About

gigi-wanders-ny


 
This site includes stories to explore the word and cultures from a unique or often hidden angle. It's a space I strive to make inviting to people of all cultural backgrounds. 
 
Here, you’ll find tips on "immersion travel:" a form of travel that opens the door to a cultural, social, historical and political understanding of a place. 
 
Your takeaways from reading stories on this site:
 

  • Awaken your interest in a place you hadn't considered visiting before: It can be a place half-way across the world or a neighborhood in your town.
  • Plan your next trip with "immersion travel" and "mindful travel" practices: I've compiled a list of 6 practices that I've used during travel. They make trips more fun and leave you with a sense of belonging and understanding wherever you go. 

 

The Six Immersion Travel Practices

  1. Ask 1 question to 3 different people
    This almost guarantees you'll go back home with a marked impression of a place. The impression can be so strong it even surpasses landmarks, sites, and sometimes... food. Yeah I said it.

  2. Take 50 photographs with a camera that's not your smartphone
    Smartphones are quick, easy, and enjoyable to use for creative videos and collages, but they change the way that you connect with subjects around you. I’m a huge fan, but will admit it changes the way I process the “present moment.” Is this experience I’m living a memory already or am I still here?

  3. Share something real about yourself to a local person
    This can be as simple as "I was born in Brownsville, Texas. That's a state in the South of the US." I find that sharing something about ourselves allows for a certain vulnerability with the person and prompts an unexpected closeness.

  4. Engage into a cultural practice entirely
    It can be for a day, month, or year. The idea is to fully immerse with intent, without any modifications. For example, living in a ger for a day in Mongolia or ice fishing in Alaska. We’ve heard of the benefits of going local a thousand times, in this case, I’m really referring to culturally engaging locally through a practice.

  5. Compare mindfully
    When we travel, part of the exploration process means absorbing traditions and customs in contrast to our own. There’s a way to do this in a very fulfilling way. The key is to place emphasis on habits we consider are more practical, thoughtful, ingenious than our own. I only say that because naturally, we have an attachment to our own traditions. From every place, there’s something fortifying and uplifting to learn. No country, neighborhood or town is better than the other.

  6. Write down your conclusions during or after your trip
    You can do this at your own pace with a notebook or digital device.

 

Each story included here has led to awesome findings and meaningful relationships. I hope you enjoy them.
 

If there's a unique story you'd like to share with me, reach out through the contact form.
 

Safe and mindful travels!
 

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