“Travel is more than the seeing of sights. It is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living” – Mary Ritter Beard
Whenever I travel, I tend to be pretty focused on checking out the main sights and getting that perfect shot for Instagram. Whether it’s the Opera House in Sydney or the cathedrals in Helsinki, landmarks such as these have always been my first go-to’s. Sure, it’s fine to see the main sights, and I’m certainly not telling you to skip out on viewing some of the best architecture in the world, but when I do this I am inevitably missing out on discovering what makes that country truly flourish; its people.
During my recent trip to Ecuador, I was offered the opportunity to visit a Kichwa community in the Amazon Rainforest. This was a bit different than sipping cocktails by the London Eye, but so much better. Meeting these indigenous people truly opened my eyes and showed me that there is a whole world of nice, incredible people out there living vastly different lives than mine. I wasn’t oblivious to this fact before I visited the Kichwa people, but it’s different to actually see it in person rather than just on television. And isn’t that the point of travel after all? To fully experience the world with all of our senses?
The Kichwa people are family oriented, have age-old traditions that are passed down from generation to generation, and were some of the most welcoming people that I had the opportunity to meet while in Ecuador. During the few hours that I got to spend with them, they showed me their customs, let me try their foods, and even danced and sang for me. By the end of our time together, I felt like a part of the family. It was a beautiful experience that I will never forget and I cannot wait to keep meeting more wonderful people around the world.
Want to see my experience with the Amazon’s Kichwa people? Watch this video –
*Thank you to Ecuador for All for making this experience possible.