|‘The Eco Tourist’ Web Series: Great Travel Tips for the Eco-Conscious Globe Trotter|
|Tuesday, 09 July 2013 00:00 | Written by Tonya Kay | Blog Entry|
It doesn't take a cast of thousands or a studio budget to produce media anymore. As soon as I switched to a Mac computer, I became a media mogul. I joke to myself sometimes that "I was born content"—in other words, I was born with an adventurous spirit, a desire to communicate and the talent to entertain. With such user-friendly creative tools on the computer nowadays, nothing holds me back from sharing the entertaining and hopefully thought-provoking content that is my life.
If you read my Clean and Green Everyday column, you are probably familiar with my lust for travel and passion for health, the environment and animal welfare. Nothing frustrates me more than when well-intentioned friends get to traveling and abandon their ideals while in other states or countries. These well-meaning men who are attending vegan rallies back home are dining on fish in Japan. These lovely ladies who reuse every scrap of paper at their offices are drinking water from plastic bottles and tossing them into garbage bins in Brazil.
Yet, I believe it is especially important to uphold your ideals when away from home. Conscious travel is a sign of respect for life; it's a method of restoring a positive perspective to the often-tarnished American reputation and it's personally my most devout form of spiritual gratitude.
Needless to say, I end up embarking on some wild adventures when I go on holiday! I volunteer with endangered species, I chant with village shamans, I forage for wild coconuts, I get lost on public buses—and I write about it. My writing can be found all over this website (I've linked to some of the most relevant travel-related pieces below).
But on January 1st, 2011, in Thailand at the boarder of Burma, after following the 80-year-old Buddhist village elder up, up, up the tallest peak of the mountains where his remote tribe resides to see the Thousand Year Old Rose Bush, I had a flash of new year's insight: I must to do more than write about this experience; I must edit my silly home videos into a series so others can be entertained by my adventures and learn a little bit about how a vegan, activist, multiculturalist, environmentalist stays true to his or her beliefs when away from home.
How can you beat jet lag naturally? How can you stay vegan on the road? How can you travel without vaccinations? How can you drink clean water without buying plastic bottles? And what programs can you support if you really want to make a difference for the wildlife, rather than attending the lame-o and abusive animal entertainment shows, safaris or tourist-trap parks. All this is incorporated into my silly home videos because that's what I'm really doing! So thanks to my FlipCam for recording, my Mac laptop for editing and EcoHearth.com for broadcasting, you can now watch my self-produced series, The Eco Tourist, right here online at EcoHearth!
Disclaimer: These are my home videos! I'm often the camera operator and host at once. I edited all this stuff myself in what was honestly an afterthought. With technology so user-friendly, there's no reason to wait for a studio budget (but I still imagine what a studio budget could do!).
The Eco Tourist web series was filmed during a three-week volunteer conservation trip to Thailand, where my travel partner and I worked with the endangered Asian elephant. Told from the perspective of two Hollywood-based “high raw” [a diet consisting of a high percentage of raw foods, generally 70-99% - Ed.] vegans working in the film/television industry, we take you everywhere from an international political rally for the street-begging elephants at the Chaing Mai Governor's Mansion to spinning and dyeing thread from homegrown cotton with the remote Karen Hill Tribe in the high-altitude rain forests of Thailand.
The Eco Tourist is currently comprised of six episodes and I am still producing more, so I encourage you to share them with your conscious traveling friends and check back for new episodes as 2011 continues. They can be found in EcoHearth’s Eco Tube section; here’s the first one to get you started—enjoy!
Travel-related writing by Tonya Kay:
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