“Travel modifications you. As you circulate via this life and this international you exchange things barely, you leave behind, but small. And in return, lifestyles—and travel—leaves marks on you.”
– Anthony Bourdain
My adventures with Nations have by no means been dull, nor won’t for a perfect tale. Traveling on the challenge has added me to people who stay the maximum adventurous, self-sacrificial lives. Whether I’m driving horses to bareback within the jungles of Thailand with the Eubank circle of relatives, worshipping in mystery Cuban house churches with Pastor Manuel, or trekking via the faraway hills of Nicaragua on a history excursion with Mauricio Rodriguez, I am continually awed and humbled by using the experiences supplied to me by way of the reformers that we function.
Positioned, touring with Nations has enriched my life. It has pierced the self-shielding bubble recommended by way of my Western lifestyle. It has given me my closest pals, my favored meals, and my fondest reminiscences. While now not all and sundry could have the opportunity to embark on a Nations-sanctioned ride, I want to provide you the identical gear, guidelines, and values we journey by so that your eyes may be opened to what God is as much as in the world’s maximum stunning, unassuming places.
Values and philosophy
We travel to get closer to humanity—to build bridges, no longer partitions.
We travel to find and tell testimonies because narrative drives empathy, and empathy drives connection.
When storytelling, we keep in mind those areas of context:
We must recognize the history of the united states and the location in which we are working. Each tale has to provide sufficient records to provide context to the present.
It is important to recognize the political photograph without aligning it with any unique birthday celebration/ideology.
Culture / humanity:
What is specific and what’s not unusual? Consider meals, humor, own family, schooling, etc.
We look at three areas of atmospherics:
1. What does it feel like?
2. What does it sound like?
3. What does its flavor like?
And we ask those questions of ourselves:
Where is the assessment? To the US, and each other?
What brings joy? Where is the sorrow or hurt?
What or who is the mouthpiece for this tale?
What can be discovered and carried out, personally as well as for the reader?
What do they do here better than anywhere else within the international?
We were searching for to “tour like Tony.”
Over the years at Nations, we’d often ask every other, “What could Bourdain do?” Chef, tv persona and author Anthony Bourdain turned into a giant affect us as tourists and storytellers. He highlighted the honor and beauty of the most ignored locations. He helped us find not unusual humanity in a shared meal. He was a splendid listener and a global-magnificence storyteller. And he inspired us to take up his mantle and proportion more stories of splendor and hope. We love this shifting tribute to his life and legacy: “…His storytelling—each about kitchen life and meals subculture—famous the multifaceted photograph of God contemplated in all of humanity and the riding desire for belonging and communion.”
Tips and tricks to touring like Nations
Skip the travel publications and ask the locals what to peer. Ask your Uber driver, Airbnb host, or eating place waiter for their pointers; it’s safe to assume they recognize their way around and are continually glad to assist.
If you find yourself in a protracted car ride with a taxi/Uber driver, use that point to strike up a conversation. Ask them what they love about their town. You might also research a few interesting records or listen to a brand new perspective you’ve in no way considered.
Stay with locals whenever feasible (Airbnb, Couchsurfing, Homestay, and so on.) This course is typically inexpensive than hotels and gives a greater true revel in.
Eat with locals. Ask them approximately their favored meals. In the phrases of Tony, “you learn a lot about someone when you share a meal collectively.” Oh, and don’t be scared of road meals. Some of the best meals of my lifestyles have been eaten straight off the spit whilst perched on a sidewalk.
Learn some key terms inside the nearby language (i.E. Hi there, thanks, good-bye) to use with locals. It’s a small but dignifying gesture that goes a long manner in constructing connection. The Duolingo app is an amusing way to reinforce your basics, and with enough steady use, you could even come to be conversational.
When undertaking Nations (or other religion-associated) interviews, pray with subjects first to set the tone. My fine testimonies were the result of letting God manual the verbal exchange.
TSA precheck/Global Entry is a painless investment you may make so that it will prevent hours in the long run. An $85, five-yr membership with TSA Pre will get you via home security strains quicker. While thousands and thousands of parents have jumped on board with this application, many are blind to Global Entry. You pay a little more and attend a 30-minute interview at a CBP station, but it consists of TSA Pre and permits you to breeze through customs each time you return to the United States.
Travel carry-on every time feasible— you’re much less likely to lose your baggage, and it’s a good deal much less bulky. We price the capability to be nimble, especially in rapid-paced conditions. I’m keen on Osprey’s travel packs. (Because permit’s face it, nothing says “take a look at me, I’m a traveler” extra than wheeling an unwieldy suitcase down a cobblestone street or dust avenue.)
Goods and equipment we like
Invest in a nice digicam bag. Our preferred is the leather “Bowery” bag through Ona; no longer most effective does its appearance timeless. However, it’ll last you all the time. It’s the form of a piece you’ll want to skip on to your youngsters one day.
Portable microphones to your telephone/iPhone are an easy, particularly less expensive manner to take your interviews to the subsequent degree. It will make this type of distinction when it comes time to transcribe.
Don’t neglect the portable charger, a lifesaver on long journey days and specifically for prolonged interviews.
Pack a journal or area notebook for notetaking and observations. We love the Tennyson Journal made by our buddies at Bradley Mountain.