Today’s post is by Vicky DiMichele
My passion in travel currently lays in luxury eco adventures. I want to warn you though, it often changes. One destination, one property or one experience has completely changed my direction of preferred travel multiple times throughout my career. For instance, the South Pacific had always seemed like a far away, unattainable destination from my quaint little town outside of Cleveland, Ohio. Yet, when I had the opportunity to visit Viti Levu in Fiji, I can only count the days until I figure out how to return.
But, I want to start off by telling you about my recent excursion to the rain forest of Belize. I recently returned from the Western Caribbean on Princess Cruises. I know that many people think of cruising as a brief stop in a destination, which is hardly worth your time; American tourists dropping their money for a few hours and then back onto the ship for the next buffet. Being in the travel industry for almost 10 years, I have heard it all. I too was once skeptical about cruising, but now have a completely different outlook on the whole experience. Yes, you do not dive as deep into the culture as you would from being immersed in it for weeks, but you do get a taste. That taste then drives me to either want to return or know why I probably would not.
My stop in Belize was something to talk about, though. On our visit to Bacab Eco Park, the hospitality mirrored the amazing destination itself. We took a horseback ride through the rain forest and had a traditional lunch of chicken and rice. What stood out most to me though was the self-walking medicinal trail where they posted signs by a variety of different plants growing throughout the property and their medicinal purposes, from fever and scurvy to diabetes and cancer. This brings me to my first point. If all of these remedies are already out there, known and in use, proven to cure horrible diseases that kill many people, why then are we not aware and given access to this knowledge?
As I wondered about this, I returned to the main area of the park where there is a beautiful swimming pool with a waterfall flowing over the rocks and into the clear, cooling waters. As I was stripping down to my swimsuit for a swim, there was a man in a military-like uniform patrolling the area. We started chatting and he explained that he was in the middle of curing his daughter’s asthma. It was a slow process because her body had to “grow out of” this ailment, but he had successfully cured his brother a few years earlier, so was hoping that it would work for her, too.Which brings me to my next point. Why is it more important for this man to walk around a pool in a military uniform than it is to cure asthma? This is nothing against the park at all. I’m glad he was there, doing what he was doing. The park is absolutely beautiful and I can’t wait to visit again, but this is about the culture. Are there so many people in the area who cure ailments that the practice is viewed similarly to cooking dinner for your family? Again, why is this knowledge not widely known in other parts of the world, like where there are hundreds of thousands of people suffering, when a simple plant could actually save lives?
This one man is the main reason for my focal switch from the South Pacific to Central America. I want to know more. I want to learn more. I want to visit again and I want to meet more people with more knowledge. This is what drives my passion to travel this strange planet we call Earth.
Author Bio: Vicky DiMichele has been working in the travel industry for almost a third of her life. Vicky is the Creative Director of Traveline Travel Services. If you were to ask her where she would go on vacation, be ready to sit an hour or more as she talks about her list. Find her on social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.