“Let’s get started by taking off your boots,” my dapper safari guide and owner of Newland Tarlton Safari, Don Young, said after liberally serving several rounds of gin and tonics.
My feet were hot and sticky. Amidst herds of impala and zebra and families of warthogs and mongoose, accompanied by a Massai warrior and a Kikuyu game warden, we’d walked across a vast plain of freshly-sprouted grass dotted with purple wildflowers. An abundance of colts, fawns, and piglets gave me the feeling I’d returned to the Cradle of Life, and the hike surrounded by horizons untouched by civilization gave me a new sense of freedom and unity with Nature.Read More
The exuberant welcoming song and dance had accompanied my arrival.
“We’re so grateful to Malibu Strong and you for helping us” they said, referring to the fund-raising campaign I’d launched with the support of my Phoenix Sisterhood of Malibu women. For me, immersing myself in a Swahili-language learning challenge, turning it into a Pledge campaign for this Maasai community, and then accepting an invitation to visit Kenya had been key to overcoming the trauma of the Woolsey fire that destroyed my home and livelihood.Read More
Aloft in the plane leaving Peru, I hatched a plan for the new venture Shaman Wilma told me I must do after reading my coca leaves. My goal was to share my travel photography and writing via social media and HipSilver. I would build a following as NOMAD CHIC, an online persona inspired from my travel, coffee-table books: SAFARI CHIC and SWAHILI CHIC. My goal would be to guide friends and followers on transformational trips, not only virtual ones but also real-world trips to my favorite places consisting of the bucket-list destinations for many of the Silver Generation.
Thanks to my assistant and farm volunteers, I took off running with the idea as soon as I landed. Within two weeks, I’d written two travel pieces for HipSilver. I kept the suitcase of ponchos in the truck of the car so I could photograph wherever I was. They would be my first ‘Travel Treasures’ to sell on the HipSilver platform.Read More
Little did I know when I set off on a transformative trip to the Sacred Valley of Peru that my nomad spirit and cosmopolitan lifestyle would face a Test by Fire.
It was just after September, a time associated with opening a new chapter or starting a new course. For a long time, I’d wanted to master an endangered language, and Quechua, the language of the Incas, enchanted me with it’s poetic onomatopoeia and ‘sound grammar’. I also wanted to finish the illustrations and record the Quechua translation of a children’s book I was writing and illustrating about the Inca constellations in the Milky Way. So, when I heard about a Quechua children’s dormitory where I could volunteer as an art teacher, I jumped at the chance.
I packed my things in a small carry-on: my camera, art supplies, laptop, Kindle, and two changes of clothes. Was I worried about lack of clothes? Not at all, I was also taking two enormous suitcases of donated items from Malibu friends: 50 pounds of clothing for the women and 50 pounds of art supplies for the children.
From Los Angeles, I flew via Bogota to Cusco, 11,300 feet high in the Peruvian Andes. To allow for a gradual altitude adjustment, I postponed exploring the Inca capital and descended 2,500 feet by taxi to Pisac in the Sacred Valley just an hour away.Read More
Hell with Halloween. One sole night for reveling in the reveal of my soul’s fantasy? Not a ghost of a chance; I’m opting for the Week of the Wild, Mexico’s week-long celebration of the Day of the Dead. With airfares under $300, an impulse trip seems dead right. From October 27th - November 2nd, Mexico will fete visitors, dead and alive, with the joys of life at street fairs, block parties, and cemetery picnics featuring foods, drinks, music, and costumes to die for.Read More