctuated with numbered flags.

golfWe then headed to the fishing village of Kino Viejo,. There I was disappointed as the town appeared somewhat ramshackle and run-down. The local pier had vendors selling the daily catch and a few trinkets and the village was mellow but not beautiful. Even the beach in front of old Kino leaves something to be desired. The sand is more rocky and shell-laden than Kino Nuevo; boats line the sand leaving no room to walk along the shoreline.

We passed a few restaurants, checked out an art shop, and ate a couple of beef-head and bean tacos. We decided to walk along the beach back to New Kino. On the sand we met a few young teen boys who were playing on the beach. They were freaking out as thunder and lightening began to fill the distant sky. Still, we managed to get them into a rock- throwing competition to determine who could keep a rock in the air the longest.

My job was to be the counter. The winning time was eight seconds. With more roaring thunder, we continued back to the Casa Tortuga, attempting to avoid the rain. It eventually caught us and we spent most of the rest of this Thanksgiving Day under the veranda of our patio relaxing and reading books. Later that night we went to the closest restaurant, Pargo Rojo (Red Snapper) . We enjoyed excellent fish dishes and garlic chicken. The waiters were friendly and the ambiance basic.
The following day we woke up and headed to hike to the surrounding peaks. We turned from the main road where a painted sign read “Mariscos Judy” and continued inland until we reached the base of the mountain. As we walked further into the cacti-laden desert, we could not help but picture imaginary views from make-believe windows of nonexistent houses. We then headed upward. Two peaks became four and we were surrounded by volcanic detritus. We enjoyed the view and then headed back to prepare lunch.

We relaxed the remainder of the day and decided to join the local expatriates at Club Deportivo, followed by dinner at La Casa Blanca. When we arrived at Club Deportivo, we were shocked. Over one hundred retired North Americans were playing cards, socializing, and consuming very reasonably priced cocktails. Unsurprisingly, not a single person had ever met or even heard of Maury, the miner in Mongolia who’d told us about Kino. An emcee was on stage getting everyone revved. The place had a little bit of a Club Med feel but this was no all-inclusive resort. We met several friendly people that evening. First I spoke with Lee and Diane Ackerman, a couple who began their world trip after retiring but never made it past Kino. Lee served up stiff rum and cokes along with fluid conversation. I also spoke to John and Judy Hazen, a couple from Oregon who have a daughter working as a teacher in Thailand.

After the events at Club Deportivo, yet another couple, Hilda and Valentine invited us to join them at Jorge’s for dinner. We learned interesting things about one other and shared a love for Indonesia. The garlic fish was tasty and the margaritas proved powerful. Later we retired to our patio and enjoyed the beautiful view with the wind rustling through our hair and the moonlight gleaming off the tranquil ocean.
kino3The following morning Perry once again came to our aid. He gave us a lift near Kino Viejo where we embarked in one-man kayaks to circumnavigate Albatros Island. I was excited; as someone has mentioned that blue-footed boobies could be seen on the west side of the island. As we neared the island, the stench of bird crap was unavoidable.

Thousands of birds, mainly pelicans, inhabited the island. We slowly circled the island but never caught sight of a booby. We did see a couple of sea lions but the main draw was the bird life. We then headed back toward the coast and steered north, toward our guesthouse. But the seas suddenly turned lumpy and we paddled ashore. I dragged the kayaks across the sand toward our rental, figuring that we were only about one kilometer distant. As I pulled on the boats, a man in a hat approached us. He said, “Hi. I remember you two from last night.” Then I realized that it was John from Oregon who had invited us to watch college football at his friend Lee’s house. At first I declined his kind offer to heft the kayaks into the back of his truck and haul them back to Perrys. bBut when he explained that we were at least five kilometers away I gratefully accepted his help. Apparently, people in these parts take care of one another, including visitors.

kino2After our aquatic sports adventure we developed a huge appetites. We went to the local supermarket and purchased a few items for sandwiches and snacks. We then went to Lee’s house to watch football and eat chili with corn bread. The food was excellent but I was already stuffed. The combination of football, American food, and the style of the house sort of made me feel that I was already home, and quite comfortable.

We departed Lee’s place late in the afternoon to catch our last Kino sunset. We were scheduled to return to the States early the next morning. We packed our bags after watching the sun quickly set. Perry came by with two cocktails, sunset mango drinks that fit in perfectly with the local setting. We had made plans to have a last dinner with Perry and Caroline.

They served up an excellent meal including a salad with ingredients from Caroline’s garden and ate pasta, washed done with fine wine. We partook in pleasant conversation and played a few games before we went to sleep.

The Kino experience had ended too fast. Yet we’d passed enough time to see what we came to see. Was it what we expected? I’m not sure. In fact, I do not even recall if I expected anything at all. The brief trip to Kino Bay was relaxing, lovely, yet with enough activities to keep us moderately busy, when we chose to be.

Be warned though. We were told time and time again that during Semana Santa and Summer, Kino turns into a party village. As for the remainder of the year, tranquility and peace here reign supreme.


More about us: http://www.wesaidgotravel.com/

Article first published as Bahia De Kino: Part II, “The Realization” on Technorati.

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Guest Post by: Kit Herring
Few people visit Algeria anymore because of internal strife, but I hitchhiked across the country in 1975.  Theses are some recollections of the country’s greatest archeological site, the Roman city of Timgad, as they appear in my novel, Descending the Cairo Side.  Here was once an African center of empire; today the ruins are empty and forlorn: 

    When I arrived at the nearby modern Algerian settlement, I found that accommodations were scarce. The only lodging proved to be arather expensive hotel. But I checked in, not wishing to camp in the open.  In the lobby I found a map of the ruins.
    After securing my belongings and now in astate of bemused contentment, I headed for the ruins, glad that a whole Romancity lay waiting for my investigations. A man at the gate collected a pittance as an entrance fee. It would havebeen interesting to see if the daily receipts even paid his salary. Certainly,there was not a single other tourist on site. I was completely alone at one of northern Africa’spremium archeological wonders.
    The foundations of the town lay ahead, butno buildings stood higher than about three feet.  I was somewhat disappointed, thinkingfoolishly that I would wander the streets of a nearly intact city. This was anaive fancy, of course. The ruins had been picked over for centuries as asource for quarrying stone, and no doubt looters and grave robbers had long agostolen anything of value that could be easily removed.
    I walked down a broad boulevard in thecenter. The dun-colored stone remains were, in their subtle, discreet fashion,magnificent.  A sense of orderliness andtidiness stood out. The city had been planned, much more carefully than wereany modern population centers in North Africa. It seemedthat the whole thing had been built from a central design.  Streets were laid in a grid, and the map Ihad showed the various public and private buildings, although it would havebeen hard to discern the function of most of the ruins.  On the surface, all was a jumble.
    It didn’t take long to tire of pickingthrough the low walls. There weren’t any interesting artifacts lying about, ofcourse, and little in the way of artwork. I was surprised at how fast boredom set in.  I felt like an unsatisfied and jaded seekerof lost history.

    Yet the scale of Timgadwas impressive. The stone-paved streets covered the better part of a squarekilometer.   Sitting down on top of acrumbling wall, I consulted the map again to see if there were otherinteresting spots.  I had noticed, abouta quarter of a mile away, a large structure that looked like a fortress or acastle.  It had a non-classical architecturalstyle to my unpracticed eye.  What wasthat?
    The structure loomed over the ruins like agiant crashed bird.  It was constructeddifferently from the rest of the city. Although much larger than any other of the stone remnants, it seemed, atthis distance, to have been put together from cruder materials.  I decided to have a peek.  It required a walk outside the perimeter ofthe Timgad ruins.  I read on my map that the fort dated fromByzantine times, which would account for its stylistic singularities.  It loomed more and more imposingly as Iapproached it.  As advertised, it indeedwas a kind of primitive castle. There was a wide entrance, some twenty feethigh, which once may have supported huge wooden doors.         
 The interior was dark. I pressed on, enteringthe portico, feeling my way through a great central hall.  The fortress was made entirely of small,roughly hewn rocks.  Its lines weresevere and utilitarian.  Above me theceiling faded into the darkness. Abruptly I tripped over a loose stone in the path, and a loud surprisednoise emerged from my throat.  Withoutwarning, a great host of bats swooped down from the recesses of the bulwarks,twittering and screeching their eerie cries. I ducked instinctively as theyswirled and swooped around me like miniature dive-bombers.  It was quite unnerving and I panicked,looking for a speedy exit.  They flewthrough my hair, brushing against my face. I had a flashing thought of rabidanimals covering me with tiny painful bites and sprinted for the exit. The batsdecided not to follow, but I continued running blindly for a hundred yards,finally coming to rest on the base of a column. The cries of the bats werestill audible from within the gloom.

    I panted, staring back at the Byzantinefort.  This was not part of the bargain.God, bats!  I looked around the area fora time, bewildered.  The fun had gone outof this expedition. Making my way back to the ruins in the city, I attempted tobusy myself studying the vestiges of Roman life, but my curiosity had taken ablow.  It felt as though I had beenrejected by this place, that it had no connection for me.  I kicked a few stones around a small plaza,trying to decide what it all signified. I considered what I knew about Roman history.  The usual schoolboy facts.  Great conquerors, leaders, civilizers. Butthe stories from my youth no longer seemed relevant.  An idea occurred to me, courtesy of theattacking bats.  Maybe the Romans wereprecursors of a continuum of evil in Europe, proto-nazisfrom the ancient age. What had they accomplished in subduing and controllingtheir piece of the known world?  Surely,their art, literature and culture counted greatly in the progression of humanknowledge, but in the final analysis, their ruins were haunted places, theabodes of night creatures. They enslaved vast regions and peoples in theirquest for dominance.  The glories oftheir conquests had long withered, leaving nothing but relics of brutality andfear that gave proof to the lie about empires. 
    The legions of Romerepresented a great leap backward for humanity. The modern history books had it wrong. I walked away from the archeological site, toward the modern town of Timgad,vowing never again to set foot on Roman territory.
From Lisa and George, We Said Go Travel:
Thank you to Kit for this guest post! More from him at http://thebackpackershandbook.com/ 
Read about his book, Descending the Cairo Side:
More travel news and stories from us here next week.  
Want more right now? Go to: www.wesaidgotravel.com
Ready to travel? Go on the Summit this summer with the Penn Glee Club!

We are excited to share our news! Lisa’s article was published in Vagabundo magazine. We traveled to Taiwan last year and went to Penghu which is called the Hawaii of Taiwan!Here is the first paragraph from “The Elusive Matsu Pilgrimage of Penghu”

Many of my trips involve searching, sometimes for an interesting place or festival but sometimes the journey leads inward. During our eleven-month sojourn in South-East Asia we find in Laos a brochure of Taiwan and its images capture my attention. While reading more about the island nation, I discover a festival in honor of Matsu, the goddess of Taiwanese fisherman. That seals a decision — the next journey George and I take will be to Taiwan.
Continue reading this article at Vagabundo Magazine: http://www.vagabundomagazine.com/the-elusive-matsu-pilgrimage-of-penghu/

NEW PAGE on our website all about Travel Apps!
There are incredible apps used by outstanding travelers listed on our site. I cannot wait to use all the recommended apps! I have had a kindle since 2008 and George just bought me the new KINDLE FIRE! I love it and cannot wait to travel with technology!!
See our new Travel Apps page: http://www.wesaidgotravel.com/apps.html

From Lisa and George, We Said Go Travel:

See you TUESDAY Nov 29 at X-Bar in Century City for our next event, “Travel with Technology: My favorite Travel app!” Meet the founders of Ship Mate!

More travel news and stories from us next week. Want more right now? go to: www.wesaidgotravel.com

Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you enjoyed the holiday with your families and friends. Send us your stories! We would love to hear how you celebrated! Lisa and George

Friends and family ask us, “How do you do it? How do you manage to leave for a year?” Others say, “You are crazy; I would never do that!” These people usually think of the dictionary definition of a vagabond as “…a person who wanders from place to place without a home or job.” I prefer Ralph Potts’ definition in his book Vagabonding:

‘Vagabonding’ is about taking time off from your normal life — from six weeks, to four months, to two years — to discover and experience the world on your own terms.

In this season of Thanksgiving, I reflect on what Seth Godin said last year:

A modern Thanksgiving would celebrate two things: The people in our lives who give us the support and love we need to make a difference, and… the opportunity to build something bigger than ourselves, something worth contributing. The ability to make connections, to lend a hand, to invent and create.

When we departed to realize George’s dream of travel in SE Asia, I wrote every month to my friends and former students, wondering at the time if anyone would read our words. Would I make a difference if I wrote at all? I remembered Ralph Waldo Emerson’s thoughts:

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Leaving both our homes and our careers can free us to think about our path and what we want to do with our lives. If you are considering a long vacation or a career break you might ask, “From where am I leaving and how might I find a purpose? What will the trip be like? What will happen in this new unknown world?”

A Sabbatical may allow us to step back so we might give more to our lives in the future. An academic study, Sabbatical Leave: Who Gains and How Much? conducted by researchers from the US, Israel and New Zealand, researches this question. The study concludes: “Sabbatical leave promotes well-being…the present study confirmed the beneficial effect of a respite on positive well-being.”

Maybe we cannot all take a year-long sabbatical but at least we may find a sabbatical second or moment to acknowledge our dreams and pull our lives more into focus, and become closer to making our dreams come true. Support someone else’s idea for a Gap Year, Mini-retirement, Big Trip or Sabbatical—between stages of life, after college, or after the home nest empties.

Last year passed without a National Meet Plan Go event in Los Angeles. I discovered that no one had volunteered to host the occasion. So this year, we facilitated the day, and drew an incredible panel with a sold-out crowd of over a hundred attendees. I wasn’t sure how to bring the event to fruition, but as with all such tasks, the journey began with a first step.

This Thanksgiving season I am grateful for a support team that allows me to ship early and helps to make my dreams come true. For many of us who have left “the rat race” with a sabbatical or career break, we realize that the journey is for the sake of the adventure and that we can be transformed by our travels. I hope that you will put one foot in front of the other and proceed firmly in your life to make your dreams come true. Find a tribe that understands our world, takes care of our planet and also supports its members.

I hope that this during this Thanksgiving and holiday season, you can carve time out of your schedule and not be permanently tied to your Blackberry, carpool, office or deadlines, to focus on realizing your dreams, whether they involve travel or something that only you can imagine.

For a moment, a year, or a lifetime.

This article was first published as part of The Happy Thanksgiving Magazine for Squidoo.

Want to know more about our event Meet Plan Go Los Angeles from October 18,  check out the video!

Meet Plan Go Giving Back
MPG Los Angeles hosts, George and Lisa Rajna (the creators of We Said Go Travel), participate in community lives when they travel and support those in need – whether it’s Burmese refugees in Northern Thailand, the Jewish World Watch Solar Oven project to help people acquire the tools they need to improve their lives, or importing purses fabricated from local tapestries made by Kazak women to better provide for their families. The idea of sharing profits from the Meet, Plan, Go! event with others came as a natural continuation of their other works.

Lisa Napoli, who wrote Radio Shangri-La and participated on the Los Angeles panel, has been working to help create a library in Mongar, Bhutan through her project, Books to Bhutan. She says, “Please help us bring the joy of books and reading to these kids, who are so eager to learn.” As teachers and library lovers, the Rajnas know that supporting Lisa’s project with the profits from their event made a perfect match; they’ve sent $300 to help fill the shelves in Mongar with books. If you would like to help add more to the library, please use this link.

From Lisa and George, We Said Go Travel:

We wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday with your families and friends. We are off to a tiny fishing village we learned about in Mongolia from a Canadian guy who lived in Bolivia and had a house in Mexico. We will tell you all about it!

We hope to see you Nov 29 at X-Bar in Century City for our next event, “Travel with Technology: My favorite Travel app!” Meet the founders of Ship Mate! More travel news and stories from us next week. Want more right now? go to: www.wesaidgotravel.com