My journey to discover the most interesting places and people around the world has led me to the remote, Northern jungles of Papua New Guinea. This rarely visited location is known as the Sepik River, and is home to an incredible tribe known as the Crocodile Tribe.
Why are they called the Crocodile Tribe? It’s not because they wear crocodile skin for clothing, which is true. It’s not because they eat crocodiles, which also is true. Rather it’s because as a rite of passage young boys use sharp razor blades (or bamboo sticks) to shape the skin on their backs to look more like that of a crocodile.
I know what you’re thinking…why on earth would anyone do such a thing!?
Simply put, the crocodile tribe believe crocodiles have God-like traits and characteristics, and by experiencing this painful transformation it makes you a man. They believe that if you can handle the pain from the ritual, you can handle the pains and challenges of everyday life. For the ritual, the men of the village gather at the spirit house to undergo an initiation that involves creating scars on their backs to resemble Crocodile Skin.
While this tradition seems strange and even a bit unnerving to someone not from the tribe, there are practices we have in our own cultures that to others may seem strange or even just the slightest bit odd. The Kalam People pierce the noses of their young boys as a rite of passage into manhood. The Maori People of New Zealand get tattoos as a symbol of their tribe, family, or rank (tattoos are very painful and often the tattoos are located on their face). Women (and men) in the United States undergo cosmetic surgery, manipulating their bodies to look a certain way.
We can’t judge cultures just because we don’t we understand them. And in all actuality, for everyone thing that is different, there are usually about 1000 ways that we are the same.
Grab Your Backpack, There is More to Explore!
When I was a young girl, I was fascinated with the story of a boy named Aladdin, a genie, a princess, and a magic carpet. These stories captured my imagination even though I knew that magic carpets didn’t exist. Or do they?
Petra is Located several hundred kilometers south of Amman (the capital of Jordan), and is an ancient, ancient city carved into the desert cliffs. Its stunning architecture and unbelievable landscape attract visitors and foreigners from all parts of the globe.
Southeast Asia. The countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar are home to some of the most unique culture, deep history, and heartwarming people. All of these countries are also home to some of the World’s most stunning temples - in particular temples of Angkor (Angkor Wat) in Cambodia and the Ancient Temples in Bagan Myanmar.
Early in the morning at 5:00am hundreds of monks wake up, leave the temples, and walk through the city streets collecting their morning alms (sticky rice and other simple foods) that is give to them from the local people as a part of a special alms giving ceremony. The monks walk in a single file line down the main streets that lead to the royal palace, where locals kneel by the curbside with their heads bowed and their feet tucked away - showing respect for the monks who are passing by.
While there are many things to do and see in the world, some of the most treasured experiences cannot be planned for. Like the time I was invited to a Llama Blessing in the Lares Valley of Peru. The Lares Valley is tucked away behind Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, a journey that will take you past tiny mountain villages that dot the mountainside.
When people think of a desert they think of a place covered in sand and sand dunes. Morocco is home to the Sahara Desert, which spans over 3.5 million square miles, roughly the size of the United States. It stretches from the Red Sea in the east, all the way to the Atlantic Ocean in the west. That’s a lot of sand!
Today I want to introduce you to one of the most incredible women I have ever met, her name is Haju and she is a nomad in the Desert of Morocco!
I am in Bukit Luang with my friend Lillix, the man who talks to monkeys. Lillix grew up in a small village in the jungles of Indonesia, and from a young age, learned to love the jungle. Ever since he was six years old his father would take him to explore the most remote parts of the jungle to help him develop an appreciation for its beauty and importance.
Chefchaouen or Chaouen is known as the Blue Pearl of Morocco because of its narrow streets & buildings that are painted in many shades of blue. So, why is this famous blue city in Morocco, Blue?
Meet my friend Espional. He is from a small village in Papua New Guinea called Asaro, home of the Mudmen Tribe. Experience the Goroka Show and Sing Sing Festival in Papua New Guinea.
Many people wonder where they should stay when they visit another country, and often there are so many choices that you don’t even know where to start. Well, from my experience sometimes it is the most unassuming places that end up being the most special - such as the Riads in Morocco. So where should you stay the next time you visit Morocco? Whether you are in Marrakech, Fes, Tangier, Casablanca, or the Sahara Desert - let me share with you a little secret about the top Morocco Hotels, well they are actually Riads and that is where you should stay if you want an authentic experience in Morocco.
My journey to discover the most interesting places and people around the world has led me to the remote, Northern jungles of Papua New Guinea. This rarely visited location is known as the Sepik River, and is home to an incredible tribe known as the Crocodile Tribe. Join us on a Tour of Papua New Guinea and experience the Goroka Sing Sing Festival and Culture Show!
One of the reasons I love visiting Antarctica and the Southern Hemisphere is because it is one of the few places in the world where you can see Penguins! South Georgia is an Island located in the Southern Hemisphere, just off the peninsula of Antarctica and is home to the largest King Penguin Colony in the world.
When you put an ice cube in your glass do you ever wonder how old it actually is? If you are in the United States, Europe, or a country along the equator the ice in your glass probably isn’t more than a couple of days, or even a couple of hours old. Well in polar regions, like Antarctica, the ice is over 100 THOUSAND years old. Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, driest continent on Earth and holds over 90% of the world’s freshwater as Ice.
Over the years many people have risked their lives to travel Antarctica, document its wildlife, and conduct research. Ultimately the efforts of these early explorers made it possible for researchers, naturalists, and people just like you and I to visit this incredible place.
Imagine taking a 10 hour flight, 3 hour drive, 1 hour train ride , 30 minute public bus, and a a 15 minute hike, you will find yourself at a place voted to be one of the New 7 Wonders of the World--Machu Picchu. While many people visit Machu Picchu, which don't get me wrong - is a spectacular site- they often miss exploring the beauty of the valleys & villages that surround it. Like visiting Juan, his family, and their 1000 alpacas.
The holidays have many of us hunting through department stores for the perfect gift. And yet a 20-year study by Cornell University psychology professor Thomas Gilovich, found that individuals gain greater satisfaction and happiness from experiences rather than things.
This past September, I explored the tropical paradise of Sumatra. I’ve always wanted to visit this breathtaking Indonesian island, which is home to the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan. Sumatra offers picturesque views and exciting adventures for nature lovers, but it’s the islands diverse wildlife that really stands out. While there, I embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime orangutan trek in Gunung Leuser National Park. This remarkable experience was one I’ll never forget. Keep reading to learn more about trekking with orangutans in Sumatra!
I’ve come to discover that, as people, we are actually all quite the same. And as a human, I have learned to be grateful for one thing in particular—Connection. The more opportunity I have to travel, the more I have learned the importance and beauty of true connection with people.
When I arrived in Papua New Guinea, I was amazed to see such incredible people… like the Kalam Tribe!
Tune in Wednesday 28 August at 11am PST / 2pm EST! Join CEO Kylie Chenn as she talks through all things Vietnam and Myanmar! She'll be answering all of your Top Travel Questions about this region of the world including what you must-see, what she loves most about Southeast Asia, the best foods to try, what to pack, and more!
Tune in at 11am PST / 2pm EST this Wednesday! Join Kylie Chenn as she talks through all things Egypt and Jordan, answering your Top Travel Questions... Is Egypt Safe, Top Things to Do, How to Pack, Must Eats in Jordan, and more!
We had the opportunity to travel with some INCREDIBLE Content Creators, Brands, and Influencers on our Tour of Peru! We had an AMAZING time as we immersed ourselves in Peru's BEAUTIFUL culture, cuisine, and landscapes.
Turquoise blue waters, black sand beaches, and vibrant green rainforests— Costa Rica is the ultimate bucket-list destination full of intense natural beauty. It’s here in the south of Central America that you’ll find some of the world’s best wildlife, waterfalls, colors, hiking, beaches, horseback riding, zip lining, culture, and cuisine. From watching howler monkeys swing in the jungle, to surfing on the salty crisp waves, our Costa Rica Expedition has something for everyone. Keep reading to learn about the best places to visit in Costa Rica, and be sure to check out our Costa Rica Travel Video so you can see our epic experience!
Should you choose a Galapagos land tour or a boat tour (cruise)? I had this same question before I went on my first trip to the Galapagos. Both offer great experiences, but here are a few reasons why I would choose Galapagos land tours over a cruise…
Don’t miss these 5 places to visit in Bolivia including: riding the cable-cars in La Paz, watching the sunrise over Lake Titicaca, hiking the Valley of the Moons, eating the street food in Copacabana, and taking the “Death Road” into the Bolivian Amazon. Bolivia is a hidden gem for adventure, amazing food, and beautiful photo locations - keep reading to hear more about my favorite places and favorite activities from my trip to Bolivia.
While there are so many things to do and see in Peru, some of the most treasured experiences cannot be planned for. I'll never forget the time we were invited to participate in a Llama Blessing Ceremony (alpaca are commonly blessed, too) in one of the villages outside of Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Peru.
Having the right gear to document your travel experience is important. Below, I have shared what I bring in my technology bag on all my trips around the world (this gear has traveled to over 80 countries).
Peru is a country of diversity, and therefore you need to know what to pack for a variety of different climates, terrains, and experiences. Here I have curated my top traveling items for my adventure to Peru, and hope they will help you as you are packing for Peru!
The Greek Isles are known for their stunning beaches and picturesque towns. Join Acanela on a journey through the Greek Isles!