Bret Love & Alex Love, Christmas 2013

My Daughter & I, Christmas 2013

Holding On and Letting Go

A New Year’s Lesson in Acceptance


I’m sitting in my 12-year-old daughter’s bedroom, spray bottle in one hand and putty knife in the other, with tears streaming down my face.


We’re using a mixture of water and fabric softener to scrape away the wildlife-themed wallpaper border that has lined her walls for 10 years now. But in my heart it feels as if we’re scraping apart her very childhood, layer by layer.


I’ve been promising to redecorate my kiddo’s room for over a year now, to something more grown-up than cute jungle animals, baby blue skies and fluffy white clouds. But, between our hectic travel schedule and new business ventures, something always seemed to come up to delay the project.


As my mind is flooded with memories dating back to my painful divorce, when my daughter was a two-year-old toddler, I realize that perhaps I’ve subconsciously been procrastinating on purpose, unwilling (or simply unable) to confront this symbolic rite of passage.

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Green Global Travel Video Christmas Card 2013


A Video Christmas Card From GGT To You


It’s just a few hours until Christmas Eve. We’ve trimmed the tree, decked the halls, wrapped the presents, baked fresh cookies and breads, and hung enough colorful lights on our house to line a small airport runway. We truly savor these rare quiet hours when we’re not traveling or working 12-14 hour days, because they give us time to breathe a bit and reflect upon the extraordinary blessings in our lives.


We didn’t travel nearly as much this year as we did last year (around 50 days instead of 90). But we seemed to work twice as hard, launching EcoAdventure Media, Green Travel Reviews, and our Blogging Mentorship program even as Mary took a part-time job managing a website. And yet somehow we managed to climb into the Top 20 travel blogs in the world in terms of traffic, thanks to the incredible support of our friends, families, and followers. We are so grateful to every one of our 25,000+ monthly readers, and wanted to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts.



We also wanted to take a few minutes to thank the writers and social media assistants without whom Green Global Travel would never be what it is today: Anne Stokke, Amanda Rogers, Bryan Macie, Krista Ross, Marine Popoff, Meg Jerrard, Niranjana Regarajan, Samantha Swanson, and Sarah Bennett. We owe a special debt of gratitude to the lovely Emma Jane Higgins, who has worked with us for nearly two years now and has been invaluable to Mary and I.


Green Global Travel Video Christmas Card


We wish we had time to thank every one of our fans individually, but unfortunately we don’t possess the North Pole magic that would make that possible. So instead we recorded this video holiday greeting from our family to yours (including a sneak peak of our big project for 2014). Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Solstice, Festivus, or something else entirely, we want to wish you and your loved ones a healthy, happy holiday season!  –Bret, Mary, Alex & the GGT Crew


If you enjoyed our video Christmas Card, you might also like:

50 Christmas Traditions Around the World

Santa Around The World

5 Best Christmas Light Displays In Georgia

GEORGIA: Top 20 Atlanta Christmas Events

Real Xmas Trees Vs. Artificial: Which Is More Eco-Friendly?

Top 5 Tips For A Green Christmas

GLOBAL CUISINE: Bret’s Bourbon Balls Recipe

GLOBAL CUISINE: Mary’s Oatmeal Fruitcake Christmas Cookie Recipe

GLOBAL CUISINE: Christmas Lebkuchen a.k.a. Gingerbread (Germany)

Pirate's Trap Beach in Staniel Cay, Bahamas

Staniel Cay, Bahamas

World’s 10 Best Ethical Travel Destinations for 2014


(The following is a guest post from Megan Jerrard, the Australian journalist who launched the Mapping Megan travel blog with her American photographer husband, Mike. You can follow their adventures on FacebookTwitterGoogle+YouTubePinterest and Instagram. If you’re a travel blogger interested in submitting a guest post to GGT, email Editor-in-Chief Bret love at [email protected])


Our friends over at have released their annual report naming ten developing countries as the World’s Ten Best Ethical Travel Destinations 


Travel is now the world’s largest industry, exceeding a trillion dollars a year. As such, we as travelers have real power, and where we choose to travel has genuine economic and political significance. Since most of us are unable to visit every country in the world, we must choose responsibly, using our power as consumers and economic leverage as travelers to support the most ethical destinations.


Each year Ethical Traveler measures the world’s most ethical travel destinations by considering Environmental Protection, Social Welfare and Human Rights.  This year Animal Welfare was also added to their list of factors.  The below countries not only excelled in all categories, but also offer the opportunity to experience unspoiled natural beauty, and to interact with local people and cultures in a meaningful, mutually enriching way.

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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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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
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