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Letter from Publisher

In August I had the opportunity to travel to Alaska. No photos or documentaries that I had seen previously could have prepared me for the indescribable beauty of this majestic place. It is truly one of the last frontiers. Being surrounded by such vast wilderness, towering glacier-covered peaks and abundant wildlife touched my soul and ignited a long-dormant spirit of adventure. The place will forever be in my heart.

This month’s theme, Transformative Travel, explores ways we can use our expeditions to enrich others and ourselves. Educational vacations can shift our global view: historical sites can move us to new understanding of humanity’s powers, as well as our limitations and failures; visiting battle sites can empower us to strive for better ways to resolve conflicts than resorting to the sword; touring museums and historical trails can remind us of the struggles for civil rights, labor rights and voting equality, and embolden us to keep fighting against modern threats to those sacred human rights that were bitterly fought over.

Volunteer vacations allow us to turn a regular vacation into a unique adventure, one in which we gain skills while experiencing the satisfaction of helping others. Assisting rural farmers in underprivileged countries to plant or harvest their crops, conducting archeological surveys that help with trail maintenance in U.S. national forests and organizing health events with our Native American tribes are all win-win transformative travel options.

Turning vacation goals more inward, immersing oneself in sacred sites can instill deeper passions to search for spiritual satisfaction. Golden Light Healing’s Amy Wilinski, featured in this month’s Community Spotlight, leads spiritual journeys to Peru, Ireland, Scotland and other places to help us find that serenity in the soul that we sometimes can’t find in routine Western culture.

Whatever our reason for vacationing, travel can open our souls and transform us in unexpected ways. Once we step off of a plane or train, or out of an automobile, unplug from the electronic leashes that tether us to the modern world, and allow ourselves to dive into local cultures, our primitive, intuitive spirit takes over. It is possible to truly feel nature’s power while standing in awe of the mountains, lakes, greenery, plains and deserts that inform our rich cultures and make up our wonderful world.

Happy trails!

Gabriella Buchnik, publisher

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