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Showing posts from May, 2011

Dark and light: Returning from photojournalism in Northern Uganda

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Photos by the author Returning from working as a photojournalist in Gulu, Northern Uganda, Richard Stupart finds it hard to go back to the life he left behind on departure. Coming to terms with how he has changed, how his home community hadnt, and trying to bridge the space between, was his hardest test of all. LIGHT AND DARK are a simple analogy for so many things. Waiting at the baggage counter for my pack and pondering the miles of home beyond the exit gate, I think I would have done well to consider how light and dark interact. How they manage, in a way, to make each other. Allow you to see what it is you have left and what it is you are moving into. Your eyes adjust until someone opens a bright door and you hurt.I didnt think any of these things at the time. Instead, I wondered why, for the first time returning from a journey, I felt panicked.I couldnt make sense of that reaction two days ago, and withdrew into a pattern of sleeping, checking email, and avoiding people. Mostly avo…

How to: Hitchhike as a couple

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Photo: Mirtillosmile Hitchhiking can be intimidating, especially doing it solo. Pairing up is a good way to ease into the practice. Here, Alice Driver talks about some of her experiences on the road, and offers some tips. HITCHHIKING IS DANGEROUS. Youre crazy! This is what I heard repeatedly when I shared my post-wedding travel plans. In 2006, recently after my husband, Isaac, and I got married, we left for a year of travel. In South America we hitchhiked around Lake Titicaca in Peru and Bolivia. Over three days, we made our way from Puno, Peru to Copacabana, Bolivia. I was a child of hippies and grew up hearing stories of how my Dad, his brothers, and their wives divided up their children and hitchhiked from Arkansas to Michigan for the 60th birthday of their mother. We hitched rides with families, workers, and truckers in the back of a dump truck full of sand, in the air-conditioned cab of a semi, on the tailgate of a truck. We chatted with farmers, young girls with long braids, and …

The long and short of happiness

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Photo: Mara ~earth light~ BNT intern, Rich Stupart, gives the skinny on the difference between passing and true happiness. OUTSIDE A TOWN IN ZAMBIA named Chisikesi, there is a mission station. Its home to a number of Jesuit priests who had to settle outside of the popular area because the Seventh Day Adventists stole their land claim almost a century ago. In that mission station was a priest named Matthew, and I had just asked him how he could be so sure he was doing Gods work. I might have been trying to be difficult. I cant quite remember.But I do remember his answer.Matthew explained that the founder of the Jesuits, St Ignatius, had argued for a distinction between a type of true happiness and short, passing happiness. By way of illustration, doing good such as participating in charity or opening up and sharing with others produces a feeling of deep happiness which remains over time. Even the memory of doing the thing can bring back a smile and a recollection of the happiness that …

The Long and Short of Happiness

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Photo: Mara ~earth light~ BNT intern, Rich Stupart, gives the skinny on the difference between passing and true happiness. OUTSIDE A TOWN IN ZAMBIA named Chisikesi, there is a mission station. Its home to a number of Jesuit priests who had to settle outside of the popular area because the Seventh Day Adventists stole their land claim almost a century ago. In that mission station was a priest named Matthew, and I had just asked him how he could be so sure he was doing Gods work. I might have been trying to be difficult. I cant quite remember.But I do remember his answer.Matthew explained that the founder of the Jesuits, St Ignatius, had argued for a distinction between a type of true happiness and short, passing happiness. By way of illustration, doing good such as participating in charity or opening up and sharing with others produces a feeling of deep happiness which remains over time. Even the memory of doing the thing can bring back a smile and a recollection of the happiness that …

80 things we wish we knew before we started traveling

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Tip # : Haggling is NOT a competition / Photo: TheeErin Tips from experienced travelers, for newbies and veterans alike.

HINDSIGHT IS 20/20, right? Well, foresight can be near to it when you have the expertise of some seriously savvy travelers at your fingertips. Like the Matador team. If youre starting out on your first trip, this is for you. Hell, even if its your 20th trip, this is for you too. I know I learned a lot putting it together.On preparing for your trip1. Print your entire itinerary and flight tickets/confirmations. Store these with your passports. You cant always rely on Internet access or electricity to pull this info off your phone or laptop.2. Keep a copy of your passport and never have all of your forms of identification or access to cash (ATM/credit cards) in the same bag. If that one gets lost or stolen, you are SOL.3. Check in with friends and family from time to time, especially when traveling alone. Its a good idea for someone to always know where your next moveme…

On saying goodbye (and travel without traveling)

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Photo: Pink0901 Its transition time; the time between the seasons when many good friends leave. IVE WAXED POETIC about my new hometown, Nelson, BC, many times in recent months, as anyone who knows me or has been following along could attest to. Since moving here Ive really started to understand the importance of community and connection. It really is about people.Saying goodbye is a common occurrence for travelers. It doesnt make it any easier though, in my opinion. Saying goodbye is always hard. Ive been walking around these days with a heavy feeling an impending sadness. The thing about Nelson is that its an extremely transient town. This is part of the excitement of living here; the opportunity to meet so many great people who are passing through. Of course, the flip side to that is having to say bye to them at some point.Doing this on the road is one thing. When Ive said adios while traveling its usually been under my conditions. Even when its not, the newness of what lays ahead se…