If you’re looking for a voluntourism experience that offers a chance to make a difference in conservation efforts, the Whale Shark & Oceanic Research Center offers a unique opportunity — not to mention the chance to have up-close and personal experiences with these gentle giants of the sea.
Based on Utila, one of Honduras’ Bay Islands, the WSORC monitors and researches whale sharks and is also dedicated to preserving and restoring the extraordinary marine environment around Utila. The warm waters are home to an extensive reef system, and the WSORC is key in working to maintain their integrity. The center often hosts outside researchers, and is a central point for providing environmental data (on the reefs, mangrove forests, fishing stock and, of course, whale sharks) to the Honduran government.
With a one-month commitment, volunteers at the WSORC participate in research dives, help guide excursions, beach and reef clean-ups, educational events and more. As part of the program, you can earn your PADI diving certification (multiple options are available), learn Caribbean reef fish identification, coral reef surveying techniques and work directly on issues related to conservation and eco-tourism. It’s a full-time commitment, but former volunteers attest it is an utterly gratifying one working on issues both local and global. For more information, including dates for volunteer opportunities in 2015, go to www.wsorc.org.
Bleisure — it’s a term we’re all familiar with these days. After all, millennials drive the rising trend, combining business and leisure trips regularly. Take a few days to decompress in a new destination after a hectic schedule of meetings and business.
Calabria may be the last authentic region of Italy undisturbed by hordes of international tourists, but northern Italians have long adored this southern destination for its dramatic cliff-side beaches, flocking to its ancient shores for centuries of idyllic summer holidays. The region is rife with medieval mountaintop villages overlooking sparkling beaches, each a fantasy postcard setting, and here are five of the most enchanting.
ONCE THE FINAL MEETING WRAPS and the last contract is signed and sealed with a handshake, what’s next? Do you catch a flight back home or do you take advantage of the destination? If your next business trip is to Italy, we suggest adding a few more days to explore the country’s most amazing hot spots. Make time for more than a mouthwater- ing Italian meal in these three cities.
Over the last few years Airbnb has moved from an alternative lodging option to many people’s first choice for booking a place to stay. Despite its popularity, some people are still new to the service. If you’re using Airbnb for the first time, there are a few things to consider for a successful first stay.