Monday, 27 January 2014

Brad Bernard of Georgia U.S.A.

32. Featured Traveller 
 Brad Bernard 

 Management Consultant : Traveller
 Georgia USA


"Travel Curiously"

Flag of the USA
Brad’s humanitarian projects in Africa and the Middle East have enabled countless trips to far-fetched places. He seeks out freshest off-the-map experiences and pushes his own personal boundaries by travelling experimentally. His personal quest to find the most extreme and bizarre in travel has bred misadventures and moments of enlightenment alike.  His travel stories aim to illustrate how he overcomes personal fears and vulnerabilities while seeking a deeper meaning in the unfamiliar. 

He has explored eighty three countries as of this writing and he will never stop. He wants to continue discovering countries that he will see for the first time. Panama, Laos, Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo and New Zealand are on top of his list. 


Brad wants to discover and travel more deeply and look beneath the surface of the tourism infrastructure. He prefers to explore beyond the guidebooks to ask directions from locals. "You don't necessarily have to break into a Bolivian prison or find a priceless artefact or survive a life-threatening situation like me, find the best hawker stall in Singapore, the best place to see the sunrise in Bagan, the best Shisha bar in Istanbul", he confesses.


His biggest advice to you when travelling is simply to smile.  Nobody wants to rob a nice guy and you'll find yourself surrounded by unexpected friends who will teach you things you never expected.  "Exploration and learning works both ways, and you'll quickly find the locals are much more curious of you than you have them.  You are an advocate for your country and the impressions you leave will be long-lasting", he says.



You will be amazed when you read Brad's escapades and crazy experiences in his wonderful blog. Some of his best articles, including Hitchhiking Across Saudi Arabia, Dancing with Corpses, an Inside look into the World’s Most Bizarre Ceremony, and Journey to the Center of the Maya Apocalypse are just few of his challenging journeys.

Continue reading his story on travels. Find out how serious he is in bringing his travels to the extreme. Come visit his blog, myWanderlist. It's exciting and worth reading!

Brad's latest project involves a competition to complete the most extreme challenges on a rickshaw throughout India, call the Extreme India Challenge. Proceeds will go toward eradicating Malaria.

Do you want to connect with Brad in his social networks? Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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I prefer to travel the way the locals do, to take chicken buses, ferries, motorbikes, mule carts, rickshaws, you name it.  Making yourself vulnerable can be the best way to shed your expectations of time and look at things from a new perspective.  The poorest people in the world are also deeply happy and content in the absence of chasing worldly possessions, but you'll never see that by taking taxis from the airport to your luxury hotel to the mall and back.

Budget is easy to manage if you dodge the tourists.  I prefer to stay in great hostels, take ground transportation and interact with locals. Not because I am especially budget-conscious but because interaction makes for a much more rewarding experience.

My favourite destination is Guatemala for its welcoming people, diverse experiences and ancient history.  Here are a few of my favourites:


     Lake Atitlan

·  Only a few hours from the airport, this lake feels magical and isolated. It is a heated seismic lake that is framed by jungle-covered volcanos.  Native villages dot the hills and activities abound, from kayaking, scuba diving, meditation classes and a shaman trip to the most sacred ancient temples.


Antigua Guatemala

· This quaint and beautiful colonial city is relaxed and cosmopolitan. The city is safe and well connected through transportation routes. If you dig a little deeper, you will find coffee shops, organic chocolate shops, trendy cafes and live music bars lining the cobble-stone back alleys of this quintessential travel destination.


Tikal 
· This iconic Maya city with towering pyramids feels very much undiscovered.  Climb to the top of the pyramid before dawn and watch the sights and sounds of the jungle coming awake in the morning light.  You can stay there and have the park virtually to yourself in the afternoon when the tourists leave.


El Mirador

· Perhaps one of the world’s most challenging treks to the lost Maya capital of El Mirador. The largest Maya structure was swallowed by the jungle and unstudied until recently. Today, it is a 5-day hike from the end of the last road to this active archeological site.  If you are lucky, Richard Hansen, perhaps the most famous archeologist of our time will be there to show you around.


Rio Dulce 
· This sleepy village near the Caribbean coast of Guatemala has river lodges with kayaking and boat trips through a spectacular jungle-covered gorge teeming with howler monkeys and toucans.


Chichicastenango
· This traditional city in the volcanic highlands hosts the oldest and largest market in Central America.  Colourful flower displays and clouds of incense adorn the ancient church. In shops hidden in the back alleys are some of the best collections of antique wood carvings.

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From the desk of: 
Freddie Miranda
A blogger and a Canada-based freelance writer. He shares the value of his travel experiences and discoveries with his friends and fellow travellers. Share your passion, join and visit him. Send him a message if you will @ fromatravellersdesk(at)gmail.(dot)com.

Are you a traveller who would like to share your travel story with our blog and our readers?  Then, I'd love to hear from you! 
Please email me at fromatravellersdesk@gmail.com

Related Blogs:
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Featured Traveller #2 Macit from Istanbul TURKEY 
Featured Traveller #3 Aida from Manila PHILIPPINES
Featured Traveller #4 MichaelW from Brooklyn New York USA
Featured Traveller #5 Marie from Sydney AUSTRALIA
Featured Traveller #6 ChrisKo from Vienna AUSTRIA
Featured Traveller #7 Jeff from Winnipeg Manitoba CANADA  
Featured Traveller #8 Noreen from Cologne GERMANY 
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Featured Traveller #14 Jeroen from Hoogeveen The NETHERLANDS
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Featured Traveller #20 Marysia from Warsaw POLAND 
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Featured Traveller #22 Wesam from Baghdad IRAQ
Featured Traveller #23 MoeAmine from Algiers ALGERIA
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Featured Travellers #26 HiOporto from Oporto PORTUGAL
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Watch for these blogs!  
They all have been travelling for many years and I can guarantee that all of them have travel tips that all of us can learn and benefit from.  I have to thank all other fellow travellers who have responded to my invite. I will definitely publish your stories as soon as I have completed the details.