The Tourism Escape

Tourism Escape

Why Master in Tourism?

For a long time I was using travel and experience as an escape route and wanted to reflect on my discoveries, struggles, and lessons from my past trips and I realized I need to dive deeper into understanding and how to help communities through the lens of tourism and what better way to do this than to go to graduate school and expose myself to information that I never knew existed. 

Tourism Leadership

As tourism leaders, we develop a deeper understanding of economic conflict and learn how to bring about peace through sustainable efforts and initiatives. Understanding cultural differences can help us create, reduce, and question our unconscious biases and help push for policies and regulations that will help us enhance and preserve heritage sites, reduce poverty, and reconcile and heal wounds of conflict. 

It is important to realize that through tourism, we can protect areas that are at risk of going extinct. Tourism generates financial and overall health benefits through ecotourism and sustainable nature-based tourism. As leaders, we can find potential solutions to the dilemmas managers are facing in potential areas of developing countries as well as our local communities. 

The importance of Ecotourism

In theory, ecotourism proves a means of generating tangible economic benefits from protected areas to offset the often substantial cost of protection, without the environmental cost associated with extractive industries such as mining, forestry and agriculture. Ecotourism forms a link between protected areas and the livelihood of local people “providing revenue to the local community sufficient  for local people to value and therefore protect, their wildlife heritage as a source of income.

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The Joyful Living Project by Yasmin Nguyen

Entrepreneurial Leader Yasmin Nguyen Wants Us All to Feel Joy!

The past few days I was at the International Tour Management Institute (ITMI) Symposium where I met so many creative storytellers and talented Tour Directors and Tour Operators. On November 3rd, I went to an educational workshop called “Where’s the Joy?” by Yasmin Nguyen.

Yasmin Nguyen is Inspirational!

Yasmin Nguyen’s is the founder of “The Joyful Living Project and his mission is to inspire more joy, connection and freedom in everyones lives. He has been traveling across the USA to activate positive change and build thriving relationships, businesses and communities everywhere he goes. During this workshop he gave everyone time to think about what brought them joy in their life and had everyone write down on post-It Notes how they can increase Joy in their life and post it on a wall with different categories of joy.

As Tour Directors and World Travelers we are always looking to meet new people and travel to as many glorious and hidden places as we can before we die. This workshop allowed me to realize and think deeper about what brings me joy. For me, surrounding myself with people I don’t know in new environments that have extraordinary minds and powerful stories that can be passed down to each generation is what brings me a lot of joy. Joy can bring us back from our worst moments. Sometimes what brought joy years ago may not bring joy today and that sometimes that can cause confusion and frustration. 

Finding Joy should be so simple but often times feels so complex and be extraordinary painful that we forget there are little things we can do to bring us joy that allows us to bounce back into living a joyful life. As humans, we don’t live the nomadic lifestyle anymore, maybe except for the few tribes that have survived from being wiped out. We live in an exhausting world where every time we turn around our freedom to act, our freedom to think, and our freedom to do what we want that brings us joy is taken away. For example, the fashion industry will guide us on the latest fashion trends and if we don’t follow their lead we are not suppose to feel good about ourselves. As someone who studied Marketing and Management, I have yet to find a company that strictly promotes just joy. Often times marketers will guarantee you that you will be happier in life if you purchase their product. Just remember the money you spend should be going to what brings you joy and not what brings a business profit.

Yasmin Nguyen wrote a an anaphora poem that defines what Joy is and shared it with the group. Some of my favorite lines were, “Joy is kindness. Joy is gratitude. Joy is connection and synchronicity. Joy is creating and sharing. Joy is a person. Joy is personal Touch. Joy is Adventure and Detours. Joy is about Discovery. Joy is in countdown.”

A Second Chance to Leadership!

Escaping from communist controlled Vietnam, Yasmin was a young boy with his family who was rescued from a sinking vessel and reunited with his father in the USA learning English from 80’s TV sitcoms. He is now an entrepreneur and leader who has started at least a half a dozen businesses, marketing specialist, and video production specialist.

Follow Yasmin and His 18 Month Long USA Trip!

Website: Joyful Living Project

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National Park Essentials

Traveling Through the National Parks Essentials

The Basics

Day Bag/Backpacking Bag: 15L (half day) – 40L (full day)/65L (3 day) – 85L (7 day) – 120L (14+ days): Osprey, Gregory, L.L. Bean, DeuterHigh Sierra Frame Packs, Teton Sports, Arc’teryx

There are many day and backpacking bags on the market but I have to say that my experience with Osprey has been fabulous. I have been using Osprey bags for years and I have found that the bags are extremely durable, especially when it comes to rough weather and terrain. Some come with a well fit rain cover which I have found to be very useful when it downpours. Osprey has a large selection of bags to choose from. The waist/hip belt grips around around your hips which makes the bag super comfortable to carry for long periods of time. The waist/hip belts can shape the belt to your hips through custom molding. You can detach the waist belt for travel purposes. I also find that Osprey also has great customer service. They have a lifetime guarantee policy which I took advantage of. I once had my the waist/hip belt bend due to an airline stewardess shoving the bag into overhead bins. I sent my bag to Osprey and they said they could not fix it and sent me back the newest model free of charge. 

Although the bag features are important, it is more important that the bag fits properly, is durable, and has enough room to fit all of your gear. When looking for a bag, make sure to get a bag that holds extra days worth of equipment. Some stores have a measuring tool that allow you to measure your torso length and hip width.

1.5L – 3L Hydration Bladder/Reservoirs: Osprey, CamelbakGregory

By far, Osprey makes the best bladder/reservoirs. The bladder has a bendable plastic back which allows for the bladder to slide into the backpack smoothly and supports itself in an upright position. The bladder is super easy to fill and has a zip lock on the top which seals the bladder shut. Camelbak and Gregory have the dial/knob top which if not sealed properly will leak. Often times water will splash out as you try to hold the bag with one hand and turn the dial/knob to seal it. Without the perfect seal and you will notice your back getting wet from the water coming out when you walk.

Outdoor/UV ClothesNorth Face, Columbia, Cotopaxi, Arc’teryx, KÜHL, Patagonia, Kathmandu, L.L Bean, REI

Obviously there are a lot more outdoor clothing companies and stores than what is listed above. I don’t think there is an outdoor clothing company or store that is overall number one, or even number 2. It all depends on comfort, fit, and style. If you know you are going to pack a lot of clothes you will want to get clothes that are very light weight and thin. If you know you are going to sweat a lot get sweat resistant and coolant material type clothing. During the colder months you will want long underwear as a base layer. You can either bring more lightweight clothes or bring warm heavier clothes. If you are exposed to the sun a lot make sure to get Uvex specific clothing. Uvex will protect you from the sun. Overall, Comfort is the most important.

First Aid/Emergency kit: Red Cross

You can get a First Aid/Emergency kit in Walmart, on Amazon and at many outdoorsy store as well. There are so many types, if you are backpacking you will probably not be able to get one that has many duplicates of items that you often see in larger kits.

Sleeping Bags & Mattress: Big Agnes, ThermarestAlps Mountaineering

Comfort, size, and warmth will be your biggest factors when finding the right sleeping bag and mattress. If you’re willing to spend a little bit of extra money I would recommend getting an all season or winter only sleeping bag and an all season or winter only mattress. You can always take layers off but you can’t add layers you don’t have. 

If you often feel cold at night you will want a mummy sleeping bag. The shape contours your body and doesn’t allow for much airflow. The only downside to this is you can’t move your legs and feet very much. You are trapped in a pencil position the entire time. The rectangular sleeping bags are for those who like to stretch out a bit and need airflow within the bag. Some bags come with hoods which allow you to keep your head warm. A warmer head will lead to a warmer body. If you would like to get some airflow at the bottom of the bag you may want to get a bag with a double zipper. This way you can unzip the bottom to let some air through.

R -Value: The R-Value measures the pads capacity to resist heat flow. The higher the number the warmer you will be. An R value of 3 or higher is good for late Spring, all Summer, and early Fall.

There are 3 types of mattresses used for camping. The first one is the air mattress. The name of this mattress is self explanatory. The mattress must be filled with air. It also gives the most amount of cushion and you won’t feel the ground under you. The second type of mattress is a self-inflating mattress. This type is quite thin and feels more like a pad and holds very little air. Depending upon the design, you many feel the ground when sleeping on this type. It will be less bulky than the air mattress. The last type is the closed-cell foam mattress. This one is the thinest and lightest. It is great for backpacking but is not the most comfortable. You don’t have to worry about them popping and they are easy to clean. Some people will put the closed-cell foam mattress under the air mattress on an uneven/rocky surface to prevent the air mattress from popping.

Tent: EurekaColeman

There are many types of tents on the market to choose from. If you are backpacking you will want a light weight tent that only weights 0.75-4lbs. The only downside is these tents can easily blow away if they are not secured to the ground properly. There also isn’t much space to spread out in them. If you’re planning to take your car and stay at a campsite for more than a day you can invest in a heavier tent that will fit all of your gear. These tents tend to be  more stable. Some have multiple rooms.

Cookware: YetiGSI OutdoorsStanley Adventure

If you’re backpacking you won’t need to bring much cookware since you will not have room to carry any of it. In reality, most of the cookware is going to be either plastic, or steel. The steel is going to be heavier and the plastic will be easier to transfer due to less weight. Some cookware folds or collapses into itself so it takes up less room in the car or in a bag or bin.

Topographical, Geological, Trail Maps: Google Maps, All Trails,  Hiking ProjectTrail Links

Google Maps, Apple Maps or any map that comes from the internet is good but you should really pick up a physical map at the rangers station. A handheld map is ultimately the best for when you get lost and you have no signal.

Food: Mountain House, Wise Food Company

Dried fruits and berries are always handy. Some of the packs have all the nutrients to last you a day. Some require you to boil water to activate the food.

Would Be Good to Have

Hiking/Trekking Poles Black DiamondLeki

Unless you are planning on doing strenuous hikes or you have poor balance or don’t have the right kind of boots, you may not need hiking poles. If you do need hiking poles you will want light weight and durable. Carbon fiber poles are the lightest and aluminum poles are a little heavier and stronger. Some poles collapse so they fit into your bag/carry-on luggage but they aren’t going to be as strong and could potentially break.

Radio Garmin, Midland

It is always good to have a radio but you don’t need one unless you are planning on backpacking or attempting trails that are rigorous or doing overnight hikes. If you are taking the unknown and unmarked path then you probably should have.

Air-Mattress Pump Sea to SummitBig Agnes

If you don’t want to blow up your air mattress with your mouth an air-mattress pump is good to have. You don’t want the moisture from your breath to circulate inside the mattress, especially during cold nights since that moisture can freeze and crack your mattress.

Notebook MolskineRifle Paper Co.Sloane Stationary World Travels Pocket Notebook

Keep a travel journal with you to record your travels.

Waterproof Sacks/Bags REI, Big AgnesSea to Summit

Keep those electronics from getting wet. The waterproof containers prevent your electronics from breaking when dropped but they are also heavier. The bags are lightweight and some are see through. Some of the bags have belt clips so you can hang hang them from a line or from your backpack.

Watch Garmin WatchesTomTomSuunto, Casio

Don’t waste phone battery if possible. Some high tech watches have really a nice GPS, compass, and other useful tools.

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Traveling is an Unfinished Masterpiece

Journey's Ahead

Traveling is an unfinished masterpiece and every expedition is a journey onto itself. When you travel overseas, allow your mind to breath and be willing to enhance your creativity along the way. When you are nervous, control the energy because that is when your body needs you most. Be willing to enhance your senses. Live in the moment because when you do, it’s surreal. Become your own philosopher and fall in love with the philosophies you have designed. 

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Summer 2019 Tours!


May 2019

New England & Canada!

Boston, M.A., U.S.A. → Bar Harbor M.E., U.S.A → Halifax, N.S. (N.-É.), Canada → Sydney N.S.(N.-É.), Canada → Charlottetown, P.E.I (Î.-P.-É.), Canada → Continue to Cruise the Gulf of Saint Lawrence → Quebec City, Canada → Montreal Quebec, Canada.

June – July 2019

US Western National Parks Tour!

Los Angeles → San Diego → Joshua Tree → Lake Havasu City → Grand Canyon NP → Monument Valley → Las Vegas → Zion NP → Bryce Canyon NP → Moab/Arches NP → Glenwood Springs → Flaming Gorge → Jackson Hole → Grand Teton NP → Yellowstone NP → Bozeman → Glacier NP → Couer d’Alene → Seattle.

July – August 2019

Europe – 16 Countries Tour!

United Kingdom: England – London → Belgium: Bruges, Ghent → Netherlands: Amsterdam, Volendam, Zaansdam → Germany: Berlin, Dresden, Bravaria Munich, Bavaria, Rhine Valley, St. Goar, Rhine Valley → Czech Republic: Prague → Slovakia: Bratislava → Austria: Vienna → Slovakia: Ljubljana → Italy: Venice, Burano Island, Murano Island, Rome, Florence, Tuscany, Pisa, Montecatini Terme, Pompeii → Vatican City →  Monaco → France: French Rivera, Arles, Pont Du Gard, Avignon, Paris → Spain, Barcelona → Switzerland, Swiss Apls → Liechtenstein  → Luxembourg.

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What is Glamping?

Glamping is a form of luxury and stylish camping. Glamping comes in many shapes and forms like a Treehouses, Yurts, Safari tents, Campervans, Tipis, Domes, Eco-pods, Nature Lodges, Caves, Barns, Hunts, Igloos, Cabins, Cabooses, Villas, Tiny Houses, A-Frame Cabins, Bell Tents, cottages, Islands, Elevated Cabins, Caravans, tent cabins, Log Cabins, Towers, Floating Cabins.

When most people think of hardcore camping, they think of finding a patch of dirt to plop their tent, sleeping bag, food, and everything else they brought in their backpacking bag. Hardcore camping is what nomadic hikers often do in order to survive each night. They are constantly on the move and by the end of each day, they must find a place to rest with what is only in their backpacking bag. Hardcore camping may not sound appealing to most people who want running water, full bathroom, electricity, hot shower, bed, kitchen, and a convenient store near by. Hardcore camping also requires you to be in shape since you are lugging at least 40lbs or more on your back. 

Often times people will only travel a distance to do outdoor activities if they know they are within walking or driving distance to a nearby hotel or motel before it gets dark. There are so many places where one can connect with nature and experience outdoor activities but do not have a place to stay in which they feel safe and comfortable. If you are one of those people, glamping may be for you.

Each glampsite gives off a different feeling but wherever you choose to stay, you are connected with the outdoors. Some glampsites are way more glamorous than others. Most likely you will be alone or have a few neighbors near by. If you do have neighbors, their site will probably be far enough away from yours that there will be little to no disturbances from them. When it comes to your basic necessities like food, water and electricity some sites will have all of them while others will have very few. Some sites will require you to share a common shower, common bathroom and/or common outdoor space. Many of the glampsites do have a bed(s) but not the same type of bed you would find in a luxury a 5-star hotel. The bed may not even have a frame that it sits on. You may have to bring your own bed sheets and pillow. The more luxury glampsites will have all the amenities of a what you would find in a typical modern house. In the more luxury glampsites will have a common living space, kitchen, full bathroom, and bedroom(s). The more luxury sites may also internet but don’t grantee it will be strong. Also note that cell service may be limited which is a good thing if you are looking to stay off your electronics.  Although the owner of a glampsite may say they have running water and electricity be prepared for either one to shut off and if it does don’t expect it to get fixed right away. 

Make sure to research the area before booking. Some sites offer guided tours and outdoor adventurous activities while others do not. If you aren’t sure the site has what you need, even after calling them, bring your own equiptment. To get to the glampsites you may be able to drive directly there or park faraway and take a bit of hike. Some glampsites are off of unknown and unpaved roads that don’t show up on Google Maps and Apple Maps, so make sure you have the right vehicle to get you there. Even through glampsite may be more luxurious doesn’t mean they are in walking or short driving distance into a town where you can get food, water, or get emergency services, so make sure to still bring survival gear.

Below are great websites you can use to discover and book your getaway from around the globe. Some are pet friendly with proof of vaccination.

Glamping HubGlamping 


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Vagrant Destination

The Client, The Guest, The Broker?

They said, “Anywhere is better than here. I hate it here and want to be there. So I left here and went there.” 

The wild world awakens and the inability of sight tingles my mind. I can see the faint outline of light shinning between the door still and threshold. Dew lingers the wing of a butterfly while ancient ruins spread across the distant sea. A slight autumn breeze whispers throughout the magnificent peeping forrest, long forgotten by reckless humanity. The singing flower stood in silence waiting for a single molecule of light to penetrate the sky. The light was rejected and the flower died. The final battle has just begun its passing. The merciless trees are boundless with options. The state of the wind is calamitous and the ocean looks like it’s ranging fire. Although the poem was jejune, the words were superior. The vivacious bird carried the cerulean sky on its back. The city went dormant and the noise slowed down to a heartbeat. The formation of the desert was a canvas filled with dreamy colors. Behind is a mirror that duplicates what’s inside. It only took a rhythmic beat to set the time. As the time kept ticking, the flakes became crisp with sensational patterns. The ground vibrates and crinkles to a dead end. The force from the distance subsides. Their breath broke dead at noon. So they died.  

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A View From Odines Balcony

Two steps out and the door closes from behind. The sound from the chatter dipped and mother nature began to whisper. I look into the viewfinder and begin to scan the cloudy blue florescent sky. I scan darkness and then all the sudden I found a shimmering white light and then another and another. I began to follow the strand of bright lights. The wind guests begin to get stronger and the bridge begins to sway. As I trace the bridge to the farthest point to the right, I hear a disruptive sound coming from the distance. Right at this moment the a gust of warm air bursts from behind and the door slams shut. This man walks out and quickly heads to the edge of the balcony and looks out in the distance, points and says, “Look there is a seal”. The seal kept swimming and the waters edge kept breaking along shore. The cruise ships lights were so bright that I could see inside.

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Temperature Conversion & Seasons Chart

Temperature Conversion

Fahrenheit to Celsius

(°F – 32) x 5/9 = °C 

Fahrenheit to Kelvin

(°F – 32) x 5/9 + 273.15 = °K

Celsius to Fahrenheit

(°C – x 5/9) + 32 = °F 


Celsius to Kelvin

°C  + 273.15 = °K

Kelvin to Fahrenheit

(°K – 273.15) x 9/5 + 32 = °F 


Kelvin to Celsius

°C  – 273.15 = °C


Seasons are effected by Latitude

Northern Hemisphere ↔ Southern Hemisphere

Summer ↔Winter

Fall ↔ Spring

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Google Earth is Missing an Important Person

Google Earth & You

Enter Google Earth Here

There are a lot of majestic places you can search on Google Earth. You can type in the name of your favorite restaurant and it will likely pop up. Type in Kilimandjaro mountain to get a birds eye view of the top. Type in words like “dog” or “cat” and a list of pet friendly locations will appear. Zoom in on the house you grew up in or just spin the globe to explore the outdoors. Google Earth looks perfect…right? NO! Something is missing and it’s YOU! You can search yourself but chances are you don’t exist.

Why does this matter? It matters because you exist in the real world and the real world is the one that needs taken care of. I don’t see wildfires, wars, crimes, pollution, starving animals, and many other human disruptions on Google Earth. So whenever you decide to travel, remember to be a good tourist and take care of this planet because Google Earth can’t and won’t do that for you. 


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