Monthly Archives: September 2012

Adventurers in Veracruz, MX in WWI.

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Junto con Carranza y sus jefes militares llegaron a Veracruz ( la nueva capital) un enjambre de revolucionarios, civiles, burocratas, politicos, agitadores anarcosindicalistas, artistas y aventureros. 1915″

Along with Carranza and his military commanders arrived in Veracruz (the new capital) a swarm of revolutionaries, civilians, bureaucrats, political agitators anarcho-syndicalists, artists and adventurers.

Photo caption from museum exhibit in Veracruz. The adventures continue and the adventurers will come.

“Letters from the Tribe, Adventurers Abroad”

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“The Elements – earth, wind, fire and water help revive your spirit. The four elements of nature are believed to reflect the simplest essential parts and principles of which anything consists. The elements of life are actually all one. It is merely our thoughts that separate them into pieces. In Akwaterra, we present the four elements of nature as categories of sensory experience to illustrate the oneness of all and to present the human experience with the marvels of nature, thus reminding our visitors to embrace nature, ourselves and the adventure of life.”

– My mosquito bites are fading and perhaps also some of the excitement. It’s back to everyday and though I thoroughly enjoy each and every photo posted on our facebook group, the feeling of the fresh, the new, the thrill somewhat fades into memory. But the inspiration?…

The oneness… The coming together of different parts to spin a wheel into evolution is not by chance. Somehow we were, for a moment, connected in one way or another, to become one effort, one force. But you have to ask yourself why me? Why was I there at this particular moment? My guess is that we were all on a mission; an expedition…. Maybe to discover the true pleasure and treasure of adventure and ultimately, to unveil positive human experience. The laughs, the thrills, the words spoken, the dance, the ritual, the “Tribe”.

Some of my notes strike me… For example; adventure tourism growing at a rate of 16% a year, Adventure travel is a connection to nature + Physical activity, + Cultural pieces, 65% of revenue stays in destination, Customers want to be impacted by their experience; authentic and transformative experiences.

What can I say, I do love the authenticity of the ” emerging” world. Two weekends ago I began a journey to a sister nation where life still remains, in many ways, unpredictable and organic. Funny how first impressions work, some are in tuned with reality but most are misconceptions because you cannot really judge a book by its cover. In fact, you cannot judge adventure or human experience at all because it is so personal and organic. That’s why we call it “Adventure”.

In the beginning it was so difficult to remember your names and attributes. Yesterday, as I pieced the journey together into a nice collection of business cards and scribbled bits of personal data that I learned along the way, I discovered that each notecard was filled with descriptive words about our unique exchange. And I can somehow put each name to a face, to a moment, to a place, to a connection.

Connections make up the map of our experience. The connections to earth, air, water and fire, light and spirit all spark the love we have for the overall experience of life.

“Ustedes en turismo de aventura venden alegria y amor” J. Wallace.

We are all fortunate to be in the industry of experience and adventure. We sell “happiness and love”. We connect the elements of nature and culture to human experience. In this past mission, we not only connected with each other, but we connected with a virtually unknown Mexico. It is through our own connections that we will “activate” the journey and this particular destination. But the most rewarding feeling is knowing that an inspired “you” is contributing to the flow of (in this case) emerging economies, (and in most cases in adventure travel) sustainable growth, evolution, and frugal but spiritually enriching, transformative human experience.

“Hasta luego” fellow adventurers.
Thanks for the inspiration.
See you on a future expedition!

Stay connected.
Gaby V.
El Salvadore
http://www.akwaterra.com

Scorpion under a Veracruz Blue Moon

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The transition begins the moment you board for your fly-away. Your senses heighten even though you know this is more than a joyride, peaked awareness, senses let your inhibitions fall away from your normal life even as the jet bird lifts away from the earth and your cares fall away as you jettison through the clouds. Adventure Veracruz & Puebla, here I come!!

It was a mid morning departure from BQK to ATL to MEX to VER Sept. 1, 2012 for AMTEX VeraCruz as a member of the Adventure Travel Trade Association. I want to express my appreciation to Shannon & Antonio of ATTA & the rest of the ATTA Staff. ATTA has adequately, dynamically and innovatively captured the need for an anchor in the Adventure market, promoting sustainable tourism and given adventurers the world over a home, a tribe, a place to belong, out there on the edge of new adventures. Thanks ATTA.

Easy out of BWK & landing in ATL, I was eager to see the grand new International Departure Terminal….. clear customs & go shopping. My fav airport shop, Mont Blanc. My flight to Mexico was via AeroMexico, which I like very much. The flight attendants wore smart uniforms w/red caps and were professional. The seats in first and economy were all leather.

My last visit to Mexico was to Rancho La Puerta via ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) in 2010. Girls, ask me about Rancho La Puerta!!! especially if you like, yoga, Pilates, tai chi, dance, Barre Method, spas, mountain hikes, fresh air, university class lectures, writing classes, meditation instruction, organic gardening, gastronomy….. ok, you get the picture, but check back soon for trip info on new Mexican Destinations which is why I’m attending ATMEX. Know before you go!

About an hour and 45 minutes into the 3 hour flight, the flight attendants abandoned First Class to attend to the economizers’ cabin. Alcohol included, beer, wine, simple mixed drinks but I forgo all for a COKE…. something about a GA Girl leaving Atlanta!!!! Lunch fare was a bag of Lays potato chips & a croissant turkey and provolone. When you are traveling, it is best to take advantage of nutrition where possible.

Arrived in Mexico City, passengers cleared Customs and I headed for my flight segment to Veracruz. Mexico City is amazing to see in the day time, but even more amazing at night when from 2K feet and climbing, earth looks like a magic carpet of lights. The cabin lights were off for the first 20 minutes of the flight which made the night sky even more mythical…… IPOD playing “All She Ever Wants” from early 90’s, starry night and a blue moon overhead next to the Constellation Scorpius, with nary another blue moon in sight until 2015. Very surreal qualities in a night flight. I knew this would be a special trip.

Arrived in Vera Cruz at last. Our flight was over an hour late. This was ok, as I did a walk about in the Mex Terminal 2… had a Starbucks mocha cappucino and spent some time listening to the sounds of Espanol. Very different when the language you speak is no longer primary & you are visiting a neighborhood country and are ignorant in so many ways. But as Spanish & French are romance languages, if you read & try to speak, time is your friend.. Learn to speak the local language beyond saying “no se hablo espanol, señor” . You will be happier.

Eduardo and Jesus from Veracruz Tourismo warmly greeted us at the airport and after claiming our luggage, I sat in a new Cadillac SUV while waiting on the inbound flight from Dallas, filled with new friends, fellow agents, writers & travel industry pros.

Suddenly a screech came from the opening door and a “I don’t believe who I’m seeing here.” There stood “Corie W” . Yes and I was happy to see her. Corie is like a celebratory fixture in the industry. Corie is “much” and I was happy to see her…. if you want to know something about a country or place in the Caribbean or Central America or Mexico, ask Corrie. Corrie has “fam’ed there, I promise you! Henceforth, Corie is now known as “Corie-Fam”.

Corie, whom I last saw 2 years ago at BETEX, when we shared a distaste for Hurricanes while in Cayo District of Belize. It was raining, a hurricane was inbound from the gulf to Belize and our group leader decided our 10 person aircraft was flying back into Belize instead of pressing on to Garafuna…. I walked out to the airstrip and asked the tarmac attendant to pull my gear/luggage off the plane. When he comprehended what I was doing and my resolve, he no longer hesitated. I’m standing on the strip thinking, “ok I was with not flying into Belize City in a horrible storm, but not sure exactly where I was going”. Corie was a fellow agent from Miami. She walked out with a “mind if I join you?” & told the group leader, “I’m staying with her.”

We went back to San Ignacio & took a room at Royal K’ana boutique hotel where I’d taken a massage only the day before. Our host was an attendee at BETEX and welcomed us back! So this is how I met the infamous Cori Wiesel, fam mistress, whom I later named at our AMTEX Convention in Veracruz, “CorrieFam”. She fams, so much so, during a recent argument with her family, they accused her of only coming home to do her laundry. I can see how this perception prevails. The upside, want to know about a destination anywhere carriers out of Miami International Airport flies to in the Caribbean, Central America or Mexico, call Corie. She has the scoop, which is an asset to any travel consultant.
Maybe Corie will “guest” on the blog and share her travels.

ATMEX Adventure Travel Mexico, Veracruz Sept.2-11 2012 Show us what you’ve got! We’re here to experience all the flavors of Veracruz, Mexico Verde, Totanal, Sierra Gorda. Could I get a donkey taxi please? Adventure awaits.