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Kathy Dragon
Author - Travel expert

Travel expert Kathy Dragon has researched, designed, personally escorted and facilitated the travel experiences of over 3,000 Boomers on small group experiential and cultural trips around the globe.  From bike tours in Ireland to walking vacations in Patagonia, Bhutan, Sicily and thoughout the world, kathy can share with you her suggestions.


Justifying Your Escape

Yes, it is important to travel locally, reduce our Carbon Footprint and put more money into the local economy.  

If you live in Boulder (like I do) who needs to escape beyond your home town? Beyond your state? Beyond the US? We all do! Get out your passport; here's what you need to know. 

Disconnect
Traveling within the US, it's easy to stay connected. For many of us, it's actually difficult to disconnect. Our Blackberries are vibrating; our email box is full; we are thinking about work, family, finances, news. Even when we are in the mountains, we're thinking maybe we should get home beat the traffic, get some work done, catch up before the week begins. 

When we travel to a destination where the language and culture are different, we spend a significant amount of time figuring out how to live day to day. We slow down. This is good for us. We are consumed by simple things, like what to eat and how to greet people we meet. 

Visiting a market or biking to the next village becomes exotic. We feel a huge sense of accomplishment when we successfully order a cup of coffee or read a local train schedule. 

We return home with olive oil from a producer we met, a textile from a village we visited, a stamp on our passport. Oh, and we also have a new form of social currency when we join our friends out for tapas or ceviche; we scour the produce and grocery aisle looking for items that connect us to our travel experience. 


Reconnect
I believe there are valuable, long-term results that come from going across the pond/border/continent. We read the paper and listen to the news differently. 

We picture the people in the villages, we feel the texture of the land, we taste the unique flavors of food, we think about the differences and similarities. It is difficult to return from Europe and not re-evaluate our desire for large cars and complaints around the price of gas. 

Visiting developing countries makes us question our quest for accumulating larger houses and material goods. Traveling with one suitcase or backpack refreshes our reality of what we really need. 

Experiencing long meals surrounded by friends and family as a daily occurrence brings about the pondering of independence and interdependence.

 

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