Category - Similar Events

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Life in the Highlands compared to Highlands. Wait – What?
2
Bunnies and Chicks? Where?!
3
What Holiday Do You Celebrate This Time of Year?
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On a More Personal Note
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This Similarity is a Given. Tell Me I’m Wrong….
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They Are Our Future – It’s Reealllyy Good to See Them Smiling!
7
Greatness. It Lives in All of Us.
8
Because Smiles and Laughter are Something We All Have in Common!
9
Small Acts of Kindness – The Beginning of a Great Thing
10
Travel With a Cause or Cause for Travel?

Life in the Highlands compared to Highlands. Wait – What?

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Remember those reports you had to write in school about a past president, a book you read, a country you were studying?  That’s kinda what I’ve been up to lately.  We did all the initial research on where cultures of the top 21 most internet using countries are most prevalent in the United States, but not exact locations, or rather cultural centers or groups.  So, in preparation for the promotional trip I have been researching where to find the best exaMap of Scottland (google)mples, or most experienced people, for each of the cultures we will be visiting and talking about throughout the trip.

The first stop was relatively easy.  We originally planned to start in Highlands, NC. It’s close to home so I figured it would be really easy to find a cultural center to visit.  There are actually quite a few Scottish traits that have been passed on from one generation to the next.  The least of which is being very proud of our history.  According to Scotland.org, “tourism is one of Scotland’s most lucrative assets, focusing on such attractions as golf, walking and a rich history. In industry, too, the country is pioneering and enterprising. Key business sectors include life sciences, electronic technologies, energy and financial services.”  If you have ever visited Highlands, North Carolina, you’d think they were describing the Highlands in North Carolina, not the Scottish Highlands.  Though, we don’t have much in the way of electronic technology or industrial type business here, there is tourism, golf, walking or hiking, and financial services aplenty.

Highlands, North Carolina, is a huge tourist town during the Summer Season each year.  Downtown is bustling with vacationers sampling the local restaurants and seasonal residents catching up in the coffee shop or seeing what’s new in the antique and gift shops.  Compare that to the Fall and Winter here and you’d barely imagine this area holding so many people.  According to the 2000 Census, Highlands swelled from a population of just over 900 in the winter months, to between 10 & 15,000 from spring to fall!  Scotland saw approximately 15 million tourists to their 5.3 million local populace in 2013.

There are also numerous trails that lead to magnificent vistas or breathtaking waterfalls all over the mountaintop.  After watching this YouTube video, I think Scotland has their own piece of paradise they are very proud of too.  (Good to watch the whole video, if you want some ideas on things to check out if you ever visit Scotland.)

The differences, I have found, are not so obvious as you would think.  They enjoy water parks, sports, and the outdoors just as much as we do.  They love good food, listen to a wide variety of music, and enjoy traveling.  The major differences I’ve seen are the accent (a given, I know) and they live on a peninsula and outlying islands, whereas Highlands, North Carolina, is landlocked.  So how do I find out more?  Well, that is what our trip is for.

So I looked for the best place in this area to learn about Scotland and how it is similar, but also maybe more importantly, how it is uniquely different.  Surprisingly, the best place to go to discuss Scottish heritage is not in Highlands, but just down the mountain in Franklin.  The Scottish Tartan Museum is located in downtown Franklin and is educating residents and tourists alike about the Scottish and Cherokee people that lived and died here.  So that is where we will start our journey next summer.

Do you live in Scotland?  Or have you ever been there?  We’d love to hear what you think.  What things to we have in common that aren’t obvious?  And what makes Scotland so magical despite her similarities?

 

 

Bunnies and Chicks? Where?!

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One of the more widely celebrated holidays around the world is Easter.  I myself didn’t realize how widely spread it really was.

Growing up here in the US, to me it was all about the fancy new frock, handmade by my grandma with love.  I always matched my sisters’ specially made dresses, albeit in different colors.  We would gather with some of our extended family over a huge meal that my grandma, great aunt, aunts, and mother would make.  Then runpatent leather shoes around outside risking my beautiful dress and scuffing my new pats.

To some of my friends, it has always been a more religious occasion, with good reason.  For Christians, Easter is about the resurrection of Christ.  For Jews, this is a time of repentance known as Passover¹.  Some countries, I have read, celebrate anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks.  Even in India, where less than 2 percent of the population is Christian, Easter is celebrated with zeal.

As a young adult I also came to learn that this is also a time when many pagan religions celebrate the return of warmer weather and new life.  Known as Ostara, Eostar, or Eostre is celebrated around the same time².  This is always on the Spring Equinox, when the day and night are the same length of time.  Celebrations still include colored eggs, bunnies, and chicks.  Due to the timing of the day and night, it is also a time of reflection on the balance of things in our lives – life and death in particular.

No matter your belief, this is a truly beautiful time to celebrate new life, new beginnings, another opportunity to start anew with hope and high spirits.  So here is to a new beginning for each and everyone one of us!

http://www.gofundme.com/worldtreecirclerun

Courtesy of PICTURES ON THE RUN

Courtesy of PICTURES ON THE RUN

References

¹ http://www.courierpress.com/lifestyle/a-time-to-celebrate-many-religious-holidays-fall

² “Circle Round, Raising Children in Goddess Traditions” by Starhawk, Diane Baker, & Anne Hill

What Holiday Do You Celebrate This Time of Year?

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As I enjoy days of indulging in lots of good food, time with my family and close friendS, watching my kids open presents, and exclaim over their good fortune I find myself reflecting on what a small portion of us around the world actually share this tradition with me.   What are my fellow brothers and sisters around the globe are doing this week?  Are they celebrating at all?  If so, what are the celebrating and how?

My family traditions have changed a little as I’ve grown older but being together has not changed.  My parents put up a live tree with ornaments collected over our lifetimes.  Each and every one has a story, and together they are the narrative of my loved ones lives together.  This brightly colored tree with its branches laden with the love and memories of my family is the quiet yet powerful symbol of our Christmas.  We exchange gifts carefully thought out and presented with exhilarating anticipation of the receiver’s joy in receiving it.

We stay up late and talk into the wee hours of the night.  Catching up on all the daily affairs we’ve missed out on.  You see, Clarke and I live in North Carolina with our children but we are originally from Ohio and most of our family is still there.  Our kids run with their cousins and enjoy staying up until way past their bedtime, while we adults laugh and joke with each other during the short time we have together before we have to head back to work and school.  It is a joyous time no matter how many gifts or their monetary expenses.

Tis the season to be grateful and giving.  A time of love and peace.  I’m fascinated by all the different facets of tradition and celebrations around the world.  Whether I am of the same mind or not, each and every belief is to be respected.

Would you care to share the Holiday you celebrate this time of year and how you celebrate?  What are your family traditions?  My family and I would be honored if you would share with us and our loved ones?

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On a More Personal Note

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pee safelyWe’ve been so preoccupied of late with the more technical aspects of World Tree Circle that I’ve noticed less of a personal touch to the blog posts.  Sorry about that! 🙂

WTC is all about the web being a tool for us to get closer and connect on a personal level.  So its only right that we start with the blog.  What about some little articles about topics you might see Sun Rays for?

Funny as it sounds, “Where to find a safe public restroom while traveling” is an example that has come up on more than one occasion.  Make’s sense though.  Don’t you think?  We’ll all find ourselves in that situation at one time or another.  Unless you never leave your house, of course.

It doesn’t even have to be when you are somewhere on the other side of the world.  I mean, what if you’re across town and don’t know the area well?  You see my point?

No question is stupid.  Or so the saying goes.  We all have our quirky curious to satisfy.  Whether its where to find a safe public lou or whether frog legs taste like chicken or fish.  What questions would you like to ask?

This Similarity is a Given. Tell Me I’m Wrong….

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Agreed? :) <3 #motherteresa #peace #mindvalley
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They Are Our Future – It’s Reealllyy Good to See Them Smiling!

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“The young people, they love to be curious. This is good I think.”
“Why? And why is it they always seem to laugh at us?”
“It makes them smile, because they want to learn about the foreigners. They laugh at you to get your attention, so you will take the photo or speak with them, because some they learn English. They love new things.”

Yogyakarta, Indonesia, words from a tour guide

"The young people, they love to be curious. This is good I think."<br />
"Why? And why is it they always seem to laugh at us?"<br />
"It makes them smile, because they want to learn about the foreigners. They laugh at you to get your attention, so you will take the photo or speak with them, because some they learn English. They love new things."</p>
<p>Yogyakarta, Indonesia, words from a tour guide
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Greatness. It Lives in All of Us.

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Wow.  It’s good to see this.  May we all doing something so great in one action or another.   The best of us kind find the greatness in every act.

Today in Ethiopia we got to see Belay and his Hand Dug Well team in action, bringing clean water to the people in Salam Tabia Village.

Today in Ethiopia we got to see Belay and his Hand Dug Well team in action, bringing clean water to the people in Salam Tabia Village.
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Because Smiles and Laughter are Something We All Have in Common!

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Green Renaissance  posted this on Facebook and we thought it should be shared.  We all enjoy laughter and smiles…..There are those out there that are going around the world gathering smiles.  A Million Smiles is creating a documentary on smiles.  Check them out on Facebook or their webpage.
Extreme Close Up.Extreme Close Up

Small Acts of Kindness – The Beginning of a Great Thing

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Green Renaissance's photo.

Travel With a Cause or Cause for Travel?

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ecotourism_ecotour-orgNow lets look at WTC from the business perspective of the travel industry versus from the travelers’.  Ecotourism is the specific field of travel that WTC would like to promote the most.  Ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” (TIES, 1990)  Its the more physical aspect of what this website does.  Uniting different cultures through education and enriched awareness of other places around the globe.

Groups like USAID (United States Agency for International Development) is one such company.  USAID has benefited many countries through ecotourism.  “USAID supports nature-based tourism activities as part of its biodiversity conservation programs in more than a dozen countries worldwide. The Agency’s ecotourism activities include support for developing national park systems, demarcating and equipping new national parks, recruiting and training park staff, and encouraging government reforms that promote regulated investments in private lodging, guide service, and other tourism ventures.”  According to Untamed Path.  So far they have helped to increase revenue and local involvement in conservation in the parks in Nepal, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Sri Lanka, just to name a few.ecotourism1_www-borneo-holidays-com

There are many many eco friendly travel companies and programs out there.  With a few clicks you can have an amazing and conscientious trip planned across the globe.  We did some looking and found some pretty cool ones in just a few minutes.  One site in particular was pretty informative.  Here we found the top 10 suggestions.  The first recommended was a company called Responsible Travel.  They do all the work of finding hotels, tour operators and other travel options that meet strict sustainability requirements and make them available to you on their site.  The second is Natural Discovery.  They specialize in eco friendly accommodations across England.  The 3rd is a company called Good Travel Company.  A lot of the accommodations they provide around the globe are by train and they put all the hotels, tours, etc. that they promote through a strict audit as well.  To read a brief description of the top 10 ecotourism companies highlighted on the site check out the article on www.theecologist.org showcasing them.

 

The scavenger hunt game will work through the ecotourism and businesses around the world to encourage learning from other cultures and people across the globe by promoting their wares and being part of the hunt.  A location to go to, or an unusual or unique product to find.  It will also provide a place for these companies to promote their product as well as network.  WTC could also be a place for the more adventurous to figure out their own eco friendly destination through their own investigations and interviews of fellow users.  World Tree is a place for us to connect, learn from one another, promote causes, help out and showcase our talents, whatever they may be.

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