At HI USA, we firmly believe that travel has the power to transform. Meeting new friends from other cultures, participating in the customs of an unfamiliar country or city, and integrating ourselves into the local community are irreplaceable experiences, and ones that help us to better understand the world around us. And the most rewarding travel experiences of all are those that allow us to affect the communities we visit just as positively as they do us.
An escape to the middle of nowhere always sounds great. Until, that is, you get there and suddenly realize: there's nothing to do.
Let's be honest: what traveler among us has never dreamed of working with National Geographic? Exploring the great outdoors, discovering new species, photographing plant- and animal-life up-close… there's something inherently adventurous and cool about this company that's been "inspiring people to care about the planet since 1888."
There are a number of things I find myself feeling grateful for this morning: my body's unprecedented cooperation with actually getting out of bed when the alarm went off, despite the heavy darkness outside my bedroom window; the clear passage to the counter at my favorite coffee shop, free from its usual crowds in the still-fuzzy first light of day; and the perfectly timed arrival of the 49 bus, which takes me from the Mission, the San Francisco neighborhood I call home, to Fort Mason, the little national p