How to Volunteer -Talking Compost in Casa Guatemala


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…

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Kayaking at Sunset in Sabah, Borneo

photo by Gianni Bianchini courtesy of Nomad Is Beautiful

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!


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27 Fascinating Facts about Elephants

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!

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St. Thomas Islands: Cas Cay

St Thomas Islands:

Outdoor Adventures on Cas Cay


St Thomas, a sparkling jewel in the U.S. Virgin Islands, is world renowned for its gorgeous beaches. Many mainstream travelers are drawn to the island simply for its white sand and palm trees. But there’s an entirely different natural side to St Thomas that’s worth discovering as an off-the-beaten-path ecotourism experience.


Located far away from the hordes of cruise ship passengers and day-trippers from other islands, Cas Cay is one of numerous undeveloped St Thomas islands and islets. Located a mile south of Red Hook on the eastern side of St Thomas, Cas Cay boasts a Mangrove Lagoon Marine Reserve & Wildlife Sanctuary that’s home to a diverse array of flora and fauna.

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Sunrise in Kruger National PArk

How to Get the Most for Your

Kruger National Park Entrance Fee


Considering the impressive array of wildlife you can see there, the Kruger National Park entrance fee is a mere pittance. During our visit a few weeks ago with Discover Corps, admission to the park for adult international visitors was 280 ZAR (around $20 US), with children under 12 just 140 ZAR.


Kruger played a huge role in my life changing experience in South Africa back in 2000, when I spent a wondrous week exploring both public and private portions of this world-famous game reserve. But this time around, traveling as part of a tour group with a busy itinerary focused on immersive wildlife conservation activities, we only had one full day to explore the park.


Lilac Breasted Roller in Kruger National Park

Lilac Breasted Roller in an Acacia Tree


I’ll admit that I was concerned going in. How could one 12-hour drive through Kruger National Park‘s 7,500 square miles possibly measure up against the memorable week that had such a huge impact on my life and career? Confined to a 15-person passenger van, how much wildlife could we possibly see in such a short time?


As it turns out, I shouldn’t have worried. We saw nearly 50 different species during our eventful day in the park, including two Leopards, a half-dozen Lions, 14 Giraffes, and too many Elephants, Zebras, Baboons, Birds and Cape Buffalos to count.


Here’s a look at some of our favorite wildlife sightings, plus a few tips for getting the most out of your Kruger National Park entrance fee…

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Destinations We’ve Covered:

Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Madagascar- Ring-tailed Lemurs at Anja Reserve
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
Borneo- Sabah Ecotourism Attractions
India- Ranthambhore National Park
India- Tibetan Culture In Ladakh
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
Australia-Maria 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
AL- Fishing Mobile Bay
AL- Mobile Carnival Museum
AK- Denali National Park
CA- Hiking The John Muir Trail
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
FL- Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
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- Lafayette Cajun Food Tour
LA- Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday
LA- Voodoo Museum
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
NC- Asheville's Top Ecotourism Attractions
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
TX- Sea Turtle Rescue, South Padre Island
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