Complete List of National Parks
for Your World Travel Bucket List
As we began to compile a complete list of National Parks for this piece to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service, I was shocked and dismayed to realize how few of the 59 officially designated parks we’ve visited. Fortunately, we’re already planning a future family road trip to visit some of the many parks still on our bucket list.
The NPS was created by Congress through the National Parks Service Organic Act on August 25, 1916. Run by the US Department of the Interior, the agency was designed “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”
This century-old concept has since been applied to more than 6,ooo national parks in nearly 100 different countries around the world. To honor the idea that helped give birth to ecotourism and conservation, we’ve gathered nearly 50 of our travel blogging friends to write mini-guides to all 59 US National Parks.
We hope our list of national parks will prove to be an evergreen resource, paying tribute to what documentarian Ken Burns called “America’s best idea.”
The History, Evolution & Top 10 Albums
If you love the modern sounds of hip-hop, house, dubstep, trip-hop, acid jazz, or techno music, you can thank the Jamaican music pioneers of dub reggae.
Long before current music icons like Kanye West, Skrillex and Avicii were born, Jamaica’s mad scientists of sound were using technology and experimentation to create studio magic. Using little more than mixing boards, effects processors and their imaginations, late ’60s legends like Osborne “King Tubby” Ruddock, Lee “Scratch” Perry and Errol Thompson reinvented the roots reggae sound to create a sub-genre known as dub.
Like most of today’s popular dance music styles, dub prioritized rhythm as the focal point, with production that emphasizes trippy effects like reverb, echo and phasing. In this way, dub reggae taps into the ancient belief in the power of trance-like music forms.
GO GREEN TIP #118:
How to Volunteer with Responsible Organizations
Believe it or not, despite a mass media frenzy based around hatred and harm, the world’s population at large seems to be moving towards a gentler, kinder and more self-aware spirit. Communities are aiming to become closer and self-sustainable, and at the same time, those who are out adventuring are looking to good in the places they go.
Say what you will about the downsides of the voluntourism industry (and many have had plenty of negative things to say). But the intention of all of these travelers is, if nothing else, a mental step in a very positive direction.
With the influx of international volunteers, the money it produces has become a major player and motivator for aid organizations, especially upstarts, and unfortunately, we can no longer count on good intentions, let alone effective ones. For those who want to volunteer while they travel, finding reputable organizations with which to devote our time, energy and funds is now paramount to helping to make a positive difference.
So, the question then becomes: How do you volunteer with responsible organizations? Read on for a few suggestions we learned from many years of experience volunteering in Latin America…
7 Top Things To Do in Malaysia
for Nature Lovers
Malaysia is one of my favorite countries– a place I fell in love with the first time I visited. When people ask me why, I normally start talking and never stop. I mean, what’s not to like? There are so many things to do in Malaysia, exploring modern cities, tiny villages, a cuisine that ranks among the best in Asia, and an incredibly diverse culture.
Wandering around Kuala Lumpur or Georgetown, you’ll glimpse the onion domes of mosques, smell incense floating out of Buddhist temples and jasmine from flower garlands outside Hindu temples. In Borneo, you’ll have the chance to discover the life and culture of indigenous tribes that have remained largely unchanged for hundreds of years.
But what makes Malaysia truly special is nature. From rainforests to crystalline seas, Malaysia offers onc-in-a-lifetime ecotourism experiences. You can see wild orangutans, spend the night in a hut in the Taman Negara rainforest, and Scuba dive the incredible sites of Pulau Sipadan.
Here are our picks for the 7 top things to do in Malaysia for nature lovers. I can virtually guarantee that these experiences will make you fall in love with this stunning country, just like I did!
27 Fascinating Facts About Elephants
for World Elephant Day
August 12 is World Elephant Day– a day to celebrate one of the planet’s most beloved animals and draw attention to the challenges they face. There are two extremely important facts about Elephants you won’t find in our story below: Populations have declined by 62% over the last decade, with 24,000 Elephants poached last year in Africa alone.
We’ve written about the importance of Elephant conservation for years, from the story about how an Elephant inspired GGT back in 2000 to our fundraiser for Thailand’s Elephant Nature Park in 2014. We hope to inspire our readers to take actions to help Elephants, such as:
– Do not buy ivory or other wildlife-related products.
– Visit Elephants in countries where they live in the wild. Ecotourism benefits the economy, provides jobs, and deters poachers and abuse.
– Choose ecotourism operators who support local elephant conservation projects and who treat elephants with respect and dignity.
– Support organizations that are working to protect habitat for wild elephants and stop the illegal poaching and trade of ivory, and finding solutions for human-elephant conflict.
– Do not support organizations that exploit or abuse elephants and other animals for entertainment and profit.
– Support healthy, alternative, sustainable livelihoods for people who have traditionally relied on elephants, wild animals and natural resources. Learn about indigenous cultures that have traditionally lived in harmony with elephants.
Now, onto our 27 Fascinating Facts About Elephants, which we hope will give you an even greater appreciation for the beauty, intelligence, and emotional capacity of these amazing animals!