At Global Basecamps we are major advocates of knowing before you go, as evidenced
here and here. In order to truly understand and appreciate
another country’s culture it is important to learn about their social norms and the proper
etiquette there. As you start your journey to explore another country, don’t you think it
would be nice to know a little about where and what you are diving into? When you are
packing for your much needed vacation I urge you to take some time to research the
cultural expectations and norms common to your host country.
Over the next couple of weeks I will give you some extra helpful information
on what to know before you go, starting with Tanzania cultural norms and expectations. I will give you some advice on how to be a
green and respectable tourist.
Disregarding the cultural norms and customs of the country you are visiting is extremely
offensive to the local people. Your waiter, taxi driver, tour guide, and the local people
will be greatly appreciative of you making the extra effort to understand their culture and
demonstrating this. Even if you think you have already read about the culture, make the
extra effort and learn about a certain cultural tradition that they have to make your
experience that much better, and gain a deeper understanding of the local people and
customs. There are plenty of dos and don'ts that people should know about before
taking their excursions across the world. Simply being respectful to the local people and
showing that you want to learn about their culture and day to day way of life will go a
long way in enhancing your cultural experience.
We were recently visited by our partners in Egypt and were able to hear a first hand account of the Egyptian revolution that recently occurred. As you may know, protests began on January 25th and thousands filled the streets to protest poverty, extensive unemployment, government corruption, and oppressive governance of President Hosni Mubarak, who ruled the country for 30 years. According to our partners, the protests were peaceful, as they strived to get “the people’s Egypt” back. The 18 days of pro-democracy demonstrations ended with the resignation of Mubarak on February 11, 2011. Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians filled the streets and celebrated the end of three decades of authoritarian rule.
Almost 2 months after the upheaval in Egypt began, the dust has settled and the country is peaceful. Many countries have lifted their travel advisory to Egypt, including Italy, Spain, and the UK among several others. Millions of Egyptians voted on March 19th, gladly waiting for hours to cast their ballots on the constitutional changes. According to a recent article in Reuters Mohammed Ahmed Attiyah, the head of the judicial oversight committee, announced a 41 percent turnout, saying that, “Egyptians came forward to have their say in the future of the country.” The turnout was very high after years of political indifference in response to oppression. While Mubarak was in office, the election turnouts were very low and were routinely manipulated. The Egyptians voted to approve a referendum on constitutional changes, with 77% voting ‘yes’. Some of the key components of the changes include reducing presidential terms from six years to four years and limiting the president to two terms, obliging the president to choose a deputy within 30 days of election, and installing new criteria for presidential candidates.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas, pictured above, is a valley in the Andes of Peru, close to the Inca capital of Cusco and below the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. The Sacred Valley is an excellently preserved archeological sites that boast the best example of the Incan architecture. Machu Picchu is a settlement built by the Incas in the fifteenth century. It sits on a mountain ridge above the Urabamba Valley in Peru, approximately 50 miles northwest of Cusco. Machu Picchu recently become one of the the New 7 Wonders of the World and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. As the 100th anniversary of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu approaches Peru is preparing for an incredible celebration. Machu Picchu is the end point to one of the most famous treks in South America, the Inca Trail.
On March 11, 2011 Japan was hit by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded. The 9.0 magnitude quake was followed by a deadly tsunami that hit the nation’s northeast coast. The death toll continues to rise and thousands remain missing in the aftermath of the tragic catastrophe. The disaster has greatly saddened us and our thoughts are with those affected. Below is a list of organizations contributing to relief and recovery for Japan.
Colombia offers a wide variety of travel adventures and terrain to experience with its tropical beaches on the Pacific and the Caribbean coastlines, snow covered peaks in the Andes, humid rainforests in the Amazon, dry savannahs in “Los Llanos”, and lush valleys that produce some of the best coffee in the world. In recent years Colombia has made a drastic turn around, once a place deemed too unsafe to travel for tourists the beautiful country’s tourism industry is flourishing. Colombia is ideal for those looking to explore historic cities, visit pristine tropical beaches, or simply relax in beautiful colonial villages full of Spanish architecture and history.
The historic city of Cartagena has long been a favorite vacation spot for many. The city offers unique festivals, colonial architecture, delicious restaurants, and beautiful hotels. Global Basecamps offers a Cartagena and the Caribbean Coast itinerary filled with visits to untouched islands, historic cities listed as UNESCO world heritage sites, local indigenous communities, night clubs, amazing National Parks, and isolated beaches perfect for relaxing. Some of the trip highlights include a Cartagena City tour, Tayrona National Park, Pink Flamingo Sanctuary, and the breath taking beaches of San Andres and Providencia Island.