Thoughts on Travel

Farm to Table Russian Style: The Dacha

Posted on by Steve Bouey Posted in Featured, Random Interesting, Thoughts on Travel | Leave a comment

We are living in interesting times. I suppose every generation can say that with some degree of validity. After all, life, no matter where you are, who you are, or when you are living can be interesting, but in this context, we are living in interesting times as it relates to the food we eat. On one hand, obesity has reached alarming levels in developed countries, the United States in particular, as people gorge on quickly prepared, mass produced crap that might satisfy their hunger in the near term, but sets them up down the road for a plethora of other health problems like type 2 diabetes which is also at historic highs. On the other hand, health conscious people, fueled in part by the digital age and increased access to information are leading the charge when it comes to concerns over commercial agricultural practices and the control that controversial companies like Monsanto have over our food supply. The later has propelled a resurgence of farmer’s markets, agricultural co-ops, demands for fresh, organic and non genetically modified food, and compounded by the contemporary environmental movement, a growing desire for locally produced food.¬† A few decades ago, people in general probably didn’t care that the apples they were eating in the grocery store in February came from New Zealand, but today, as evidenced by the “Produced Locally,” or “Local Farmer,” signs posted throughout not only upmarket grocery stores like Whole Foods but mainstream chains like Kroger and Safeway, more and more people do. An epic battle is brewing between fast food and slow food, but try explaining the fundamentals of this battle to people in other countries and you might generate some puzzled looks.

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Remembering Those Who Sacrificed

Posted on by Steve Bouey Posted in Featured, Thoughts on Travel, World News | Leave a comment

Traveling always gives you an interesting insight into the culture of another country, but an additional benefit of traveling is the ability to reflect back on your own culture and to see it from a different perspective. The observance of holidays, and more specifically the importance placed on some celebrations by the community and society as a whole, is just one of the interesting comparisons you can make after having traveled abroad.

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Another Reason to Like Richard Branson

Posted on by Steve Bouey Posted in Featured, Thoughts on Travel | Leave a comment

Those of you who travel know that it can result in countless benefits, both tangible and intangible, but it can often be hard to convince those who don’t travel that there is much more to traveling than just taking a break, going on holiday or avoiding reality. Not that taking a break and relaxing is a bad thing, but there is a common misconception, especially in places like the United States, that traveling, and in particular, traveling for long periods of time, somehow detracts from the normal progression of one’s life and career. Don’t travel, or you’ll get left behind and have to catch back up to those who had their priorities straight and focused on more important things like working hard and making money!

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Debauchery in Timbuktu

Posted on by Steve Bouey Posted in Featured, Thoughts on Travel, World News | Leave a comment

When you travel to a place, you develop a connection with that place and the people who call that place home. Regardless of whether or not one’s personal experiences in a place are positive or negative, a connection is still made, and its often the case that the more random the place and the more unique the experience, the more powerful the connection. Personally, I feel all of these connections are positive, even the negative ones, because they are all learning experiences; it might just take a while for the dust to settle in order for one to find the good in something that was bad. As one continues to travel and continues to make more and more connections, it can become difficult to watch or read the news. The news is often focused on the negative; wars, natural disasters, politics, etc., so when a headline flashes across the television or scrolls across the computer screen and the location of that headline is a place with which you have made a connection, it can be emotional and frustrating and depending on how far away you are from that place you have connected with, can make you feel quite helpless.

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Traveling Makes You Unhappy

Posted on by Steve Bouey Posted in Featured, Thoughts on Travel | 2 Comments

This place makes me so happy!

At least that’s what Thomas Jefferson once said, although as a consolation for this unhappiness, Jefferson also said that traveling makes you wiser. From the minute I came across Jefferson’s quote; “traveling makes you more wise but less happy,” I’ve been pondering it’s meaning. Personally, I have yet to hear anyone else vocalize specifically that traveling in and of itself makes them unhappy, although I have heard people¬† returning from overseas with a case of Montezuma’s Revenge or absent a camera due to an unfortunate purse snatching grumble about the expereince. Yet the more I continue to think about Jefferson’s words and the more I apply them to my own travels, I’m beginning to see that there might actually be some truth to what the first Secretary of State and the third President of the United States opined about when it came to travel.

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