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This site is designed to
let your imagination fly. It will introduce you
to some unusual travel experiences. It doesn't suggest
the best hotels or restaurants,
but it will lay out the territory where you
might be able to find one interesting adventure
and link up with some of the finest travel
companies on the planet and others like yourself.
So dream a lot,
plan a little. Then go.
Enjoy!



A Jaguar thinks it over.

 
WHERE CAN YOU GO THESE DAYS?
 
Well, wherever you have the need, desire, or inclination to go. But if something seems to happen everytime you pick a place, try something different.
For example: you can go up. (Maybe not as far up as Felix Baumgartner. For a flavor of space, check his go-pro video fall:)

FELIX BAUMGARTNER: THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH

 
GO UP WITH VIRGIN GALACTIC SUBORBITAL
 
Richard Branson is serious about taking passengers to a low-earth orbit  where they can experience the images that have informed us for the past several decades, the glorious vision of the blue planet on which we live. To that end, Branson and Virgin Galactic have perfected a reusable spacecraft that reduces the price of the trip; already 500 people have signed up.
 
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The Launcher One will take off take off into orbit at 50,000 feet, having been transported there by WhiteKnight Two, a double aircraft with Launcher One hitching a ride in the middle. After its release, you will freefall for four seconds until you reach your orbit 19 miles up, then enjoy a total of two hours in space. In 2014, Virgin Galactic will lift off from Spaceport America in New Mexico. 
 
You can take a suborbital spin with 5 other passengers and
2 pilots if you have a bundle of money and are very patient. 
Among the 500 people signed on is Stephen Hawking.
Check out SpaceShip Two: www.virgingalactic.com/
 
 
 
 
                                                                                                                                        Photo: WhiteKnight Two and Launcher One. See the video at www.virgingalactic.com.
 

    OR YOU CAN GET INVOLVED WITHOUT GOING UP.

SmithsonianJourneys has arranged a VIP Observer trip of a Soyuz Launch in Russia where, for 9 days you will be immersed in the Russian Space Program. Begin in Star City, the center of space activities outside Moscow , then fly to Kazakhstan and the Baikonur Cosmodrome, where cosmonauts train. Here you will be a member of the cosmic group, moving formally and informally among workers and cosmonauts and seeing the rigorous training they go through, especially in the HydroLab where learning to walk under water is essential to learning to walk in a gravity-free zone. 

The best part is that you will have VIP seats to witness the actual liftoff into space. The tricky part is that you must be flexible with your time, since launches are governed by many factors and not always on schedule. Smithsonian Journeys advises allowing 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after their trip, scheduled to leave the U.S. May 22 and return on the 30th.

David Aguilar, the Director of Public Affairs at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, will be your guide. Maximum number on this trip is 22; about $15,000, single supplement, add about $1,500. Airfare is extra; tour begins in Moscow. Please see:  http://www.smithsonianjourneys.org/tours/russian-space-program?display=itinerary

Soyuz lifts off. (Photo©smithsonianjourneys.org)smithsonianjourneys-soyuz-liftoff-russia-12144_image_file.jpg

IF YOU DON'T WANT TO GO UP, TRY GOING OUT, THAT IS, OUTSIDE YOURSELF. JOIN A VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION AND SHARE YOUR EXPERTISE

         Global Aware, based in Dallas, Texas, has been arranging helping trips around the world for several years. These immersion volunteer vacations allow travelers to get to know another country from the ground up, learn another language quickly, and have the pleasure of sharing their own skillsets with others who really need their help. Everyone has something to bring to the table.

         For example, families with kids, couples, or singles can sign up for 7 days in rural Ghana, where they are invited to teach English, help build and improve facilities in schools and libraries, dig wells, update bathrooms, help out with computers. For the week, volunteers live in a large homestay facility in the community. The weather is hot and humid. There will be water for showers, but maybe not very much; electricity will be spotty, and lights-out will come early. But the food is fresh and good and Ghanaian cooking is among the best. Saturday to Saturday: about $1,300; airfare is extra. Please call 877-588-4562 for more information; or see www.globeaware.org.

They have a banquet of opportunities.

 

The face of Ghana. (Photo©globeaware.org)

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CUBA NOW!
 
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Havana, Catedral de San Cristobal. (Photo©Anagoria/WikiCommons) 
 
GLOBAL VOLUNTEERS, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, runs people-to-people programs around the world, encouraging what they call "authentic exchanges" (a look at their website video will give a sense of the ease of engagement in a foreign country).
 
Cuba is many things to many people, and has an interesting history.
On an 8-day trip with Global Volunteers, you will grow immersed in the culture as you meet and talk with teachers, farmers, members of the clergy, actors, painters, and everyone who comprises Cuba today. Travel outside of Havana to Ciego de Avila and Moron, and get a sense of its untouched beauty.
 
Trips go regularly each month in 2014; cost is $4,000. Please call 800-487-1074; and see www.globalvolunteers.org.
 
 
 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

                           OR YOU CAN GO IN   
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                                        Photo © John Horgan www.blogs.scientificamerican.com
 
Simply go away to do nothing and everything at the same time: meditate, practice yoga, listen to your spirit.
 
There are numerous companies which have been around a long time and know how to provide the atmosphere that travelers and seekers need. Many have weekend retreats; prices tend to be less than $500. The list here is partial. Look locally as well. These places are tried and true:
 
Shambhala Mountain Center, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado. www.shambhalamountain.org/
Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California. www.esalen.org
Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, New York; Costa Rica; New York City. www.eomega.org
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. www.kripalu.org/
 
 
Seascape, Soar Mill Cove
 
 
 
 
 

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