Throwback Friday! (...) Here's to the beautiful destinations that keep us sane and drive our friends mad. I still have tons of photos from various trips - and since my cousin keeps posting pictures of beaches and long drinks, and since I'm heading south again soon too - here's a cosy one for ya.September 14, 2018
Developing, designing, blockchaining, travelling & planet protecting.
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Definitely Not Instagram
Let's put this out there: I don't care for social media. Mark Zuckerberg has both empowered and destroyed the concept of it. That said, here's what I've been up to:
Meet Nilame. This picture was taken shortly after my first humbling meeting with this gentle, playful, yet determined soul. His age, height, weight, strength and probably wisdom all well exceeding my own.
Nilame is an elephant in his 40s, who once served tourists by letting them ride him.
What many people fail to understand is what it takes for an elephant to allow people to sit on their back. This is not something they would allow naturally/willingly. Elephants are literally beaten into submission from a very young age, 'trained' to become a tourist attraction. And when I say beaten, think more along the lines of hacked-into with machetes; taught to fear their trainers.
Nilame's safe for now, but his scars reveal his history and his front right foot is yet to be done healing. Many of his kind are still trapped on the abusive side of the tourist industry, and unless we change the demand, this will remain to be so.
Planning on seeing these magnificent animals up close? I fully understand that. But do your research and avoid being part of the problem. "Be the change you wish to see in the world."June 5, 2018
I could choose to show off and embellish this sunrise-induced safari picture with adventurous talk, but that ain't me.
Over the course of one month I wandered through both India and Sri Lanka. This particular shot is from Yala National Park, in Sri Lanka.
I'll be frank. The safari in Yala National Park is simply outrageous; the entire thing being a gross violation of decency, leaving me with a taste of embarrassment. I would regret having contributed to it, if it wasn't for it having shown me the reality of (safari) tourism.
Why? Unlike those I tried in other places, safaris in Yala National Park are run by private 'companies' and proper regulation is nowhere to be seen. This, for one, results in a tremendous amount of Jeeps racing through the park whenever - for example - there's been a leopard sighting.
I've been on a few safaris now and most of them have not been fully worth the time/effort/money. I much prefer (and recommend) hiring a tracker and meeting the animals on their turf and on their conditions. You will also find that these type of encounters are a lot more valuable and impressive.
So, please, if you have it on your bucket list, reconsider and find another way (or at least another place) to see the wild animals. Do some research and avoid places like this. The last thing you want to do is support this type of business and behaviour, especially since the biggest herd you'll see there is a herd of Jeeps.May 30, 2018
These monks seemed to have just returned from a pilgrimage. Barefoot and with minimal belongings. Despite my audacity to raise my camera, I was greeted with a smile.
Some would call Sri Lanka a more gentle version of India. However, only a little while before this picture was taken, Kandy was plagued by violence and the country was in state of emergency. With Buddha statues watching over it, it's obvious violence doesn't suit Sri Lanka - yet its recent history is full of it.
People who know me, know I don't care for religion. I am all for faith, but religion is rarely - if ever - about faith. With the main source of (recent) conflicts being religion, it saddens me that a country so beautiful and unique can allow a control mechanism to get between them. Especially after 25 years of hardship.
That said, by the time I arrived to Kandy, there was again a fairly peaceful vibe over the city. Smiles from monks et al. Let's hope it stays that way :)May 11, 2018
Sun-kissed, wave-smothered and well-fed. Things could be worse.March 28, 2018
After having spent the nights with mosquitoes, cockroaches, geckos and what not, I'll be ending the days in India on a (slightly) more luxurious note. There's a few more things to check out here in Kerala, before the adventure continues.March 20, 2018