Travel Inspiration Shows 2018

documentary, food, geek, Travel

While having down time, I often seek out some great travel inspiration (travelspiration) via shows. Often Netflix is my new favorite land of travel shows that offer an intense, personal, and inspiring reflection on the world.

Here is my list of what you should watch to learn more on the world around you.

For Foodie Travelers

It should be a given, but chef’s table is an awesome way to see what the top restaurants in the world offer. I am quite fond of what I consider the more obscure places that reflect a deep and rich cultural identity such as Central and Gaggan.

Weird Food Lovers

The travel channel loves cornering the market on this, but between Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern, there are dozens of shows to watch on the oddities and snacks that exist in the world.

Hotel Lovers

My absolute favorite one from the last few years, and one I binged in 24 hours was Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby. This fantastic show did more than just show where you can stay and what is up for offer. This well-planned, and elegantly executed show delved deep into what it takes to make a hotel work. It also questioned the ethics, social, and economic impact of these global locations. This paired with fantastic shots, enjoyable and informed hosts, created a wonderful show for information and inspiration.

For Those that Love Cultural Reflection

Even if Bourdain is an old fart that complains about vegetarians, I do love his writing style. This amazing writing and ability of this chef turned travel journalist offers an enjoyable look at the world. In Parts Unknown, I especially enjoy the episodes that visit places that have been forgotten or are only now being discovered. 

For the Spiritual Travelers

Believer was a phenomenal look at religions around the globe. Regardless of the politics of Reza Aslan, he’s a great researcher and writer. As a researcher and professor of theology, his books and media works show a truly in depth glance at the systems of belief around us. See the few episodes that were released, because they are really great. 

Travelers that Love to Laugh

My house is one that loves to laugh, so An Idiot Abroad is the best option for my husband and I to sit, and just die laughing at. The show matches wit, with the goofiness of a candid camera show, and just attempts to torture the said “idiot”. Ricky Gervais is one of the mad men behind the scenes, so you know it was a level of humor that can’t be beat.

Happy Travels, even from the couch 😉

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It’s Bigger Than You

musings

All of this, this election, this country, this world. It is SOOO much bigger than just you. Sooo much bigger than me.

We’re just this blue planet in the middle of a massive solar system, which is part of an infinitely larger universe which is part of infinite universes. We’re about as relevant (sorry for bad scientific analogy) as a piece of sand in the entirety of our planet. So maybe that means we should do nothing. Or maybe, just maybe, let’s think about ALL of this.

Because the universe is also attached to you, and you it. Your actions effect everything around you. Everything. So think of the sand again, get that in an eyeball and it HURTS and it can get infected, scratch your cornea and cause a lot of damage. That’s the weird thing, is that that little piece of nothing can make everything react. It can cause damage. OR it can also be a part of a beautiful landscape and memories and positivity.

Moving away from sand, let’s think about a person. One person on a planet of 7 billion, in the solar system, in a universe of many universes. This one person has an impact on everything around them. How much energy they consume results in energy produced, the food they eat makes an impact on the planet and what was grown or raised to be food. The clothes they wear and how they were made has an impact on the planet and how workers are treated. The people they befriend also has a wider reach in their actions. All of it is connected. All of it.

So let’s think about this election and what has happened in only…..4.5 days. Many of us might ignore the ramifications of a presidential elect. We might ignore the hate crimes being committed. We might pretend that things are okay or not a problem. But all of these things are so very disturbing. They have connections to everything else, to communities and religions and global ideas. ALL of these things are connected. So we have a choice, to be the sand that causes an infection by hanging out in an eyeball OR we can be part of something better.

If you did not vote for Trump you also have some homework. Who did you vote for? if Hillary, hey me too! But we have a lot of work to do to make sure we help others. A safety pin is a start, but make sure you back it up with other actions. Talk to PoC, listen to their concerns and complaints, ask questions and act with love and kindness. Give support to movements that want to protect minorities such as marching or donating money or simply opening up dialogues with people. MAKE SURE YOU DEFEND PEOPLE when attacked and provide support. If you need more ideas, here is a great resource. Let’s make sure we do not let the racism and hate that fueled Trumps rise to power become a nation-wide infection. If it already has, let’s start throwing some antibiotic in that eye.

If you voted for Trump, one has to think about what do you do next? If you hate other people so much, ask yourself why? Ask yourself what the fuck makes you think that way? Is it some loud-mouth on the radio or some relative or just a sadness in your gut that makes you think that way? What? Have you researched anything to back up your feelings or ideas and have you cross-checked it? Have you asked enough questions? If you don’t know something might i suggest going to the library or researching academic articles or asking a professor at a university to provide some information. Ask yourself why you are so afraid of “other” and not people in your own country that act in hate and attack others with guns or fists or spray paint. REALLY think about where you’re at. REALLY think about it. Are you upset because jobs have been less and less stable and less livable? Hey so many people relate, and the problems are REAL but we also have to work together to fix them and work for laws that protect workers. We can do this together, but please stop blaming “other” for the problem. Maybe you don’t even blame “other” for this, but maybe you wanted something different in the office of POTUS, okay, but what did Trump represent with his millions and his lawsuits and his lack of clarity on policy? We’re in the pot with him regardless, but really think about why, and then think about what YOU are going to do to make things better. Also, if you were so afraid of democrats being in office for your belief system, then we need to have a chat about Christian principles, because while you’re freaking out about abortions, Jesus is real pissed you don’t love others like yourself, those others that are ACTUALLY alive. All jokes aside, it’s wrong and you know it, and I grew up Christian too and there was no time that I felt the learnings I got from actual biblical text, that Jesus would ever endorse.

SO, TO FINISH up my 1000 word rant, let’s just actually love one another. Can we stop trying to make people attach to weird principles on sexuality or gender identity? Can we stop acting with fear before we understand a belief system? Can we acknowledge that we are all more alike than different? Can we stop being accepting of bigotry? Can we stop making excuses for misogyny and why woman aren’t equal?

I like to think about my grandma when I am confronted with anger and even hatred. She taught me that no matter what we must love. We must show compassion and we must be bigger than our animal instincts. She grew up in a world that had a lot of pain in it, a lot of racism and a lot of hatred. Born in 1929, the depression made her childhood hard. Then WWII made her teen years hard, the post war years made her confront racism in Wyoming and Colorado and Kansas. I remember this one story she told most strongly now:

She was in Kansas City with a friend, a friend that was from the Phillipines was with her when they were shopping. the friend from the Phillipines had a unique story, she was a child in WWII in the middled of the Japanese and American conflict. This child had risked her life crossing enemy lines to sneak information from the Japanese to the American units under General Wainwright. This woman had risked her life and that of her families to support American troops. She possibly saved thousands of lives.

When the conflict was over, Wainright had worked to allow people to go to the United States and get their education. Which is exactly what she was doing when she was enjoying an afternoon out with her friends. We’ll call her Ruby.

My grandma had grown up in a small community in Kansas, with no segregation because it was so small and only a few families weren’t white, so she had never seen or heard of segregation or refusing service to peoples based on skin-tone.

When in Woolworths the group of them went to the deli counter to order slices of pie as a snack for their shopping trip. Immediately, the server informed them that they would not serve Ruby because she was a Person of Color. So they all walked out and bought nothing. Refusing to participate in their bigotry and racism. Ruby was a war hero, and they wouldn’t serve her a piece of pie because of the shade of her skin. Refusing to participate, is exactly what should have been done and I am proud to say my grandma walked out that day.

When we have privilege, we must use it to aid others, and there is no excuse, at this point in time, not to.

Be a better person today, learn, love, give, support.

 

For some people religion is how they center their lives. By believing in the lore and moral laws of a set belief, they structure their world around believing in texts and stories. I grew up in this world. My family was very religious.

But somewhere, around the age of 12 I started to question things.

Then, I started to think all religions were kind of the same.

Then, I was sent to christian camp that same summer and I started to feel like all of it was completely manufactured and fragmented and twisted in order to manipulate the masses.

I remember sitting in one of the church services in the middle of the week and feeling completely alone as everyone around me started balling over a sermon that was given. Everyone was crying because of Jesus’s sacrifice…his life…for others.

I believe  Jesus’s sacrifice is also a good story on giving up things for others. It’s moving. But I didn’t feel like crying. Not in front of 100 teens being manipulated by adults with their own ego trips and megalomania.

These same people tried to tell everyone that Catholics weren’t true christians.

These same people tried to say that if you watched R-rated movies Jesus would be upset with you.

The camp counselors, teens, mocked and made fun of us younger kids if we were awkward or didn’t want to do a game. I was meant to lick another girl in the face.

This whole thing made me feel suicidal.

Really.

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Christian camp made me sink into a dark place that I have never fully recovered from.

Because that it was then that I realized I didn’t fit in with these masses. I was not like everyone else. I had questions and deviant feelings. I had opinions and disagreements.

Not only that but the “friends” I went to camp with began to bail on me because I didn’t “participate” or “care” enough when I didn’t cry over Jesus.

So I was left alone a lot. People I had known since I was 3 bailed on me because I didn’t conform.

As painful as it was, and as much as I was told “Jesus is watching” over things or actions others viewed as not “Christian” enough, that was when I found a part of me.

I found that I was different than these groups, and that made me stand out against mob mentality. I realized that religion wasn’t to be found in church for me. So I must seek elsewhere.

Before this time I had been learning to sew with my mother and grandmother. I made dresses and a skirt that won a blue ribbon at the state fair. I tried embroidery. I escaped into writing poetry and stories. I had been doing these things for a few years when Camp IANA in Divide, Colorado but the final nail in my religion coffin.

Barbara Casasola

There was my chance to find a new religion. One where I create. One with needles, thread, fabric, paint, buttons, patterns, clay, glass and anything I could get my hands on.

This turned into a love of art history.

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That turned into a love of design and storytelling and media.

Photography was my safe place.

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I played some music and sang too.

I did theatre and wrote essays on my favorite books and made elaborate history projects.

I found my calling in creating. Though it may not be everyone’s path or faith, it’s mine and it is very important and personal and life-altering.

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This is not to say there is anything wrong with belief in a defined religion, I’m just taking a different and agnostic path.

Losing my religion at Christian Camp…and finding it in art.

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