We are currently using San Diego, CA as our home base and taking lots of trips to places like Nepal, Dominican Republic, Panama, Arizona, San Antonio, Texas and Yellowstone National Park. We named our blog Ordinary Traveler because we are two people working normal jobs, but still finding plenty of time to travel the world. We want to show people that you don't have to quit your job in order to travel.
2. When and how did you get hooked on travel?
Christy has been hooked on travel for as long as she can remember. Her parents are partly to blame for taking her on annual trips to exotic destinations throughout her childhood. Scott first caught the travel bug on a school trip to Italy during his senior year in high school.
The Red Pepper House is located on Lamu Island in Kenya. Lamu was declared a World Heritage Site, and the thousand year old Swahili culture has been preserved there. The Red Pepper house consists of five nyumbas (houses) offering guests an idyllic isolated location. Located a short distance from Lamu town, the eco lodge sits between a beautiful beach and lush forest. Each nyumba has a sea view and a private butler to assist with any needs and lead on any excursions if necessary. Houses consists of a bedroom and bathroom, a living area, a veranda, a private enclosure with beach sand and an open air African shower, and an outside private space on the beach. The Red Pepper House blends in with the surroundings with a makuti thatched roof and was constructed with techniques inherited from their Swahili ancestors. The majority of the hotel is very open, allowing guest to enjoy the tropical breeze and climate.
The Acacia nyumba is a larger, spacious suite which also includes a study room. Meals range from authentic Swahili cuisine to meals from the Mediterranean. The light, healthy cuisine consists of fresh, organic ingredients. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served whenever you choose and appetizers are offered all day next to the pool. Activities at The Red Pepper House include bird watching, dhow trips (Arabian influenced boats), fishing, snorkeling, and visiting Lamu town. The staff at The Red Pepper House are very accommodating and will even prepare a private dinner for you on the beach with a menu of your choice.
The temperate at Lamu Island ranges from 26-34 degrees, with the coolest months from April to September and the hottest months from February to March. Frequent rain occurs in May and June. The ideal time to go snorkeling is from October to April. November to April is great for dolphin watching. The best time for fly fishing is from November to March, while the best time for deep-sea fishing is from August to May.
In a few earlier blogs we mentioned Tiger Mountain, our in country partner in Nepal. All of our partners have a proven commitment to ecoutourism and sustainble tourism practices, and Tiger Mountain is no different. They have so many responsible tourism initiatives in place that it was difficult to include them all in one blog! So, as a follow up to our Tiger Mountain Responsible Tourism blog, here is some more information on how our Nepal tours help give back to the local communities.
Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge (TMPL)
Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge is the only ecotourism establishment in Nepal to have a
functioning responsible tourism verification system to assess and validate the company’s
sustainable tourism policy. Other properties in the group are in the process of setting up
the RT system. TMPL’s Sustainable Action Group initiates and monitors sustainability
With funding from TMPL guests, a local secondary school has completed its 1st floor
and constructed a computer lab. With the help of guest volunteers from People and
Places, teachers have been mentored in creating an English medium center for the
school. School and medical supplies are brought by guests through the People and Places
program. Children from deprived backgrounds have been sponsored, and a local primary
teacher’s salary is being funded.
Nepal is one of the world’s premier adventure travel destinations. Nepal’s trekking options are endless. Rivers wind down the snow-capped mountains, creating some of the best river rafting and kayaking opportunities in the world. Discover the traditional architecture and holy temples in Nepal’s ancient cities to learn more about the country’s fascinating culture.
Nepal is about 54,363 sq miles with a population of approximately 30 million. The largest city, with more than 1 million people, is the capital, Kathmandu. Many visitors, drawn to Nepal by the unique eco tours, leave equally enchanted by the friendly demeanor of the Nepali people. Nepal is one of the best budget destinations around the world.
Cultural Norms and Etiquette
Nepal is a unique blend of culture and customs. There are more than 100 ethic groups in Nepal each with their own customs, tradition, and rituals. This colorful culture is a blend of religious etiquette and cultural norms a little different from anywhere else. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when preparing for a Nepal tour:
A few weeks ago we wrote about our in country partner in Nepal, Tiger Mountain
Properties. We recently donated to Tiger Mountain's local school programs. In
our recent blog, Tiger Tops Swisssair blog, we wrote
about the educational outreach in place near Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge. Over
the next few weeks, we would like to share some more information on Tiger
Mountain's ecotourism initiatives.
Tiger Mountain helps connect guests with local communities and wildlife, improving
villagers’ lives and helping protect eco-systems. Tiger Mountain lodges and eco tours
comply with rigorous environmental policies to help mitigate the negative impact of
travel on the environment. To reduce energy and waste Tiger Mountain properties use
solar power, vehicles maintained to emission control standards, and ox carts or elephants
whenever possible. Food served at the properties includes organically raised vegetables
and local products. The lodges are constructed from local materials, by local craftsmen,
and strive to preserve the indigenous ethnicity. Additionally, the hotels employ people
from the local communities, and purchase local products whenever possible.