Our featured blogger is the head of GlobeHug, and he’s even been to North Korea.
In May 2013, David Csizmadia created GlobeHug with the tagline: It’s Lovely Out There. As an avid traveler who’s been to 53 countries, David initiated GlobeHug as a blog that brings places to people who can’t travel themselves. “GlobeHug exists to help people be less afraid of ‘the other’ and less afraid of ‘the foreign.'” David explains, “It’s my belief that if everyone could travel to a foreign place once a year; then there would be more cooperation, collaboration, and understanding among various people of the world. So we asked David to give his take and tips on traveling
How does GlobeHug promote travel?
By showing fabulous images of me making my way around the planet with quick facts, snappy observations, and insightful comments that spark interest and curiosity on the part of the reader/potential-traveler. These images are from all eight continents (“Eight” because I count Madagascar as a continent–fascinating place,) creating a mosaic-like ‘road trip’ around our lovely planet Earth. This gets the travel-buds salivating, or rather, travelating, with a desire to plan a trip: “If this guy can actually survive and connect with people in that foreign place, then I bet that I can too.”
How are you inspired by your own travels?
I am inspired by the fact that all people on Earth are essentially the same. We look different, eat different things, we speak differently, we we dance differently, we sing differently, we play different music, we view metaphysics differently, we pray differently…But in our cores, we all want the same things: a relatively comfortable place with clean water, food, and air to live with and to do some work that makes us feel good. We all want a place that allows us to raise a family, get along with others without causing or receiving too much trouble.
I love looking into the eyes of an Aboriginal in Australia, a Tuareg in Mali, a Masai in Tanzania, a Tibetan in Lhasa, a Chinese in Chengdu, a Persian in Tehran, a Malagasy in Madagascar, a Belgian in Brussels, a Jain in Mumbai, a Peruvian in Cusco, a Chilean on duty in Antarctica, a North Korean in Pyongyang, a Cajun in Louisiana, an Egyptian in New York City. I love feeling the connection with all of them. There is nothing better or more educational than sitting, drinking, eating, performing, laughing, hugging and connecting with people everywhere in their hometowns. This is my favorite part of travel, being with people and feeling kinship with everyone, everywhere.
Let’s go for the redundant yet important question: what has been your favorite country?
I have only been to 53 countries so I can’t answer this question fairly. I still have another 140 to go before I can fully assess the countries of planet Earth. People ask me this question all of the time and I always say with complete honesty that, I love every country I have visited.
So my favorite country is all of them, truly, I love them all with different reasons for each. India, I loved the madness. Spain, loved the food. Nepal/Tibet/Bhutan, loved the mountains. North Korea, loved the surrealness. Argentina, loved the beautiful people. Iran, loved the hospitality. South Africa, loved the complexity. Tanzania, loved the bush. China, loved the toughness. Ireland, loved the pubs. England, loved the football. U.S., love the potential to do ANYTHING. Madagascar, loved the wildness. Italy, loved the history. Turkey, loved the rock and roll of Istanbul. Australia, loved the non-stop parties and the Outback. Brazil, loved the music. Mali, loved the Sahara and the music. Vietnam, loved the perseverance. Cambodia, loved the temple ruins. Japan, loved the attention to detail. Mexico, loved the warmth. Morocco, loved the baked sheep’s head. Portugal, loved the chilled vibe. Hungary, loved the chicken paprikas. Czech Republic, loved the beer. Germany, loved the plentiful beer-drinking holidays. Cayman Islands, loved the diving. Canada, loved the cleanliness. Switzerland, loved the orderliness. Austria, loved Mozart. Antarctica, loved the serenity.
I can actually tell you my favorite spot on Earth. One that I have stood upon, on top of Kala Patthar in Nepal. Kala Patthar is approximately 18,500 feet above sea level and is the peak that Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary climbed to determine the ideal route up Mt. Everest when they were planning the first ascent of the mountain back in 1953–60 years ago. You can see the Khumbu Icefall and most of the standard route up Mt. Everest from the top of Kala Patthar, and it is glorious! The world’s highest mountain was mine for endless viewing. Kala Patthar means ‘black rock’ in Nepali. Having lunch up there is an absolute jaw-dropper of a place. Gobble a sandwich, eat a piece of fruit, sip some water, and shoot wonderful photos of Everest, which is also called Sagarmatha by Nepalis, meaning “mother-goddess of the Earth.” I tell you Sagarmatha is certainly mother-like, goddess-like, and full of life energy. There is not a better place to soak up some good mountain vibes.
Climbing Kala Patthar and trekking all through the Khumbu region of Nepal, changed me by enhancing my sense that I truly could do just about anything that I want to. I remember feeling a huge release of fear and anxiety as I trekked over 150 miles through the Khumbu, making our way up and down the hills and valleys in Nepal. Seeing amazing sights, eating tasty rustic food, watching Nepalis go about their daily lives, and watching gringos like me take it all in like desert nomads guzzling water after going days without. It felt exotic there and nourishing. Now I travel to find more and more of the exotic and the nourishing.
Finally, I remember seeing a Nepali guy fertilizing his small potato field by throwing chunks of yak dung all over his field. He was skipping the large pieces of dung along the surface so they would break apart and spread around his plot of land. It’s an absolute primitive manual labor so he could grow, sell, and eat potatoes. BAM! Right then, I said that I would never complain about anything again. Life is way too easy here in America for me to be complaining about anything. Though I still group my love for Nepal with my love for all of the other countries that I have visited, I can safely say that the top of Kala Patthar is my favorite spot on Earth.
If you ever visited Nepal and climbed Kala Patthar, you will certainly have to pass through a town called Namche Bazaar. In Namche, be sure to try some yak steak and yak cheese. They are wonderful and can even be washed down with a can of Everest beer. You will never dine better. Bon appetit!
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