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A Little Adrift

A Little Adrift

A travel blog featuring stories from all over the world as one woman travels in search of vegetarian food, culture and knowledge; sharing RTW planning tips, resources, and photos.
URL: https://alittleadrift.com/

A Little Adrift





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2013-02-24 08:18:06

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  • A Little Adrift? Dispatch from Russia: Upending Cultural Assumptions
    Cold air gnawed through my layers, persistent and unrelenting. As an avowed lover of all things tropical?smoothie flavors, color pallets, and, yes, temperatures?I had dreaded exploring St. Petersburg, Russia in November, a month marked by gray skies, drizzling rain, and pervasive chill. Although my unsuitability for cold weather panned out, St. Petersburg upended my every other assumption about what I would find when I touched down in ?The Venice of the North??a name both apt and yet too simplistic to encapsulate the the city?s je ne sais quoi. Sweeping views of the city from Saint Isaac's Cathedral?the Winter Palace (ie. the Hermitage) is the massive blue building. Visiting Russia: My Why Hype and media frenzy formed my preconceptions about Russia. Although I have never yet found a country?s politics an accurate representation of its people, I struggled to shake the politicized rhetoric about Russia as I packed for my trip?an endeavor that involved shoving every sweater I owned into my bag. I approached my business trip with cautious curiosity, knowing the dangers of visiting with a "single story"?a uniform stereotype applied broadly to a people and place based on limited information. Funny enough, hype in media was the very nature of my talk at the VII St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum. The TASS News Agency invited me to speak at the Forum on seven-person panel entitled: ?Hype Together: The Era of Cultural Shock.? But how could I discuss fake news, bias, and media ethics in Russia? I grappled with the question even as my plane touched down in St. Petersburg. Panel speech on hype in Media hosted and organized by TASS. (Image courtesy of TASS News Agency) My first day passed in a haze. I formed only fleeting impressions of the city, too consumed with the swirling details of my panel talk. And even though my first discussion took place in the storied the General Staff Building of the Hermitage Museum, I spared it but a glance. Instead I shook many hands and then discussed ethics in not just media, but blogging/influencer relationships specifically. And I found the conference both fascinating and exceedingly normal. No whiff of politics entered my talks; instead we explored ideas about communicating culture despite modern obstacles (think 10-second attention spans and pay-for-play social media). We discussed the value of raising our collective expectations of what content creators offer the world?this is a big one for me: Why are we content with a culture of superficial, wistful Instagram shots replacing thoughtful discussion in the travel industry? Why are we allowing bloggers to sneak past our media filters with barely disclosed sponsored relationships? I think a lot about what it will take for us to shift this rising trend. In short, my section of the forum examined the role of mass media in the promotion of culture and art?how are the media and bloggers fairing and where can they do better? My efforts in the tourism industry these past years have gradually shifted from one of simply broadcasting travel adventures, to instead purposefully sharing ideas and travel stories that raise level of conversation about a place. We as travelers, me included, can always find ways to more responsibly interact with a new place?find the cultural adventures without leaving behind a negative legacy. This type of dialogue, however, is not always sexy and shareable?it doesn't bring in the big bucks from advertisers and these types of pieces rarely go viral. Given that, is it any wonder many of the discussions eventually spoke of the delicate balance content creators need to remain relevant in a culture valuing cat videos and pop culture memes? It's a balance I haven't yet found on this site, to be honest, but nevertheless, I persist. Because despite the challenges, navigating these issues is what readers deserve?content that entertains but doesn't assume a baseline unwillingness to tackle weightier subjects. Speaking on a panel about Women in Cinema. (Image courtesy of TASS News Agency) Exploring St. Petersburg: The Parts I Loved Once the hustle had passed, I approached the city as I do any new destination: discover iconic ?must-see? landmarks, immerse in offbeat experiences, and ask questions of any local open to answering them. Our posse of speakers explored together the first few days, but as they slowly flew home, I sunk into purposeful anonymity amongst the crowds. As an advocate for slow travel, I knew three days was not enough to do all the things, so I  extended my dates beyond the conference. Those few extra days proved long enough for me to piece together an unexpected story of a culture well-versed in hospitality, even if it appears unlike the gushing verisimilitude of American hospitality. When they found out it was my first time in their country, locals immediately asked me how reality differed from my expectations. I could only confess that it was all entirely more lovely, in every way, than I had anticipated. My fingers were numb from the cold, but I was determined to frame the perfect shot. :) Views of Saint Isaac's Cathedral on a chilly winter day. Views from Saint Isaac's Cathedral over the river and the pretty buildings of St. Petersburg. Street scenes near the iconic Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. The city of St. Petersburg is stunning. Steeped in history and bustling with arts and culture, a broad cross-section people from all over the country fill the streets. Like metropolises all over the world, St. Petersburg offers a dynamic blend of traditional and new?hipster vegan street food served under the shadow of the iconic Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. Grandmothers in bundled layers fill the streets in equal measure alongside smartly-clad businessmen. My casual search for vegetarian borscht crossed three winding canals, each bridge endowed with intricate lattice ironwork and sweeping views of pastel-painted buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. As a rule, I eschew big cities?their frenetic pace and towering buildings overwhelm me. I favor a slow pace of life and cities that match my speed. My six month sojourn in a 1,000-person beach town on Mexico?s Pacific coast was, in a word, idyllic. However, somewhere between tipping back a celebratory shot of vodka with fellow speakers and breathing deep of breathtaking views from St. Isaac's Cathedral, St. Petersburg charmed me, wholly and completely. And I never saw it coming. It looks like a sketchy alley, but it offered?bar none?the most interesting vegan street food I've had anywhere in the world. Upending Assumptions: My Travel Lessons Travel is a near constant assault on the senses. Every encounter rewrites the codes and social mores by which you live. Things you inherently understand?how to order food, sip tea, or greet people?instead present moments of apologetic fumbling met by gracious smiles of instantaneous forgiveness. These unexpected misadventures form the bedrock of my best memories. Yet countries and experiences have blurred over the past decade as the reality of living on the road eclipsed the novelty of new places and cultures. Along the way, I lost a piece of the travel experience?the piece that had lured me into a life of perpetual travel in the first place. When I settled in Barcelona earlier this year, I hoped the mundane joys of routine would reignite contrasting surprise when I ventured to new places. Views of downtown from St. Petersburg's Peter and Paul Fortress. By all accounts, it worked. Traveling to Russia fundamentally upended my cultural assumptions about the country and the people. While I had hoped to visit the country ?one day,? I had allowed an onslaught of negative media to overshadow a truth I have found in every corner of the world: People in every pocket of our planet share more fundamental similarities than differences. Russians, like Americans, work to build a better life for their children, converse with friends over steaming cups of tea, and possess nuanced perspectives misrepresented by fleeting news clips. My favorite college professor once said the mantra of public relations is this: Perception is reality, facts notwithstanding. Our reality forms from a maelstrom of information influenced by media, socioeconomic status, friend groups, and so many other contributing factors. Perhaps what captivated me most about St. Petersburg, Russia was how much it defied my perception?one I had built without firsthand experiences. People are not their government?s politics. This is an assumptive kindness many afford me as an American, and this trip reminded me to afford others that same grace. Because I am charmed by Russia. Although I will return to explore other areas of the country, part of me hopes to never return to St. Petersburg, thus forever preserving these crystalline memories. The people, place, and experience coalesced into a welling sense of wonder that struck without warning. This never happens in the places I expect to love. Instead, I ended a casual taxi ride in Yangon, Myanmar feeling an existential connection to the hum of universe. After two weeks in Tbilisi, Georgia merely awaiting my flight home, the city?s charm and hospitality left me an unabashed fangirl. And a whirlwind business trip to St. Petersburg reignited the inexplicable lure of finding myself completely adrift in the unknown. This travel story (A Little Adrift… Dispatch from Russia: Upending Cultural Assumptions ) first appeared on the A Little Adrift Travel Blog, thank you for following the journey. :)
    Friday 7th of December 2018 03:58:13 PM
  • A Little Insight? What Goes Into a Sustainable Tourism Industry?
    Around the time that I was struggling to hold down my breakfast, hiking at a clipped pace across the wild Kyrgyz countryside and up a mountain, I realized a few things needed to change. Having just finished hiking 500 miles of Spain?s Camino de Santiago a few weeks earlier, I was fit enough for the hike, but not yet acclimated to the altitude, or the breakneck pace. Motioning my guides into a sunny pasture, I collapsed amidst the wildflowers, flushed and thoughtful. Was there a gentler path to the peak we sought, I asked? Could we slow the pace, add breaks where my guide explained the way of life for the Kyrgyz nomads living nearby? His knowledge fluid and his smile quick, my guide began pointing out passes among the distant snowy peaks?that?s where he once hunted sly wolves in the dead of winter. And that visible break in the tree line usually boasted sightings of wild animals native to the region (though we were unlucky to spot not a one). He spoke of snow deeper than my wildest imagination some years, and told stories of his family hunkering down in the nearby yurt camp, content in a way of life Kyrgyz nomads have practiced for millennia. I listened, captivated. I made notes, assessed potential, and continued hiking. Hours later, I bounced around ideas for adjustments to the tour with representatives from the local tourism team?a brand new non-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) in the infancy stages of developing English-language tourism in this region of Kyrgyzstan. Working together, we created an itinerary and program for the hike that matched the potential and interest of tourists with the skills and knowledge of local Kyrgyz guides. Seeking a Different Point of View It was my second day on the job in Kyrgyzstan as a consultant for a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project that had spent the previous three years laying the groundwork for a new layer of tourism infrastructure for the country. A giddy sense of collaborative power seeped into me when I collapsed into my bed that night. For years, I?ve written stories underpinned by the central idea that, when done right, tourism can be a powerful force for good. Pairing my book that discussed the ethical pitfalls of international volunteering (a point of view endearing me to few in that industry) with stories of innovative social enterprises from around the world, I have shared hard-won personal perspectives from my decade on the road. My overriding message: responsible tourism is a guiding mindset, not a catchy buzzword. That said, I had never been more than tourist and sometimes expat in these places. Although I?ve seen tourism destinations on every range of the spectrum?from the glitzy shine of Paris? many tours and kitschy souvenirs to hillside villages with nary a guesthouse or restaurant in sight?I had never considered what it takes to create a travelable destination. Sustainable tourism only functions well when layers of prep work first ensure a destination has an equitable, community-driven plan to manage tourists and distribute economic benefits across both urban and rural areas. To work long-term, tourist influxes must slot into a purposefully-crafted infrastructure offering places to sleep, trained local guides for hire, and intriguing travel experiences that respect and honor the region?s cultural and environmental value. But that intricate process is just the beginning. The world?s most celebrated travel destinations have identified the unique expectations they can meet once tourists arrive. It?s not a lark when you dream of the food in Italy, the beaches of Fiji, or the wildlife in Tanzania?each destination has developed experiences that not only create a cohesive brand identity, but reinforce its unique selling point once you arrive. For 10 years, I have partaken the final product of tourism as I hopscotched the globe, but never before had I been involved in the foundational stages?the ground floor of creating an entirely new network of experiences that tourists will use for years to come. The project ended in June, and while it was a dead-sprint to the finish line, I am equal parts proud of the results and fascinated by the complex insights bubbling to the surface from my time working with the talented multinational crew who pulled it off. I?ve learned more new things about this industry than I dreamed possible. And guys, I loved the work. I have long believed that tourism can be the greatest redistribution of wealth from developed to developing countries. This idea has kept me on the road, kept me sharing here on A Little Adrift, and elsewhere, too. If we travel with a commitment to infusing money locally, it can profoundly effect the very real people living where you travel. As a tourist, I believed this as truth. I spoke about this at universities, just last week at a travel conference, and next month at a conference in Russia. It's my main message honed over a decade of travel. Now, after witnessing a new side of tourism development, I know it as truth. Here?s how it went down, and a few of the lessons learned from immersing in the flip side of travel industry. A Closer Look: The Project?s Who, What, and Where The USAID Business Growth Initiative involved other sectors beyond tourism, but supporting travel and tourism was my singular focus (which, you know, totally makes sense). Kyrgyzstan was among the safest yet more difficult ?Stans? to travel. Kazakhstan had a fair share of the region?s tourism industry, proving out the interest, so the USAID project would boost the capacity of Kyrgyzstan to compete for independent tourists from destinations outside of the region?appealing foreigners, like me. What's more, the project elements that I worked on were a fraction of the tourism project's scope, which also included the extensive mapping of trekking routes, road signs in English at key points for those road-tripping it, capacity building on the actual hospitality side, and more. My friends Dan and Audrey?fellow travelers, tourism consultants, and two of my favorite friends gifted to me by this life on the road?helped architect the tourist-facing side of this new tourism industry. They assessed five destinations across Kyrgyzstan for tourism potential?what was the unique identity of each location that would attract travelers from all over the world? What tours, products, and services would entice travelers to stay longer once there, thus infusing money into the local economy? They exhaustively surveyed everything someone could do in each place, and whittled the list to the most fascinating, immersive, and cultural experiences they should do. When I joined the project in July 2017, a dozen tour products were under development, new experiences that would highlight the best of the region?s culture and food. My role: tell a compelling story for each destination through four local tourism websites. I would write all the content to ensure a wealth of accurate, actionable online travel information so independent travelers could not just visit Kyrgyzstan, but craft an incredible itinerary. I would use my background in sustainable travel and storytelling, coupled with my twelve years of SEO expertise, to solidify the distinct branding of each destination and surface information the rest of the tourism team had spent years putting in place. Dan and Audrey spearheaded the tech side, and together we launched four English language websites into the wild. During my in-country visits, I would also test and finalize tours the DMOs would eventually run for international tourists. That?s how I found myself running up a peak in the Pamir-Alay Mountains and taste-testing each of the vegetarian-friendly food tours?poor me, right! The Invisible Side of Tourism Development Everything created during this Kyrgyzstan project included the aspects that I have always taken for granted. It?s not just that the project put up road signs and ?you are here? maps in the city-centers (which it did), but it resulted in hand-crafted experiences for tourists from the moment they hit the ground. Over many months and a lot of work, the entire team?passionate locals working everyday alongside foreign consultants?created visible and invisible layers of welcome. The visible: bus routes accessible in English, friendly staff at local tourist information centers, printed maps and brochures, thousands of miles of new GPS and marked trails through the Kyrgyz mountains, and a tourism website curating local knowledge and offering a comprehensive one-stop-shop for everything you might need to know to travel effectively in the Kyrgyz Republic. The invisible: a cohesive brand meticulously presented to guide tourists through the myriad things to do, guesthouse owners trained to understand dietary restrictions like celiac and vegetarianism, mountain guides with first-aid training and the right gear to bring tourists into the mountains, and tours designed and marketed in alignment with the interests and expectations of foreign tourists (while ensuring every offered activity respects the local culture). It wasn?t enough to bring tourists to Kyrgyzstan?in fact, it would harm if undertaken without consideration for, and dialogue with, those with actual skin in the game: local communities. In the four core communities ultimately benefiting from this project, local tourism businesses united under a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) operating as a nonprofit social enterprise. These hotels, restaurants, and tour operators would support the DMO?s efforts to develop local tours and interface with tourists, all the while funneling money back into projects that would better the local community?things like a new playspace for children in one of the villages; free wifi in the city center of another; and a gorgeous, redesigned riverside space to host festivals, concerts, and more. And you know what?it was a lot of work! Local staff numbered in the dozens, everyone collaborating to fine-tune the details of a connected tourism web spread across five cities spread all over Kyrgyzstan. Things that off-the-path travelers chalk up as story-worthy misadventures?confusing transport days and delightful cultural snafus?were issues to fix, not glorify on the pages on a travel blog. While it?s impossible to mitigate all potential misadventures (and those truly do make for great stories), if they happen at every turn then a destination earns a reputation as ?difficult to visit,? a death knell for increasing mainstream, independent tourism. And more than anything, everyone on the project was hopeful that this project could move the needle on Kyrgyzstan's indie tourism industry. I LOVED the idea deeply and was all-in on immersing in each destination so I could help them craft a story compelling enough to lure North Americans and Europeans to the rugged peaks of the Tian Shan range and the cozy fireplaces of local yurt camps. Kyrgyzstan charmed me, wholly and completely. The locals I met embraced every new challenge?hospitality training courses, capacity building sessions, and SEO and social media workshops (that was me), to name three. All with the hope of a tourism industry that was possible, but no surety. The Tourism Development Project's Outcome So, what was the outcome this effort, which took just under a year of my life and far more time for the others on the project? Four complete websites representing four DMOs located across the country highlighting practical travel information alongside the 40+ fascinating tours and treks developed and tested. A special cultural and culinary identity for each city and village reinforced by a blogger/influencer campaign in summer 2017 (if you saw photos of Kyrgyzstan everywhere last fall, that?s why!). A network of tours running across the country that ultimately end with locals having more money in their pocket, and more say in developing a local tourism industry in the manner they believe will best benefit travelers and locals alike. (Before this, international tour operators primarily shaped the country?s tourism industry). Social media accounts and training on best practices that lure future travelers to Kyrgyzstan with beautiful photos of all these destinations offer. Sustainability across the board?the USAID project has ended and handed everything over to the locals now running these websites, tours, and tourism experiences. Oh, and I also have an insanely granular knowledge of the country, and can correctly spell the Kyrgyzstan in one shot. :) We enticed travelers through food tourism in Karakol?a food crawl, ethnic Dungan dinner, and mai tokoch bread-making tour. Jyrgalan needed little more than a few photos to lure nature-lovers to this unspoilt village, now a byword for authentic Kyrgyz hospitality and beautiful hiking in what was once a former mining town suffering from decline and poverty. The South Shore of Lake Issyk-Kul holds the cultural heart of the country, where folk music tinkles across yurt camps. And historic Osh beckons with sprawling bazaars, welcoming locals, and a long culinary history influenced by its pivotal position on the ancient Silk Road. Pretty compelling right?! Homepages for the four tourism websites: Osh, Karakol, Jyrgalan, and South Shore. If that doesn?t pique your interest then I have failed at year?s worth of work. Because that?s what I did, I wrote those websites and did a fair bit of consulting and capacity training, and even more listening?I permanently parked my assumptions and instead relearned the industry from the ground up. Learning from our local team members about their vision for tourism, and about the cultural and natural aspects of Kyrgyzstan that they were most proud to share with the world. I am humbled and grateful for the team of people I worked with on this project?I surely learned more than I offered in return. So I offer thanks to the DMO staff in each place: I am still here, watching your Instagram accounts. I'm a cheerleader behind the scenes sending good vibes to your cities and villages as you bravely make your way through the surge in tourism I hope ever-increases (manageably) in the coming years. And a thanks to everyone at the USAID Business Growth Initiative in Bishkek?the tourism team members were master puppeteers orchestrating a complex dance connecting everyone as we launched these destinations into the world. With the Tian Shan mountain range of Central Asia firmly in my rearview mirror, I am more committed than ever to promoting travel as one avenue of support for developing countries?an effective way to infuse money directly into the local economy. When done well, tourism can profoundly impact not just the travelers in search of transformative cultural experiences, but the very real people living, dreaming, and working in the places we?re fortunate enough to travel. The contents of this article and website are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government. This travel story (A Little Insight… What Goes Into a Sustainable Tourism Industry? ) first appeared on the A Little Adrift Travel Blog, thank you for following the journey. :)
    Tuesday 25th of September 2018 05:48:23 PM
  • A Little Adrift? Dispatch from Barcelona: Finding Home
    Finding a way to stop traveling has been an evolving process. When I booked that one-way flight ten years ago, a year of travel loomed before me, an epic round-the-world trip that would fulfill my dreams to see more of the world while also preparing me to contentedly return to Los Angeles at the end. I had no idea that ten years later I would move to Barcelona instead. I also didn't know that this decade would both fill my memories with achingly lovely moments and allow me to find my passion for writing and photography while also bringing a raft of unexpected health and emotional challenges, too. When I set out on this journey, I had big expectations. I didn't love all aspects of myself and my life when I left?I hoped that traveling would shore up those lingering doubts, fears, and insecurities. And I hoped for adventure, grand adventures beyond the borders of the U.S. and into cultures I had never yet seen, through the landscapes I had only glimpsed in magazines as a child. Six years later, depression creeped into my life, infiltrating the edges of even the most banal thoughts. I didn't talk about it much because, well frankly it wasn't a great year for me. At first I just drifted away from blogging. I needed a few months off from travel writing to right my world. I just needed space. A tiny hiatus and I'd be right as rain. Searching for Home Even then, however, I suspected that it wasn't blogging alone that needed to change. I needed a home base. I moved to a beach town in Mexico for five months, and it helped. I took nightly sunset walks on the beach, my desire to write came back in fits and spurts, and having an apartment settled me. But it didn't stick. By picking a country with a lenient visa policy?six months free on arrival for Americans?it allowed me treat the endeavor like a grand lark. When the good friends that I had made moved on, I did too. I traveled again but distanced myself from my travel writing. Instead, I returned to my hometown in Florida to connect with old friends and to find new ways to treat depression's quiet darkness that would never quite lift its invisible tentacles; its darkness had reached into every part of my waking life. I eventually moved to Oaxaca, Mexico with a bestie who was also a long-term traveler in search of a place in the world to call home. It seemed promising. I fiercely wanted to hang my hat there and officially end my peripatetic decade. When my six month visa expired, I bid it adieu forever. During that spring in Oaxaca I experienced the most serious allergies I've ever had?hay-fever so terrible I would flee street-side dinners with friends so I could shower and hide under my covers, the only place I found relief from the urge to rub every last piece of skin from my face. By the end of my time there, my activated immune system developed a permanent allergy to my contact lenses, which I had worn for 20 years without issue (I'm still a little bitter about that). I left Mexico tired. Every year on the road seemed to worsen my allergies, which I have linked to nearly dying of dysentery my first year on the road. I needed to stop traveling but I was at a loss for which place in the world was worthy of calling home. It had to be perfect if I was going to finally pick a single city to see every day of my life. So yeah, of course I fell back on old patterns and I traveled while I figured out the answer. Travel has been my default state since I left in 2008 and it I have struggled to stop moving, to pull the trigger on a decision like buying furniture again and a car. Partly because the weight I felt the decision held, but also because it was cheaper for me to travel the world than return to LA. I am terrified of being in debt again, of that desperation I felt just a couple of years out of college as I sunk under the weight of low-paying work and ever-accruing credit card interest. The debt was complicated; it wasn't all from "keeping up with the Joneses," it was a series of unfortunate events that created a teetering tower of debt that threatened to crush me if I didn't constantly run on my spinning wheel. Traveling arrested that process. Three-and-a-half years into my travels and I had cleared that ominous debt tower. I wasn't making a ton of money, but I was free from debt and the thought of returning to a lifestyle that would put me back in that circumstance wasn't on the table. Another year on the road slipped past me almost unnoticed; I was a leaf caught in a rushing river and riding the easiest current. I housesat in southern Spain, spent a few months with friends in Australia, and then for the hell of it, I backpacked Vietnam for three months. It wasn't my best moment of follow through, but that additional year of travel got me closer, somehow, to where I am now. Closer to Barcelona. When I left Vietnam, I returned to the states to fulfill one of my last big travel promises: to take my remaining niece on an adventure. Over this past decade, I somehow managed to backpack Southeast Asia for seven months with my angsty pre-teen niece Ana, then I followed that up with a road-trip across Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula with my two naughty nephews (cute, but naughty). Children are so impressionable in the middle school years, and I deeply wanted to show each what I loved about this huge world of ours at least once before they entered adulthood. Last summer, my niece Jinnai joined me on a five-week, 500 mile (800 kilometer) pilgrimage across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago Frances. Our long, long walk is a story for another day, but suffice to say that at the end we wanted nothing more than sun, sand, and good food. We headed to Barcelona. One day during our week of exploring, we wandered through charming working-class neighborhood called Barceloneta. Dockworkers lived here in times past and now it has a "village within a city" feel. Laundry dripped from rows of wrought-iron stretching into the sky and the neighborhood's narrow streets all led to the water. I looked around and realized this was it; in a stutter of a heartbeat I decided to move to Spain. Finding a Home I am penning this dispatch from my apartment in Barceloneta?a small six-floor walkup with heaps of sunshine and views of the ocean if I lean over my balcony. And I feel at peace. Friends and travelers have asked why I chose Barcelona, and my answer is usually something like: "I realized it was good enough." There are people who fall in love with Barcelona in an instant. That wasn't me. When I visited in 2012, I thought it a gorgeous city but with little to compel me beyond that. I didn't dislike the city?I'm not really sure how anyone could dislike it!?but I didn't fall for it in the way that people assume. Instead, on my second visit I realized that this small neighborhood near the beach, in a city where I speak the language and enjoy the culture, was enough. It's not perfect?local Spaniards laugh at me when I tell them I moved to Barceloneta, which will heave with tourists come summer?but all of these years I have searched for the impossible: an idyllic place that combined the best aspects of every city I had ever loved. Barcelona instead meets most of my checklist wishes; it's a vibrant city with a young population and it sees more sunny beach days than not?as a born-and-raised Floridian, I am fanatically committed to both warmth and water. The one thing that had long kept Barcelona off my list was that I know almost no one in the city. I am not just tired of traveling, I am weary of being far from connections, from the people I know and love in this world. It had always seemed like moving back home to Florida was the most obvious choice since most of my dearest friends live there, and my family, too. Even as I applied for my long-term Spanish visa last fall?an arduous process?I looked at real estate near my hometown and thought hard about where I should settle, because it was going to happen in 2018 no matter what. For so many reasons, however, Florida is an unhealthy place for me. One day it might be right?after all, I never saw the curveball coming that I would live on the road for nearly a decade, make a living writing about responsible travel, and have friends dotting the globe. When I received a letter in the mail just after Thanksgiving granting me the right to live in Spain for a year, I knew it was the right move. Which doesn't mean I wasn't terrified, because panic flashed in my chest that I was making the wrong choice and needed to abort ship asap. I didn't abort ship. Here in my small apartment I have created balance that I haven't had since I left Los Angeles in 2008. I furiously write every morning and my mind dizzies with the number of creative projects I am inspired to work on?without constant strain of planning travels and nonstop movement, my mind has space for new ideas. I am writing a book proposal, and the idea SO spot on for what I want to put into the world that I can't believe it's taken me this long figure it out. And now I have the time to make that project, and this blog, all a bigger priority in my life. I can work, but also have a balance with other aspects of non-travel life. There are joys in this, too. On the weekends, I walk to the market nearby and already the vendor knows to weigh out a half-kilo of cherry tomatoes while I sort through the selection of peppers. An old man who lives in my building waves when we pass on the street and the owner of my local bodega gives me a mini chupa chups lollipop for free when I stop in for a chat and a bottle of agua con gas. And friends come visit! That's a new one for me since usually I'm the one passing through for a quick hello. Victoria and Steve brought the tiniest addition to their family and we had grand fun playing in the park, strolling the beach, and partaking in many cups of gelato. It's fun. Better yet, it feels right. My friend Louise lives in London and we last traveled together to Cuba many years ago?since then we have rarely managed to cross paths. Now that I am living in Europe, she invited me on an impromptu girl's weekend to Lisbon next week. And in June I'll jet over to Morocco with a Florida-friend?I have these great little trips planned for every month from now until October! Instead of feeling a heavy weight on my chest from the burden of planning new travels, there's no pressure?I'll stuff a few clothes into daypack and leave the rest folded neatly in my drawers for when I come back. Because I live here now. I live in Barcelona. Maybe not forever, but I live here now and that's enough. This travel story (A Little Adrift? Dispatch from Barcelona: Finding Home ) first appeared on the A Little Adrift Travel Blog, thank you for following the journey. :)
    Sunday 29th of April 2018 08:41:52 PM
  • A Little Delight? Stories of Responsible Travel in Hoi An, Vietnam
    Drizzling rain pattered on my umbrella as I wove through throngs of tourists, their rainbow-hued ponchos forming sudden pops of contrast against the canary-colored walls. I dodged locals pedaling rickety bicycles on the rain-drenched streets, and darted into the calm oasis of a local teahouse-cum-social enterprise in Hoi An, Vietnam. The rain hadn?t let up for a week and the teahouse was my daily respite from the chaos?a respite from the tedium of days spent peering from windows at waterlogged rice paddies and dark, pregnant skies. I had landed in southern Vietnam weeks earlier with a vague plan to meander north for three months. Now into my tenth year on the road, my travel style has changed significantly. I no longer make meticulous travel plans and so I entered Vietnam with two vague goals: see beautiful things and find beautiful stories capable of inspiring others to use travel as a force for good. Hoi An Ancient Town was a natural stop in my quest for beauty?a more charming town may not exist anywhere in the world. I have a deep love for towns many consider inauthentic. I passed through Antigua, Guatemala in the second year of my round the world trip and stayed for weeks. I loved Luang Prabang, Laos enough that I returned with my niece so she could soak in the laid-back Laotian culture and beautiful French colonial architecture. And Hoi An?s narrow streets and 18th century wooden houses enchanted me. Each of these towns share status as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and that is surely part of the charm?they are towns steeped in history and seemingly frozen in time. [threecol_one] [/threecol_one] [threecol_one] [/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last] [/threecol_one_last] Time moves forward, however, and touristy towns offer unique opportunities for responsible travelers that are impossible to find in more off-the-beaten-path locations. Tourism dollars facilitate innovations. Peeling back the layer of novelty from a travel experience uncovers fascinating ways for economic exchanges that support local economies and communities. And that?s my passion, finding ways to help travelers connect to causes and communities. Before arriving in Hoi An, I puttered around the Mekong Delta for nearly a month. Few travelers venture into Vietnam?s Mekong for more than a day-trip, so I was a lone tourist biking through rice paddies and sipping coconuts bought from street-side vendors. In this situation, I knew my tourism dollars directly benefited the local economy because I placed each dong (Vietnam?s currency) into the hands of a local. Beyond this cash exchange for guesthouses and food, however, the lack of a tourism industry meant that I had no way to offer tourism dollars in support of local social issues lacking funding. Supporting local businesses is enough in these situations, it?s a concrete and sustainable way to approach responsible tourism. But sustainable travel in more touristic places offers alternatives?fascinating alternatives, too! I loved my time in Hoi An not just because it's a beautiful town, but also because locals are using tourism as a force for positive change in their community. Armed with information and curiosity, I delighted in discovering the many ways Hoi An?s doing sustainable, responsible tourism right. Reaching Out: Providing Opportunities for People with Disabilities [caption id="" align="alignright" width="576"] Fellow travelers Carmela and Raymund (on the right) passed through town on my last day, so we sipped coffee and swapped travel stories away from the bustle.[/caption] Reaching Out was the first of several Hoi An social enterprises I visited during my time in Hoi An, and it's the one I frequented the most. The organization runs two businesses, an arts and crafts boutique and a traditional Vietnamese teahouse?both businesses employ people with disabilities. Although I am not one for buying many souvenirs, I found a beautifully crafted silver ring in the shop and bought it as a Christmas/birthday present to myself. Employees craft the gifts by hand in the workroom at the back of the shop, so you can watch artisans weave placemats and blacksmith jewelry. The teahouse, however, stands apart and houses my best memories. Hoi An's Ancient Town is most famous for gorgeous teak houses filled with carved pillars and furniture inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Just a block from the town's iconic Japanese Bridge, the teahouse occupies a preserved building dating from the late 1800s. Hordes of passing foot traffic belies the serene interior. The teahouse staff are all deaf and hearing-impaired and the teahouse runs through written notes, small wooden blocks with messages for the servers, and when all else fails, the women are adept are sussing out any charades you throw their way. Both businesses provide opportunities for people of disability to learn skills and gain meaningful employment so that they are able to integrate fully with their communities and lead independent and fulfilling lives. It's not only a beautiful mission to support, but the entire experience is well crafted. Even though I had been in Vietnam for many weeks before arriving in Hoi An, I hadn't yet sat down for a traditional Vietnamese tea service. The teahouse remedied that and provided me with a memorable experience. In areas with a strong language barrier, participating in tourist experiences lifts the shade on the cultural window?it gives tourists a culturally appropriate way to interact and learn. Rather than seeming inauthentic, the teahouse experience gave me, a traveler, a clear understanding of how to access aspects of the culture that seemed distant or hard to penetrate. By finding these types of responsible tourism experiences, I can fumble my way through the etiquette, satiate my curiosity with questions, and ultimately support a worthy cause, too. For those, and for so many other reasons, Reaching Out added nuance and beauty to my weeks in Hoi An. [threecol_one]  [/threecol_one] [threecol_one]  [/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last] [/threecol_one_last] STREETS International: Training Disadvantaged Youth in the Hospitality Sector My lunch at STREETS Restaurant Café in Hoi An was unequivocally my best meal in the city (and probably among my favorite dishes in Vietnam). Vietnam isn?t the easiest country for vegetarians and many local specialities are impossible to replicate without meat. Although I had read about cao l?u (a signature Hoi An dish served with pork), STREETS was on my radar wholly because of its social mission, not the food. So I was delighted to see vegetarian cao l?u on the menu during my first visit, and doubly delighted that it tasted as good as it looked! STREETS International runs the cafe as a social enterprise supporting its hospitality and culinary training program for street kids and disadvantaged youth in Southeast Asia. Restaurant revenue sustains the training program while also providing practicum for the students?they run nearly every aspect of it, from cooking to serving. STREETS became my regular haunt and I spent many afternoons people-watching from the wide, sunny windows and asking my servers candid questions about their long-term goals. They shared with me their hopes that this training would change the course of their life. By learning hard skills they could now contribute to their communities. Living in such a touristy town, hospitality training was their ticket to a better life and a future with real opportunities. Although our backgrounds couldn't be more different, hoping to change the course of your life deeply resonates with me. Supporting this cafe offered a glimpse behind Hoi An's beautiful veneer?no town or community is exempted from its share of hardship, and the servers at STREETS offer an uplifting story of how the aggregate of tourist dollars from responsible travelers creates sustainable change for local communities. The Wider Hoi An Region: Spreading Money into Local Communities Hoi An suffers a fate facing many cities around the world: over tourism. The reasons I loved Ancient Town?the historic, well-preserved streets infused with centuries of history?were the same reasons I braved the rain and biked through the outskirts of Hoi An. Over tourism also affects my new home base in Barcelona?the city's popularity has eclipsed sustainability. There is no single solution to over tourism and governments across the world are finding new ways to preserve historic cities. Tourists staying home is one easy solution. But then, that's not ideal either! Mostly because they won't stay home; tourists visit places regardless of their impact on sustainability. So one solution is to divert some of each traveler's time into surrounding areas?to spread out the impact of those warm bodies treading through ancient wooden houses. The perfect weather never materialized, so I donned a poncho and spent many days pedaling my rented bike on circuitous routes that delved deep into lesser touristed communities in the region. And it was lovely in every way. Misty rain coated the rice paddies. Heavy skies sat low on the horizon. School children vogued for my camera. Each day that I ventured out, I found delightful cafes and restaurants and fascinating slices of daily life in Vietnam. [twocol_one] [/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last] [/twocol_one_last][fivecol_one] [/fivecol_one] [fivecol_one] [/fivecol_one] [fivecol_one]  [/fivecol_one] [fivecol_one] [/fivecol_one] [fivecol_one_last]  [/fivecol_one_last] Weeks of unabating rain eventually maxed out the capacity of the local reservoirs, which overflowed the river and flooded Hoi An's Ancient Town. The ancient houses contain pulley systems to raise historic furniture to the second floor and locals scurried to protect it all. And just as suddenly as the floodwaters appeared, the sun returned. Brilliant sunshine illuminated rivers of brackish water now flowing through the streets. These were among my last days in Hoi An, and the sunshine highlighted many of the serious sustainability challenges facing this pretty little city with history dating to the 15th century. Visiting social enterprises and spreading my money around the region doesn't solve all of these deeper issues, but my time in Hoi An provided me with just enough insight to realize it was a credible start. [twocol_one]  [/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last] [/twocol_one_last][threecol_one] [/threecol_one] [threecol_one] [/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last]  [/threecol_one_last] Hoi An charmed me. It charmed me with its beauty, but also with its innovations?the local community facing down challenging social issues and bringing forward solutions. Both businesses profiled here are beautiful ways for responsible travelers in Hoi An to leave behind money in a meaningful way. Over the years, I have shifted much of my time away from direct volunteering. When I left on my travels a decade ago, volunteering made sense?I had volunteered extensively in the U.S. and continued that form of contribution on the road. But the international volunteering industry is fraught with issues. In time, I found alternative ways to channel my goals to give back and serve communities. Throughout my three months in Vietnam, I found countless Vietnamese social enterprises with similar stories of hope, similar goals to create change within their community. By the time I arrived in Vietnam, I was already tired from years on the road. My best friend had deeply loved her time in Vietnam so it was one place I was committed to exploring before finally creating a home base. Three months and more than a thousand miles later, the people, landscapes, and stories of Vietnam left me enchanted. Quick Travel Tips: Hoi An Social Enterprises Reaching Out Teahouse: 131 Tr?n Phú Street. Mon ? Fri from 8:30 to 21:00, and Sat ? Sun from 10:00 to 20:30. Reaching Out Arts & Crafts: 103 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street. Same hours as the teahouse. STREETS Restaurant: 17 Le Loi Street. Everyday from noon to 10:00pm. 9Grains by STREETS: 441A Hai Ba Trung. Daily from 7:00am to 6:00pm. Jack's Cat Cafe: Cuddle rescued strays at 12 Le Hong Phong. 11am ? 3pm, everyday except Mon & Thur. View my Vietnam Travel Guide for advice on every place I stayed and ate, as well as an interactive map of all the social enterprises in Vietnam. This travel story (A Little Delight? Stories of Responsible Travel in Hoi An, Vietnam ) first appeared on the A Little Adrift Travel Blog, thank you for following the journey. :)
    Wednesday 21st of March 2018 11:30:50 AM
  • A Little Reckoning? On Transformative Travel Experiences and 9 Years of Travel
    [caption id="attachment_17079" align="alignright" width="357"] Nearly a decade of travel. The top left is my final day as a Los Angeleno, and the other three are from France, Kyrgyzstan, and Vietnam?all places I have visited this year.[/caption] To call it sadness gives it too much weight. But happiness is too vibrant and concrete. I don?t feel identifiably happy as I enter my tenth year on the road. At least not toward travel, particularly. It?s more like a heavy uncertainty. My life is pregnant with pause. I am waiting to hear from the Spanish embassy, and if it approves my visa application, I am moving to Spain, for now. If it doesn't, I will move somewhere Stateside. Either way, it's time to get an apartment. I will still travel, but at a different pace. I'll have a home base from which to explore. A place to hang paintings, and a place to welcome friends. It feels right to change the direction of this path I ventured down in 2008. I accomplished so much more than the goals I had dreamed of when I began traveling. Looking back at the 20-something version of myself, packing for her round the world trip, kissing friends and family goodbye, and crying on the way to the airport?I was poised on the edge of something great. Facing the uncertainty of my year on the road filled me with exhilarating fear. No matter the cost, I wanted the experience of travel. Absolutely. So I left; I adventured. And years passed. Nine, to be exact. After nine years of travel, I have deeply and fundamentally changed. Which was my intention. Change would have happened either way, even if I hadn't traveled, because nine years is a long time. But when I first nurtured the seed of an idea to backpack around the world, I flirted with the transformation narrative our culture wraps around travel. We are told personal transformation?personal excellence even?is the result of a well-traveled life. It?s a powerful narrative, an aspiration sold by the media, by the travel literati. The transformation narrative is desirable and sexy. Epic adventuring catalyzes deep internal shifts. Only travel itself unlocks the changes; without the travel experience, you cannot access all that is promised. What you will become is unknowable, the entire promise is possibly unattainable. Uncertainty only increases the appeal. The lure of the transformation pulled at the lightest and darkest parts of my soul. Transformation promised me the opportunity to become the best version of myself, and it promised to lift me from my shameful background. I wanted in on all of that, no matter what it would take to make it happen. [caption id="attachment_17076" align="alignnone" width="720"] My nieces and nephews have joined me along the way. I've taken them on the Camino de Santiago in Spain, adventuring in Thailand, and road-tripping in Mexico. My dad, niece and I traveled through Panama together, too![/caption] [divider] ... on my early days. Growing up, I hid much about my life from friends. Around my middle school years I realized my family had issues. Fundamental dysfunction cracked our familial walls and splintered the bright, assumptive ?American Dream? that I had supposed we were living during my early childhood. By my teenage years, it was clear that while there is such thing as being poor with dignity, we weren?t that kind of family. At a time when I desperately sought to belong within my peer group, I developed deep shame about my background. I machinated a story of myself that better aligned with the outward version of ?normal? I saw in everyone else. I was good at dissembling; I learned to tell an edited version of my life for ?polite society.? Others would like me better, better accept me, if they thought my childhood was middle class, too. And it worked, for the most part. I graduated high school with honors and had a bevy of middle-class friends. I was the first in my family to attend university. And yet, life followed me. When I participated in that classic middle-class rite of passage?a summer study abroad program?I flew home three days into it to bury my brother, the first of several family members who have been taken by the ongoing opioid crisis. His death leveled me. It flattened the colors of my world. I could not edit this family tragedy from my story. It was my first truly transformative experience. I hadn?t chosen it, but it fundamentally changed me. Three years later, I would leave on a one-way ticket to travel around the world. I would choose transformation through travel for all the light and happy things I wanted to become, for the lessons I would learn and the knowledge I could forever hold within me. And sure, I was escaping some things, too. That statement feels true. But it?s also true that I was running into the next step of healing, of growth. I was escaping my past into a more accepting larger world. We all seek things: acceptance, love, truth. Travel looked like an escape hatch, but not one that would come easy or free. And that, too, appealed to me. Life had shown me at every turn that nothing comes free. [caption id="attachment_17078" align="alignnone" width="720"] So many fun times while jumping at Petra in Jordan, jumping at a vibrant street-art exhibit in London, jumping at India's Monument of Love, and even jumping on the Great Wall of China.[/caption] [divider] ? on creating space for transformation. When I left nine years ago, I gave little conscious thought to what actions catalyze transformation. I had assumed that transformation was a byproduct of setting in motion my plan to travel the world. That didn't bear out as true. To an extent, I had known that I would return from my trip with few epiphanies if I spent a year sunning myself on a beach in Tahiti?I would be tanner and more relaxed, but little wiser, and unlikely transformed. There isn't a manual on a way to travel that guarantees transformation?had there been one, I would have read it. It took years on the road to realize that deep, lasting, and meaningful personal transformation happened as a result of the connections that I created with new people and cultures. Like many travelers, I've ticked off the classic bucket list items. I dove the Great Barrier Reef, stood in awe of Petra, and I walked the Camino de Santiago across France and Spain. These adventures satisfied my wanderlust and satiated my craving to see new things and to stimulate my curiosity, but it wasn't the adventures that changed me. As I look back on nine years of travel, I see that this life on the road has afforded me the chance to connect with people from every walk of life. Travel was the shiny wrapping paper around the experiences. Experiences like conversing with indigenous women in rural Mexico, and sunset hiking with Maasai warriors, and even casual conversations over yum kai dao with other expats in Chiang Mai. Years of conversations. Of viewpoints I had never encountered. Of stories I could have never imagined. Hundreds of moments of connection over thousands of days of travel. It's the one through-line in my travels. Connection is the thread binding to me each experience and memory. Sometimes, memories of beautiful vistas, waterfalls, and mountains blend together, but each story, laugh, and friendship stands as a distinct tick mark on the timeline of my nine years. We have a fundamental need to connect. Perhaps that's why no one had to teach me that this was my surest path toward personal transformation. We are wired to connect; pro-social behavior is programmed into our brains from birth. But despite these fundamental needs, technology has isolated us from connection. The more time I spend on social media or plugged into my online world, the easier I slip away from this fundamental truth: we require interpersonal connections. Had you told me connection would make all the difference when I left to travel, I would have bought what you were selling. It makes sense. And it makes sense that travel is the ideal way to practice radical connection?travel friendships are intense and fast. It's completely normal to meet a new friend and spend the next week eating three meals a day together. It's a gauntlet of new situations and new opportunities to connect. Travel is a bootcamp for life, honing skills we need, skills that can lay dormant when we maintain a life of routine and familiarity. Over time, however, I discovered that pairing acceptance with connection upped the stakes considerably. The thread that bound connections to me wove acceptance into my life, too. As I connected with new friends and throughout new experiences, I learned to radically accept those on my path. Stay on the road for long enough, and acceptance invariably comes. Acceptance of the people who surprise us and acceptance of the validity of ideas that challenge us. And acceptance of ourselves, too. Somehow, that winds its way through the entire process. [caption id="attachment_17080" align="alignnone" width="720"] My focus shifted to responsible travel over the years, giving me the chance to talk with locals in communities all over the world.[/caption] [divider] [caption id="attachment_17077" align="alignnone" width="720"] A decade of travel friendships. Some were friends from high school and college who traveled to far-flung places to join my journey. And some I met along the way, and their friendships resonated strong and deep.[/caption] [divider] ... on what I've learned along the way. As my travels progressed beyond the first year, and when I realized I would never return to the life I had left in LA, my professional and personal focus changed. Instead of sharing my journey on this site?I founded A Little Adrift to fill the gap in online information about long-term travel?I crystalized my focus on sharing stories that shifted the way others see the world. If connection was the root of my personal transformation through travel (and it was), then I wanted to create connections for those who may never travel. I wanted to share stories of the human experience that would eliminate distance and indifference across countries, continents, and cultures. Over the years, my goals continued to shift and my career changed paths. Although I continued to work in online marketing for years, I also began promoting responsible tourism through this site, and through its sister site. And while I shared these stories for others, I was also in my groove. I loved traveling and talking to others. I loved finding these tiny social enterprises and interviewing the founders to learn how others were changing their small corner of the world. The core of responsible travel comes down to experiencing and supporting people as they are. For years, I have entered cultures and communities all over the world to experience and accept them, never looking for the ways I could change them. Instead, I looked for the what I could learn from them. I advocated for travelers to take a journey of curiosity and learning, not a mission of change. I spent years honing my muscles of acceptance?training myself to distance my personal desires and beliefs from the people, traditions, and cultures I entered. After hundreds (probably thousands) of conversations of connection and acceptance, after nearly a decade of talking to others (from high school and college students to other travelers to friends and family), I realized that I had healed many of the hurts from my formative years. Deep in my soul, I have always harbored the what-ifs about my family and my life. Everything would have been different if only we hadn't been poor, if we hadn't sometimes lived in squalor. It would have turned out happy and healthy if my brothers had chosen education over drugs and crime. I had deep shame about my background and I was unable to accept that I could not change or control the situation. Even as a teen, I tried to lift us from that, to forever shift our circumstances so that?as a whole?we were not identified with that income bracket, with being lower class, with being poor white trash. It's not that I hated our poverty; I hated that we could not see our way through it. And man would I love to say that I reached adulthood and figured it out, that I accepted each person in my family for who they are. I didn?t. And when dominoes of bad befell my four brothers, I doubled down. I was desperate to save us. I channeled my anger and hurt into going even further, into insisting that we become a different family. I demanded that we break the cycle with the next generation, my nieces and nephews. Even as I traveled, this unhealthy shame and need for change bound me to my hometown in Florida. With each passing year, however, acceptance seeped through the cracks. It slithered around these long-held hurts and shame. It healed parts of me that I had never known needed a balm. Travel has brought me profound joys. It brought me new friends, forever friends who have changed my life for the better. It brought laughter, struggle, and interest to my days. But it's the process of connection and acceptance that transformed me into the person I am today. Traveling doesn't transform you. At least not the act of travel. Instead, traveling becomes shorthand for the journey you consciously choose when you set foot out your door. Is your journey one of returning from a beach in Tahiti, nine years later and significantly more tan? Or is it a purposeful act that sets in motion your personal transformation. Like most things in life, neither choice is inherently right or wrong, but the outcomes vary greatly. I traveled with a goal of personal transformation, and I succeeded on that front. After nine years of travel, I am deeply and fundamentally changed. This travel story (A Little Reckoning? On Transformative Travel Experiences and 9 Years of Travel ) first appeared on the A Little Adrift Travel Blog, thank you for following the journey. :)
    Thursday 16th of November 2017 04:15:11 PM

A Little Adrift Stats

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Today 0 0 0 0 0 0
Yesterday 0 0 0 0 0 0
January 17 0 0 0 0 0 0
January 16 0 0 0 0 0 0
January 15 0 0 0 0 0 0
January 14 0 0 0 0 0 0
January 13 1 1 0 0 3 3
January 12 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Highest 5 9 0 0 3 3
Weekly Unique PVs Total PVs Unique In Total In Unique Out Total Out
Average 1.1 1.1 0.0 0.0 1.7 1.7
This Week 1 1 0 0 3 3
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Week 52 1 1 0 0 2 2
Week 51 0 0 0 0 1 1
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Week 48 2 2 0 0 5 5
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Week 46 5 5 0 0 5 5
Highest 10 15 0 0 5 5
Monthly Unique PVs Total PVs Unique In Total In Unique Out Total Out
Average 3.4 3.5 0.0 0.0 4.2 4.2
This Month 1 1 0 0 3 3
Last Month 3 3 0 0 4 4
November 19 7 7 0 0 10 10
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September 19 3 3 0 0 3 3
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Overall 470 498 0 0 138 140

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