Soweto Gospel Choir in Concert

Soweto Gospel Choir

On Nelson Mandela & South African Culture


I fell in love with the music and culture of South Africa years before I actually traveled to the country. But my 2-week visit back in 2000 (which included being given a Zulu name after singing with a musician in Simunye Village) changed my life, inspiring the mission now known as Green Global Travel. Needless to say, I’ve been a diehard fan of the heavenly harmonies of acts such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the Soweto Gospel Choir ever since.


We submitted our request to interview the Soweto Gospel Choir in November, as soon as we heard that they’d be launching a US tour in February 2014. We were utterly shocked and dismayed when we learned of the passing of the great Nelson Mandela, just a few days before we were scheduled to speak with choirmaster/choreographer Shimmy Jiyane. Mandiba (as Mandela was affectionately known) had been a longtime fan of the group, which had performed for him many times. So it seemed only fitting that their passionate performance proved a highlight of his memorial last week.


We finally connected with Jiyane just a few days after their touching tribute to the revolutionary political and civil rights icon, discussing topics ranging from the struggles of growing up during the Apartheid era and how life in Soweto has changed since it ended, to what Mandela’s legacy means to the people of South Africa.

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Mountain View of Lake Bled

Mountain View of Lake Bled, by CanadianHockey91 via Creative Commons

Discovering Lake Bled, Slovenia


During my interrail trip around Europe in 2009, I visited city after city.  It was my first travel experience and, at the age of 20, I was perfectly happy to fill our itinerary with lively hotspots for young backpackers.


But around six weeks into our travels I started to feel an ache for the countryside, and fresh, clean air. Luckily, we were in Eastern Europe by this point, and venturing south towards the land of the lakes. This is when I discovered Lake Bled, Slovenia.

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Mary Gabbett readies for #EcoCostaRica flight to Corcovado National Park

Mary Gets Ready For Our Nature Air Flight to Corcovado National Park

Corcovado National Park

A Journey Into Remote #EcoCostaRica


There’s a change that washes over me every time we venture away from the city and into the remote wilderness of a place like Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica.


It’s a mental, emotional, spiritual and physiological transformation, like taking the myriad pieces of the puzzle of my soul–  which often feels discombobulated and disconnected by the daily complexities of “civilization”– and reassembling them into a perfectly congruous whole.


My senses come alive; my eyes, heart, and mind are wide open; my spirit is filled with an almost childlike awe and wonder. It is in moments like these that I feel most like the man I was always meant to be, the NATURAL me, perfectly in tune with myself and the world around me.

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National Geographic Photographer Peter Essick

National Geographic Photographer Peter Essick in his natural element

National Geographic Photographer

Peter Essick on Our Beautiful, Fragile World


Forty may be Peter Essick’s lucky number: He’s done 40 stories for National Geographic over the last 25 years, and was recently named one of the 40 most influential nature photographers in the world by Outdoor Photography Magazine. So perhaps it’s an opportune time for the release of Essick’s second book, Our Beautiful, Fragile World, which offers an exceptional overview of his career photographing nature and environmental stories.


The book takes readers on a picturesque journey to some of the world’s most impressive ecosystems, from America’s National Parks to Patagonia’s Torres Del Paine, from Finland’s Oulanka National Park to penguin colonies in Antarctica. But Essick’s work as a National Geographic photographer also conveys important messages, addressing issues like climate change, Canada’s tar sands, nuclear waste, and the world’s impending fresh water shortage head-on.


We were delighted when Essick reached out to us about the possibility of being featured on Green Global Travel, and even moreso when we arranged an interview over coffee in Atlanta, where we both live. What follows are the highlights of our enlightening hour-long conversation.

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Christmas tree

Photo by Lida Rose via Creative Commons

50 Christmas Traditions Around the World


It’s no secret among friends and family that we’re nuts for Christmas, decorating our house from wall to wall and immersing ourselves in local holiday celebrations. In fact, it’s the one time of year that we refuse to travel. But even we didn’t know much about the various Christmas traditions around the world until we began researching this story. Hope you’ll find these 50 fun Christmas facts as fascinating as we did! Continue reading

Co-Founded by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, Green Global Travel is an ecotourism, nature / wildlife conservation & cultural preservation magazine. More about us.

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Destinations We’ve Covered:

Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Morocco- A Journey into the Atlas Mountains
South Africa- Londolozi Game Reserve Safari
South Africa- Kruger National Park
South Africa- South Africa- Zulu Memories
Tanzania- Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

How To Get To Antarctica w/out Doing the Drake
The Haunting Beauty of Icebergs
Penguins of Antarctica
Taking the Polar Plunge
Top 5 Eco Attractions in Antarctica
Whales of Antarctica
India- Ranthambhore National Park
Laos- The Pastoral Paradise of Muang Ngoi
Malaysia- Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Malaysia- Orangutan Conservation at Sepilok
Nepal- Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
Taiwan- Top 5 Eco Activities in Taipei
Thailand- Top 5 National Parks
Australia- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Australia-Kangaroo Island
New Zealand- Kapiti Island
New Zealand- Tongariro National Park
New Zealand- Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions
Tahiti- First Impressions
Tahiti- Photo Gallery
Tahiti- Moorea 4x4 Safari Tour
Tahiti- Moorea, Tiki Village Theater
Tahiti- Pearl Diving in Bora Bora
Tahiti- Ruahatu Marine Sanctuary, Bora Bora
Tahiti- Swimming With Sharks in Bora Bora
Tonga- Eua Island Eco Activities


Churchill- Into the Wild of Manitoba
Churchill- Polar Bear Fight
Churchill- Polar Bear Photo Gallery
Churchill- Tundra Wildlife

America’s Best Volcanoes
AK- Denali National Park
CA- Hiking The John Muir Trail
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
GA- Barnsley Gardens
GA- Top 5 Autumn Activities Around Atlanta
GA- Best Christmas Light Displays
GA- Top 20 Atlanta Christmas Events
GA- Jekyll Island Eco Activities
GA- Weekend in North GA Mountains
GA- Top 5 Eco Attractions in North GA
HI- Hawaii’s Big Island
HI- Hawaiian Mythology
HI - Top 5 Kauai Nature Attractions
LA- Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
NC- Greensboro Travel Guide
NC- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
NC- Outer Banks Wild Horses
NM- Top 5 Eco Attractions
NY- Going Green in NYC
WV- Outdoor Adventures
Yellowstone- Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone- Lamar Valley
Yellowstone- Grand Canyon & Hayden Valley
Yellowstone- Upper Geyser Basin
Yellowstone- Lower Geyser Basin

Cancun- Cancun Underwater Museum
Cancun- Mayan Museum of Archaeology
Cancun- Swimming with Whale Sharks
Riviera Maya- Monkeys, Pyramids & Pottery
Riviera Maya- Rio Secreto
Riviera Maya- Tulum & Coba