Category: LISTS

Ny reisetrend: Samfunnsbasert turisme

Drømmer du om en annerledes ferie?

En ferie som ikke innebærer å bo på hotell og spise på restauranter overfylt med andre turister, men kanskje heller ved foten av et fjell sammen med lokafolk i en liten landsby? Eller ved en fiskelandsby i Tyrkia, eller kanskje på Zanzibar hvor du får innblikk i hverdagen til fiskere og kan hjelpe de med å legge garn og sløye fisk? Hva med en tur til villmarken i Laos hvor du hjelper lokalfolk med kartleggings- og konservajonsarbeid av ville dyr, eller en annerledes meditasjonsresort i India som drives av urfolk…

I det hele tatt: Drømmer du om en ferie hvor du lærer masse om livene til folk du før ikke visste fantes, folk som åpner hjemmet sitt for deg og lærer deg hvordan å overleve, lage mat og danse på deres måte? Isåfall er community based tourism noe for deg. Og du er ikke alene om å ønske deg mer av dette!

Det er etterhvert blitt en utbredt reisetrend at folk fra nord (vestlige eller utviklede land) vil reise annerledes og gjerne lengre vekk, eller i hvert fall til steder hvor hverdagen er en helt annen enn deres egen. Reisende i dag – enten de reiser alene, i par eller med barn – er stadig på jakt etter det autentiske ved andre kulturer, hvilket hovedsakelig innebærer et ønske om å komme tett på lokalbefolkningen ved en valgt destinasjon. Den voksende etterspørselen har resultert i at mange fattige lokalsamfunn ønsker turister velkommen da de ser at gjestene kan være en god inntektskilde. Innen turismenæringen ser de plutselig at ressursene deres ved bare å være seg selv og by på sin kultur og kunnskaper om overlevelse i deres habitat, er noe helt unikt for nysgjerrige og frittenkende tilreisende.

I beste fall representerer denne turismetrenden eksepsjonelle muligheter for økonomisk gevinst i fattige områder samt toleransefremming mellom folk fra nord og sør. Og for de som klarer å legge igjen de eurosentriske brillene sine hjemme før avreise blir reiseopplevelsene uforglemmelige. Men, turisme kan også ha mange negative ringvirkninger i et lokalsamfunn, og grunnene til dette er mange.

Saken jeg poster idag er ment til å oppklare hva community based tourism er og gir tips til reisende om hva å se etter og tenke på ved bestilling og ila oppholdet, for at alle parter skal komme godt ut av erfaringen.

La oss se på terminologien først: I mangel på et godt norsk uttrykk for det engelske Community based tourism, velger jeg å oversette til samfunnsbasert turisme i denne sakens forbindelse. På engelsk snakker man egentlig om en noe mindre gruppe enn et samfunn når man bruker terminologien community, og ofte viser man til lokalbefolkning på norsk når man hører det engelske ordet community. Men både society og community kan også oversettes til samfunn, litt ettersom hva konteksten er.

Uansett. Samfunnsbasert turisme (community based tourism), viser til en form for turisme som har som mål og inkludere og gagne lokale samfunn der turismen finnes. Og både akademia og turismenæringa viser spesielt til rurale områder eller landsbyer hvor urfolk og småbønder bor i Sør (med Sør menes hovedsakelig utviklingsland) når de tenker på samfunnsbasert turisme.

Ideelt sett er modellen at lokalfolk jobber på deltid eller heltid som vertskap for besøkende hvor de organiserer turismen og aktiviteter knyttet til den i blant seg, og deler inntektene. Det finnes mange typer samfunnsbaserte turismeprosjekter, men som oftest inkluderer de at besøkende bor tett oppå lokalbefolkningen og slik tar del i hverdagen deres. Dette betyr at gjester lager mat og spiser sammen med lokalfolk og ofte også deltar i arbeidsoppgaver. Altså en alternativ reiseform som er blitt enormt populær på bakgrunn av de unike opplevelsene som skapes, men også takket være internett de siste ti- femten årene.

Idag kan folk som planlegger en ferie oppdage spennende steder og kulturer de aldri før hadde drømt om at fantes ved et tasteklikk. Og på den andre siden kan lokalfolk som bor der som ingen skulle tru at nokkan kunne bu åpne opp for turismenæringen ved å promotere bostedet sitt som noe helt unikt ved hjelp av en enkel nettside og gode anmeldelser på for eks. Tripadvisor.

Når det er sagt er det viktig å nevne at de fleste samfunnsbaserte turismeprosjekter ofte er i tett kontakt med kommersielle reiseselskaper. Sistnevnte representerer en trygg kommunikasjonskanal og gjerne en tolk mellom turist og lokalbefolkningen, og er stort sett til god hjelp for begge. Men de kan også ofte være til hodebry med tanke på hvem som egentlig tjener penger på denne turismetrenden…

Historisk sett er nemlig community based tourism (CBT) et utspring fra teori og praksis innen community based development (CBD), hvor man har tenkt seg at dersom lokalfolk selv styrer økonomien de er del av, og inntektene deles rettferdig dem i mellom utenom private aktørers innspill, kan dette bidra til bærekraftig utvikling. Men i en nyliberal verdensøkonomi er det mange som mener at slike modeller ikke er mulig å etterfølge.

Dette betyr ikke at samfunnbasert turisme ikke kan bidra til utvikling for lokalbefolkningen, men dessverre finnes ganske få eksempler på ordentlig gode bærekraftige samfunnsbaserte turismeprosjekter. En av grunnene til dette kan være at det oppstår situasjoner hvor fattige (og stort sett uutdannede) lokalfolk utnyttes økonomisk og betales for lite for sine tjenester som verter og guider. Dette skjer ofte på grunn av at private aktører oftest sitter på makta i den forstand at de først har tilgang til turister som bestiller reiseproduktet gjennom de (pga. språkkunnskaper og tilgang til teknologi og markedet), og kan presse prisene ned blant et folk som allerede lever i fattigdom (i enkelte tilfeller i dyp fattigdom).

En annen grunn kan være at uenigheter om hva som er rettferdig fordeling av inntektene mellom private selskaper og lokalbefolkninger oppstår og at lokalfolk etterhvert ikke vil ta imot turister. Ellers kan det nevnes at det har vist seg kostbart for private aktører å sette igang turismeinitiativ på landsbygda da det kreves både opplæring om servicearbeid, språk, guiding og vertskap for at et sted karakteriseres som kvalifisert til å ta imot reisende. Det er ikke alltid turismeinitiativet viser seg mulig å opprettholde bærekraftig når inntektene skal fordeles på X antall ansatte, familier, oppgraderings- og bygningsprosjekter osv.

Debattene i akademia om samfunnsbasert turisme kan virke overveldende og uenighetene er mange om hvordan samfunnsbaserte turismeprosjekter kan lykkes. Uansett finne det en enighet blant de fleste – og da spesielt blant de som tror på og arbeider for ansvarlig og etisk turisme – om at dersom en skal oppnå bærekraftig utvikling som en følge av samfunnsbasert turisme, lokalfolk selv få en rettferdig del av turismeinntektene. Videre menes det at de også må ha en finger med i bestemmelsene om hvordan turisme utvikles og ledes der de bor. Det burde ikke være så vanskelig altså..?

hva skal man se etter som reisende, lurer mange på.

Dersom du er fristet til å kjøpe et produkt som hevder å være samfunnsbasert turisme, eller er på vei til å reise et sted hvor det snakkes om at dette er utbredt, finnes det noen anbefalte regler å forholde seg til. Disse kan hjelpe deg til å luke ut de mest troverdige prosjektene hvor du får inntrykk av at pengene dine kommer i rette hender. De kan være nyttige å se på og spørre etter både i løpet av undersøkingsprosessen før reisen din, og ved destinasjonen i møte med både lokalfolk og private aktører. Reglene går som følger:

Samfunnsbasert turisme bør…

  • Være organisert med godkjenningen og engasjementet til lokalfolk/samfunnet. Lokalfolk bør delta i planleggingen og i ledelsen av ulike turer og aktiviteter. Let etter info om dette og spør gjerne om bevis fra evt. selskap før bestilling.
  • Gi en rettferdig del av profittene tilbake til lokalsamfunnet. Ideelt vil dette inkludere samfunnsprosjekter, helse, skole osv. Spør evt. selskap om bevis på dette, og følg det opp ved destinasjonen.
  • Involvere samfunn/ lokalbefokninger heller enn enkeltindivider. Når utenforstående private aktører jobber med enkeltindivider fremfor flere familier/husholdninger kan det være ødeleggende for sosiale strukturer i et samfunn. Be om informasjon på hvem som er involvert dit du vil reise, og hvorfor.
  • Respektere tradisjonelle kulturelle og sosiale strukturer. Det er altfor mange turismeprosjekter der ute som driver med såkalt cultural commodification ved at lokalfolk nærmest presses til å delta ved (for dem) gammeldagse seremonier, eller opptrer tradisjonelt på oppfordring fra turister eller private aktører fordi dette anses som autentisk for tilreisende. Forsøk å sett deg inn i hva som er tradisjonelt for de du reiser til, og styr unna selskap som understreker i overkant all den kulturelle lærdommen du får ved å treffe en lokalbefolkning.  Husk at innlagt vann, elektrisitet og olabukser er noe de fleste mennesker vil ha. Kulturer og tradisjoner er i stadig utvikling, og selv om folk ikke er så autentiske som reisebrosjyrene lovte deg, er det menneskene, stedet, og møtet dere i mellom du reiser for å oppleve!
  • Holde besøksgrupper små for å minimere negative kulturelle og miljømessige påvirkninger. Be om informasjon om hvor mange som besøker et sted samtidig vs. hvor mange som bor der.
  • Inneha mekanismer til å hjelpe lokalfolk med å takle påvirkningen av vestlige turister på besøk i deres samfunn. Let etter ansvarlig kommunikasjon fra selskapers side på dette. Be om informasjon på infrastruktur i området og om evt. tilreisende tilbys dusj og vannklosett mens lokalfolk ikke har fått oppgradert sin standard.
  • Briefe turister før reisen om passende oppførsel. Se etter ansvarlig kommunikasjon på nettsider osv. som gir deg følelsen av at lokalfolket først og fremst er de som skal respekteres!
  • Være miljøvennlig og miljømessig bærekraftig. Lokalfolk må være involvert dersom konserveringsprosjekter skal lykkes. Be om informasjon på tiltak som er satt igang for å takle økt turisme dit du reiser. Turismen skal ikke påvirke miljøet negativt, men positivt!

Det siste punktet er vanskelig å gjøre noe med før du først ankommer, men evt kan du prøve å lese deg opp om andre reisendes meninger om stedet for å avdekke skrekkeksempler..

  • La samfunn være i fred dersom de ikke ønsker turister på besøk. Folk må ha retten til å si nei til turisme. Det finnes turismeinitiativer som ikke er ønsket av lokalfolk, men som har blitt presset på dem av provate aktører da stedet eller kulturen deres viser seg å være populær. Dersom du ankommer et sted og forstår at lokalbefolkningen ikke er fornøyde med besøk, ta farvel og kontakte reiseselskap/ turoperatører umiddelbart.

(Kilde: Tourism Concern, ICRT og Jeanett A. Søderstrøm).

Dersom de fleste av disse reglene overholdes kan samfunnsbasert turisme uten tvil gir både reisende og vertskapet uforglemmelige opplevelser og følelsen av å få masse igjen for samspillet. I mange tilfeller utvikles også nye vennskap, hvor folk og familier gledelig reiser tilbake til et sted som satt skikkelig inntrykk, nettopp fordi den samfunnsbaserte turismen fungerte så bra.

God reise!

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14 musts in Barcelona

Did you ever reflect over how some cities in the world seem to be loved by everybody? Like, when you’re having a conversation and the name Barcelona comes up, haven’t you noticed how everyone always goes: Oh, Barcelona! Yes, I freaking love that city, man. It’s so cool, it has everything! I really need to go back there. And if someone in that conversation reveals they haven’t been they’ll probably be told: What, you haven’t been? It’s such a must. Trust me, it’s the best! If the person himself didn’t already interrupt: I know, I know, Barcelona is definitely one of the places I have to visit asap. Everybody always tells me that. It’s on my bucket list this year.

No wonder you’ve been in a similar conversation, because sure thing; Barcelona is one of those cities you just fall in love with. In almost all rankings of Best Cities, Barcelona is among the top 3. The other highly ranked cities are almost always New York, Berlin, London, San Francisco, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro, Copenhagen, Buenos Aires and Tokyo… Why is that so?

Personally I’ve been a devoted urban traveler for a long time and consider myself a bit over the top interested in trends within the travel industry. Although there obviously are several factors – e.g. geographical, historical and political – that count for a place to become a popular destination among many people (from many different countries), I personally think a city is amazing when it has a mix of great geography (sea, mountain, forest, rivers), friendly locals, vibrant city life (including a variety of food, art, night life & fashion), and a somewhat characteristic architecture. And that’s why I think Barcelona scores so high. It has all of that!

Since my first visit in 2003 and a six months stay in 2005 Barcelona has been one of my favorite cities – thus a city I make sure to visit every year (though I still haven’t visited half of the cities I’d like to). Out of my love for Barcelona I’ve decided to repost a popular city guide from my blog called 14 musts in Barcelona.

Starting off with the obvious temptations:

1. Gaudi, of course. The extraordinary architecture by the highly admired architect Antoni Gaudi (1852- 1926) is known for having made Barcelona into such a uniquely looking city. There is no place in the world you will see anything like the buildings he constructed over hundred years ago. Sagrada Familia, Casa Gaudi, The Guel park (see point 6), Casa Mila and Casa Batllo and much more. At the tourist information in the airport, or downtown (or at your hotel) you’ll get maps over where to find the marvelous constructions. There is also a Gaudi museum in Barcelona that can be good to start a full-on Gaudi day with. My recommendation however is to divide the Gaudi tours into two days according to where the spectaculars are and mix the go-see with other interesting things in each part of the city.

2. Understand the Spanish VS Catalan issue. The sooner you learn some about this, the better. It can in fact affect even a short stay in Barcelona, if the (wrong) person confronts you with this and feel you’re ignorant to the topic. Respect the locals’ feelings about this topic. Advice: Learn to say good day and thanks in Catalan – they’ll love you for it. “Bon dia” & “Merci” (NOT “Buenos dias” & “Gracias” – that’s Spanish!).

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The official flag of Catalunya

3. The beach! When cultural and vibrant cities have a coastline, they often get considered much more beautiful. This fact certainly concerns Barcelona with its not too polluted beaches, despite of occasionally being pretty over-crowded. The beach is long and I always make sure to spend one day strolling from one end to the other along the well-kept promenade. There is a good chance you’ll find whatever you consider is “the perfect beach slot” for you – it be more family-friendly, party-like, high-endish, or hippie-ish. There are small beach bars every 100 meter and good restaurants along the promenade. Make sure to choose local places over major chains like KFC.

4. The different barrios. In my opinion you don’t actually get to know a city before you get to know the features of its different neighbourhoods. Some cities may not have too defined neighbourhoods (something I quickly find boring), but luckily Barcelona does. You can say Ciutat Vella is what makes up the “city center” and within this area you’ll find the gorgeous and well-kept old towns Born & Barrigotic (see the Gothic Quarter!) on one side of the (extremely touristy) avenue La Rambla, and the vibrant (and very popular) immigrant area Raval on the other. And yes; all the barrios are brilliant for people watching, drinking, eating and shopping.

Then you got the area La Barceloneta & La vila Olimpica by the harbour. Here you can look at the boats, eat in a fine restaurant, stroll down the beach promenade and if you’re interested in such visit the Aquarium. If you got plenty of time, and/or are not interested in walking where all the other tourists are, consider visiting the surrounding Le Corts (a little west-endish), Gracia and Glories (though the most famous tourist attraction in Spain (La Sagrada Familia) is situated in between the two latter so you do indeed meet foreigners here too).

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El born, close to Barceloneta

5. The plazas. Because Spanish people love getting together for chats and drinks (and are privileged with a climate that allows it pretty much all year), small and big squares packed with restaurants, bars and fountains are characteristic in South European cities. In Barcelona they are everywhere, however not always that easy to find on a map. Plaza Real (at La Rambla) is one of the bigger and very touristy, Passeig del Borne (Born) is more of a street than a plaza but cool (young, hipstery) people hang here, Plaza del Sol (Gracia) is small, young and hippie-ish, the huge Plaza outside of MACBA in Raval is chilled and full of skaters and tourists, Plaza triangular (Barrigotic) is tiny and quite local, Plaza de Sant Jaume connects two barrios and this and that plaza, oh I could go on forever… Just sit down for a beer or a cold Clara (Spanish for shandy), some tapas and enjoy.

6.The parks. Barcelona has many small parks hidden between streets and buildings, but Ill highlight the bigger parks where you can spend a day relaxing and enjoying a taste of nature within the hectic city. (All the parks are perfect for people traveling with children). Parc de la Ciutadella is ground of both the Catalan Parliament building and Barcelona Zoo and part of its charm lies in its ornamental waterfall and artificial lake. You can take a boat out onto the lake, play table tennis, or enjoy any of the seasonal activities and events the park hosts every week.

Parc de la Ciutadella im Frühling, Barcelona, Katalonien, Spanien

Montjuïc park got world known during the 1992 Olympic Games and currently offers a green oasis for culture, sports and entertainment in Barcelona. It’s located on the mountain Montjuïc with a spectacular view of the city and offers theaters and museums, fountains and gardens, sports facilities and fairground pavilions.

The park Guell, built by Gaudi between 1900 and 1924 was originally going to host around sixty houses and a chapel, but was never finished. As a result, it became the property of the city of Barcelona in 1922 and is today one of the main tourist attractions in the city. The view from here is stunning and Gaudi’s particular style is clearly noticeable in the uncommon architectural forms and bright colors.

And for even more stunning views (and potentially some hiking) you go to Tibidabo, which happens to not only be Barcelona’s highest mountain but also represents an old amusement park. The place is well known from the movie Vicky Christina Barcelona and for yet another precious cathedral.

7. Tapas! Though some Nationalistic Catalans (they’re plenty) would disagree, Barcelona is in Spain, and the Spaniards love their tapas. Get used to eating your lunch and dinner like them – and remember tapas is to be shared between people. The classic ones: aceitunas (olives), pan con tomate (bread with tomato), aioli (thick white sauce made of garlic and olive oil, to eat on bread and with seafood), patatas bravas (thick fried potato chunks with a special spicy tomato sauce), tortilla (thick egg omelet with potatoes) and albondigas (meat balls with a touch) and gambas a la plancha (grilled shrimps, or shrimps cooked in a dry-fryish way on a pan).

For the seafood lovers there are plenty of options – especially for the valiant. Grilled pulpo (octupus) and calamar (squid) is very common and delicious! Chipirones en su tinta (mini squids served in their ink!!) as well, and trust me- it’s yummy! Grilled or dry-fried boquerones (anchovies) you eat whole, and various bacalao (cod in sauce) dishes are served many places. And don’t forget your sangria, it’s just a myth that Spanish people don’t drink it themselves.

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8. La Champañeria. Actually I was unsure whether to post about this, or not, as it’s one of these places you love just the way it is. But I hate it when others keep those secrets away from me, so here it goes. La Champañeria is a gem of an authentic Spanish cava & tapas bar. It’s located at the bottom of Born, in the small street Carrer de la Reina Cristina 7 (close to the harbour). You find it by noticing the crowd of people outside, especially around midday (lunch time for locals). In my opinion it’s the perfect place to go as a couple or with a small group before or after a day on the beach. The bar is tiny but takes surprisingly many people that don’t mind squeezing together..

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La Champañeria

Beware! You go to La Champañeria to get some local, historic vibes and taste their Cava and tapas (both simple, but delicious). Here you’ll kick your way through used carton plates and tissues, and order at the bar with jams hanging over your head. The old sweaty waiters are in a hurry and don’t speak much English, so be patient and speak clearly as it’s normally crowded and noisy. One bottle is served with three plates of tapas.

Open from 9am – 10.30pm, closed on Sundays.

Champaneria

 

 

9. La Boqueria. Originally called Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, this market is one of the oldest in town, dating back to 1217 (!). It’s easy to find on a map and by walking up La Rambla (with entrance from La Rambla). A perfect place to suck in some history and watch how a typical old Spanish market works, and to buy fresh bread, cheese, fruits, fish and meet (if you’re keen on a picnic in a park or live in an apartment and want to cook).

10. Get inspired! Absorb quirky art and fabulous street performance. Regarding street performance, many seem to think that the street artists in La Rambla are of the best in the world! Regarding contemporary art, visit MACBA in Raval, follow this and google where to find different galleries. Between Barrio Gotic and Born you have two streets full of photo shops and posters and quirky art that I love to visit. For graffiti-interested, the whole city is a gallery actually (just read this). You’ll also find plenty of inspirational stuff by googling the topic.

 

11. Bars! Oh yes: BARcelona! First of all; the nicest bars are obviously not the ones you find in the middle of La Rambla. Then again some of the most historical bars (and also frequently visited by locals) are very close by. Just google and mark them on a map and start your round. The level of cocktail making skills is high! In Raval you have Rabipelao, Ambar and Lobo bar: all stylish, yet odd, chilled & fun. Close by are the two old and unique bars Bar Marsella (be careful with the absinthe, they’re not joking), and Le Pastis (Raval). However Boadas in Barrigotic claims to be the oldest in Barcelona and you should definitely go here if you want a peak into the 1940′s. Sugar bar, Pipa club and Le Petit Jet lag are also all in Gotic, tiny and innovative. In Born around Passeig del Borne and its side streets (mentioned above) you have many more! Not to mention in Gracia.

12. Nightlife! My favorite club when I lived in Barcelona was Sala Apolo; An old small theatre situated in Raval (metro stop Paralel). It still exists and hopefully will forever, has amazing bookings and loads of experimental electronica and hip hop. Razzmatazz is also great, a huge venue with 5 rooms and good concerts from time to time (but check their events online first). La Paloma is a historical gem but be sure to check if it’s open. It constantly has neighbour trouble as it’s in the middle of a resident area in Raval. La Terraza is beautiful and located up in the hills of the city (perfect for warm summer night), though it’s not my kind of vibe (quite high-endish). City Hall (on Placa Catalunya) also had some good concepts going on, but I’m afraid you have to find out of these things yourself when first deciding to go somewhere. It really depends on your music and style, amigo, hence I’d check ResidentAdvisor.com and Timeout.com to find recommendations for the style/music I’d fancy.

El Row 14 is apparently a mad club where they play with inflammable toys and dress out. It typically offers electronic music and is probably for the more party valiant as it’s situated a bit outside town and in the Spanish clubbing-way open til early morning (I’ve heard many people start their daytime party here around 10am). Very good bookings of national and international DJs. (EDIT: This place is closest as of 2014)

13. Festivals. Sure thing, the Spaniards embrace their festivos (“holy days”) and find any excuse to throw a party or celebrate something with a festival. Ill mention the most known events for now. Late March: Sitges (gay) carnival has become a wild tourist attraction. Late May: Primavera sound. Mid June: Sitges gay parade. Mid June: Sonar: Barcelona’s biggest festival – and one of my all time favorites (thus promoted several times before). It offers electronic music but also all kinds of experimental stuff including old school hip hop etc. June 24: San Juan (celebration of a saint (generally speaking: a massive beach party). Mid September: Merce. A massive traditional carnival alike party in which locals, families and tourists gather to celebrate Catalan traditions, watch endless parades and intense street fireworks (!).

14. Avoid getting pick-pocketed or mugged! With mass tourism Barcelona – that unfortunately holds a large number of poor inhabitants – has become a Mecca for pickpockets. Like in any other place in the world you have to take precautions, and the typical advices are: Don’t watch street performers in crowded areas/ stand on crowded metros/ walk in crowded streets without having control of you valuables. It’s also common that poor kids wander around tourists’ tables asking for money, cigarettes or directions, but with an attempt to steal. I’ve been to many places considered more ‘dangerous’ than Barcelona (and it may of course be a coincidence) but I’ve honestly never heard of/ seen (and even stopped) as many robberies as here.

General points: Barcelona is perfect for a lot of walking so wear good shoes. To travel further you depend on taxis and public transport. The latter is more environmentally friendly and a cheaper and fun way to see the city. Also, Barcelona is very children- and gay friendly.

Have fun!

I won’t regret a thing

Do you remember that beautiful article that went viral around a year ago concerning the five things dying people regret? Representing a summary of a book by a nurse called Bronnie Ware who worked in palliative care for years, caring for elderly and dying people the twelve last months of their life, it briefly explains the five main topics Ware found that almost all dying people had in common to think most about.

Her unique position allowed her to speak to the elderly and dying about what they would have done differently in life, now well aware of its meaning, looking back at the many years alive.

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Because of its simple honesty and logic, the article really moved me, like most cases regarding similar topics do. But also because it underlines a rather common universal truth that we, the alive – hopefully with more years to live –  can approach and learn from.

The five things people most often said they regretted were:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

You can find the explanations to all of them here.

Also, I find this article that builds on Bronnie’s findings, very inspirational for further thoughts about how to embrace living in order to not regret a thing.

Why love festivals

The internet has revolutionized the world in many ways; one being the way we’ve shared and got access to new music. But whilst file downloading facilities for long has been an issue of concern in the music industry because music artists earn a lot less on album sales than what used to be the case, the new paradigm for music sharing has indeed contributed to many positive trends; like for instance the clear increase in live music events.

Think about it. Today’s musicians can share, promote and sell their art via the internet in so many new ways at the same time as they deliver it all in person to their audiences in terms of concerts. Because indeed, the new paradigm has led to new music events popping up, and old ones becoming even more popular. And then I’m particularly speaking about festivals.

As a devoted concert- and festival goer since my early childhood I’m personally very thrilled about this development. And I’m not saying that solely from a hedonistic point of view, but out of the strong belief that we all earn on a world where competition within art sectors is more fair. People become better and happier in a world where we more often get together to enjoy art, created by many more artists because it generates new sources for inspiration and creativity as well as an increased feeling of community.

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Therefore I’ve put together 4 reasons why to LOVE festivals:

1. Festivals cultivate a special type of atmosphere. Festivals are massive events, they become experiences. Think about it, if you go see Coldplay on their own, for example, you might go with one or two friends, you might have a good time, and then the whole thing’s over in two hours. But if you go to a festival, you spend the entire weekend surrounded by a (bigger) group of friends and tens of thousands “alike” people and there are plenty of concerts to choose from.

2. Festivals are great places to discover newer artists. At a regular concert, you go because you know and like that band and want to see it, but at festivals the lineup is varied and really diverse. You can read about unknown bands and go to their set and discover new acts.

3. Festivals offer several alternatives to music acts for peoples’ get-together and inspiration, and cater for more diverse group of people. This means you are more likely to meet many interesting people (like yourself) on a festival. Hours spent in your camp, in toilet- and food & beer queues often means new friendships, or at least a fun flirt and timely deep random conversation with people you don’t know. And trust me, many of these talks wouldn’t be as natural to get into while queuing for an ATM on any high street during a working day. Because people relax and loose up when at a festival. This is what I refer to with ‘the feeling of community’.

4. Lastly, festivals are good for the economy – many ways. Recently I read that according to Steve Baltin from Rolling Stone magazine, the trend of festivals selling out earlier and earlier each year is a reflection of how people are watching their spending these days. He said that “due to recession people don’t have a lot of money, and the economy is struggling, therefore people rather spend $300 to go see 50 bands and get a feel for everything, or go spend $70 to see one of these headlining bands on their own”. I’m not a victim for recession, but follow that strategy anyway, because I feel I get much more value for the money.

Besides, how many concerts have you seen organised as non-profit events? Not many, right. What I early on loved with festivals like Roskilde and Glastonbury is their non-profit structure and choices of worthy causes. I’m confident that this attracts certain people and energies that we have to keep finding place for in this capitalistic world…

Here’s to a very happy festival summer!

 

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Please note: This post is also published on www.RhythmTravels.com

Neverending summer

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It hasn’t actually been the plan to escape winter like this for two years in a row, but now that I am, I’m not complaining. Though I did wish – a couple of weeks before heading home from South Africa– to get a few Norwegian winter days for skiing and to wear huge winter coats.

Then it took me 20 minutes of Toten (where my mum lives on a farm) with its crispy aired early morning and late nights to get reminded how nice it is when spring is around the corner. It really makes people happier too (even more so in Nordic countries), and who doesn’t prefer times in which people smile more.

So. After a very nice, long South African summer, I’m now already preparing for an European summer.  And to me that always means FESTIVALS.

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credentials: blog.witlr.com

This year I think Ill top my personal record with the number of festivals Ill attend. Part from the three Ive already attended in Cape Town (read here), these are the festivals Ill go to:

Sonar

Glastonbury

Tomorrowland

Oya festivalen

Burning man

Yeah I know, brag brag, but WOOP WOOP

Read more here about why I love festivals.

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Top 7 feelgood restaurants in Ibiza

Finally I’ve managed to list my top 7 restaurants in Ibiza for you to discover. I’ve selected places that are all unique to one another, yet that all have that special Ibizencan international touch: A mixed clientele of locals, foreigners living here, tourists (with good taste), music industry professionals, fashionistas and families with children.

Bare in mind that the information listed could be subject of change, so please don’t hold me responsible if a place suddenly doesn’t exist or is closed when they’re not supposed to. Most places have their own webpage, and I’ve provided you with their telephone numbers (part from the first listed).

Enjoy the tastes of the White island!

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Starting with the obvious: The Fish Shack (Talamanca).

I love this place so much I dedicated a whole post to it last year. Its real name is actually El chiringuito de Maria, but as it´s become increasingly known among foreigners, people now know it as the Fish shack. Definitely a spot you won’t read about everywhere, which makes it more special.

The contrast between the actual restaurant (a shack) and its plastic chairs and tables that look as if they’re thrown out on the rocks in the morning, stands in perfect contrast to where it’s all located: right on the rocky beach.

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As you see, it’s clever to bring your swimming suit so that you can take a dip in the water while waiting for your food. A visit to the Fish shack is a perfect break from the hectic high season, and the staff at this place are my absolute favorite on the island – as is the clientele, I think. It’s also a hotspot for A-list DJs and Ibiza frequenters, so you’ll be in good company.

The Fish shack serves some of the finest – if not the finest – fish around. The waiters speak English very well and are prepared to tell you what the Dorada and Gambas actually are. I find it impossible choosing a favorite, besides what they offer depends of the catch of the day. Try the sea bass! Don’t leave without having dessert and a café de caleta (coffee w/ species & cinnamon). And make sure you don’t ruin your appetite with the olives to start. NB! Bring cash, they don’t accept credit cards.

Open day & night. No reservatoins. Address: Unknown, but this will help: Head for the restaurant Sa Punta in Talamanca, and when you reach it, keep going. Over rocks, by the sea. Park you car on top of (or walk your last bit over) the hill when it seems like you can’t get further and soon you will see the umbrella canopy. A simple shack looking like a chiringuito (beach bar) on the rocks.

Then there is La Paloma (San Lorenzo).

Dive into this huge green garden of fluffy lemon trees and thousands of flowers, where basic fresh & healthy Italian homemade food is in focus.

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This family run establishment is definitely one of my favorite spots both for lunch and dinner, and a perfect place for a romantic date. La Paloma is also known to be one of the best in veggie food on the island. Try their imported olives from Italy, they’re insane!

Open day & night (and winter). Reservations recommended. Address: Camí de Can Llatzer, Sant Joan de Labritja. (0034-971-325543)

Number 3 on the list is one of the restaurants I’ve been to the most. Sansara (San Carlos).

Featuring a large green garden and an indoor stage, it feels more like a chill hangout lounge than a restaurant, thus attracts an alternative, bohemian crowd who bring their children and dogs to the restaurant’s large garden, and offers a refreshing alternative to the dj-worshipping events in Ibiza by being a platform for up and coming bands.

Photo cred: www.4lahome.com

The varied musical genres include flamenco, blues, reggae, rock, salsa and world music. The fusion kitchen finds inspiration from the Mediterranean and South East Asia. The fig pizza is my definite favorite and the cava sangria isn’t bad at all. 😉  Here you’ll get loads of value for the money! Open nights only. Closed Tue. (Closed Mon-Wed in winter). Reservations recommended for weekends. Address: Carretera de San Carlos km. 9,3, Ibiza (+34 971-807-231)

Balafia (San Joan).

Although I’m not a meat lover, this place manages to convince me time and again. Besides, their chickens have lived happy lives on local farms in the area! The restaurant is probably one of Ibizencans’ all time favorites, and no wonder as this is as Ibizencan as it can get. Balafia is an open air restaurant situated in a patio belonging to a typical white Ibizencan house with small wooden framed windows and basic seating. It’s known solely for its simple barbeque dishes that come with three varieties of vegetables.

They offer free-range chicken, lamb chops and steak with the delicious chips, supposedly hand-peeled by the grandfather! The tomato (and onion) salad for starter is a must, and trust me; these tomatos are something special! NB! Bring cash, they don’t accept credit cards. Open days and nights (closed Sundays). Reservations highly recommended! Adress: Sant Joan de Labritja Road 25 , San Joan (+34 971 32 50 19) Some help: map it on a GPS before going, and look for a small pink sign on a path that takes you off the main road.

A place Ive only been once, but instantly loved is Hidden bar (Cala San Vicente).

Located in Cala San Vicente, 30 minutes’ drive North from Ibiza Town – and as its name underlines – this gem of a restaurant is one of Ibiza’s best kept secrets. If you haven’t been to the wilder Nordic part of the island yet, this bar is your perfect excuse to go.

It’s like something from a movie; the pathway from the parking lot leads you from the road down into a secret garden with creative hiding spots and chill out areas that transport you from the Mediterranean island to a Victorian library to a Thai jungle. It’s set in a lush magical garden of delights, a fantasy spot where ‘Alice in Wonderland’ would feel right at home. You can sit under century old trees or go about playing. The place has a giant chess board and a golf field whose each hole is designed by artists and DJ’s. Hah!

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Id say Hidden bar is a playground for the imagination and whether you are an actual kid or just one between the ears, you will have an amazing day here. Oh, and the owner is an award winning cocktail mixer and loves to have a chat with his clients, while you’re waiting for a delicious Thai-based dish. I haven’t actually eaten here myself (just chugged some of them famous cocktail), but I’ve read plenty of good reviews. Open daily (?) (One day per week in winter). Address: 5 Carrer Cala Sant Vicent, Sant Joan de Labritja (+34 971 320 253)

And then my ladies and gents, the one and only El Amante (Santa Eulalia).

Almost hanging on a cliff overlooking the Sol D’en Serra bay, this hot spot is surrounded by dramatic rocks and wild green plants. Such a special location towards Amante’s stylish decor suits a special day you want to treat yourself and your loved ones. It’s a perfect spot to plan a hangout day at the beach beneath the restaurant with fancy cocktails before you walk up the stairs to have a late lunch. Or it’s a good option for a late dinner in the evening breeze overlooking one of the island’s most precious views.

Photo cred: petitepassport.com

Amante offers an innovative rather pricy Mediterranean menu, but it feels like good value and holds a lot of local and healthy options of seafood and greens. Try their risotto if it’s still on the menu! Open daily day & night. (Frequently closed for private events). Reservations recommended for weekends. Adress: Sol Den Serra Carrer Fuera SN, St Eulalia (+34 971 196176). Some help: Go right through Cala Llonga and turn right at the end junction (there is an Amante sign post). Follow the road for about 900 meters and you arrive to the car park. You can’t miss the sign and the steps down to the restaurant.

The Giri cafe (San Juan).

When in plaza San Juan, I’ve always loved the looks of this place. It’s entrance somehow seems to say Hello & welcome darling every time I pass it. Don’t be fooled by the sign stating it´s a café, because this kitchen’s quality exceeds all expectations! I’ve eaten here twice and both times understood that the chef has a deep passion for every detail on a plate. It’s all about the simplicity of organic, fresh and local flavours that come straight from the soil, sea or fields of Ibiza – today.

As much as the Giri cafe is great at fusing Mediterranean flavours into innovative dishes, they’re equally good at blending original Ibizencan architecture with creative illumination and exotic design. I also think this is one of my faves what design concerns, and I’m never able to pick whether to sit inside or outside as both look so inviting. Open day & night daily (Mon only night). Address: in the centre of the main square in the San Juan village.

 

That’s all, folks. Que aproveche!

WHY LOVE FESTIVALS

helloes

Since the raise of online file downloading facilities music artists are not earning as much on album sales as they once used to. Despite of the activity’s illegality it has contributed to many (positive) new trends, out of which one is a clear increase in live music events. Musicians today have to sell their art a lot more in terms of entertainment than most previously major musicians. In turn this has also led to new music events popping up, and old ones becoming even more popular.

Personally I’m thrilled over this development as I’ve been a devoted concert- and festival goer since my early childhood. I also strongly believe that we all earn on a world where competition within art sectors is more fair. People become better and happier in a world where we more often get together to enjoy art, made by more artists. This because it generates new sources for inspiration and creativity as well as an increased feeling of community.

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Here are 4 reasons why to LOVE festivals:

1. Festivals cultivate a different type of atmosphere. Festivals are massive events, they become experiences. Think about it, if you go see Coldplay on their own, for example, you might go with one or two friends, you might have a good time, and then the whole thing’s over in two hours. But if you go to a festival, you spend the entire weekend surrounded by a (bigger) group of friends and tens of thousands “alike” people and there are plenty of concerts to choose from.

2. Festivals are great places to discover newer artists. At a regular concert, you go because you know and like that band and want to see it, but at festivals the lineup is varied and really diverse. You can read bout unknown bands and go to their set and discover new acts.

3. Festivals offer several alternatives to music acts for peoples’ get-together and inspiration, and cater for more diverse group of people. This means you are more likely to meet many interesting people (like yourself) on a festival. Hours spent in your camp, in toilet- and food & beer queues often means new friendships, or at least a fun flirt and timely deep random conversation with people you don’t know. And trust me, many of these talks wouldn’t be as natural to get into while queuing for an ATM on any high street during a working day. Because people relax and loose up when at a festival. This is what I refer to with ‘the feeling of community’.

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4. Lastly, festivals are good for the economy – many ways. Recently I read that according to Steve Baltin from Rolling Stone magazine, the trend of festivals selling out earlier and earlier each year is a reflection of how people are watching their spending these days. He said that “due to recession people don’t have a lot of money, and the economy is struggling, therefore people rather spend $300 to go see 50 bands and get a feel for everything, or go spend $70 to see one of these headlining bands on their own”. I’m not a victim for recession, but follow that strategy anyway, because I feel I get much more value for the money.

Besides, how many concerts have you seen organised as non-profit events? Not many, right. What I early on loved with festivals like Roskilde and Glastonbury is their non-profit structure and choices of worthy causes. I’m confident that this attracts certain people and energies that we have to keep finding place for in this capitalistic world…

Enjoy your festival summer!

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