Educational travel

To see the world’s wonders is a gift.
To understand what we see is a treasure.

But understanding doesn’t just happen. It takes time. And curiosity.

When you want to understand the world, you don’t sign up for the speed tour. You inquire about culture, conflicts, sacred texts, ancient traditions. If you wish to understand, you embark on a quest. And, like Frodo in Middle Earth, you seek companions on the way.

There are travelers and there are travelers. Some pilgrims go by foot, others by carriage, others by cruise ship. Some globetrotters fly first class, others hop on mototaxis. Some tourists need en-suite bathrooms, others just a bunk in a hostel.

The ways we travel will differ. But how we travel should be the same: curiously.

Bruce impersonating Lawrence of Arabia in the Jordanian desert

This website is three things: it’s a window on our curiosity, an opportunity to travel with us, and an invitation to meet people who have much to teach us.

Our posts and videos pose questions that have arisen out of our own travels and studies — questions about
history and culture, about leaders and followers, about battles and conquests, about sacred traditions and
holy books. We hope some of them are as interesting to you as they are to us. As you’ll see, we prefer to linger
with the question than rush to an answer.

Curiosity begins at home. It means being fully present wherever we are. Questioning stereotypes. Guarding against ethnocentrism. Assuming the best of those with whom we disagree. Taking responsibility for our impact. And when we travel, we make fewer stops and enjoy more conversations. Curious travelers come home changed.

This website is three things: it’s a window on our curiosity, an invitation to a conversation, and an opportunity to travel.

Two areas of the globe have most of our attention:  Israel/Palestine and Latin America.

1. ISRAEL / PALESTINE. We get to the Holy Land often and learn something new each time we go — about daily life among Orthodox Jews, devout Muslims and Eastern Christians; about Zionism and Palestinian nationalism; about whether and how the Conflict will ever be resolved.

In our view, the Israel-Palestine Conflict is more territorial and demographic than religious and theological. At the same time, people of faith continue to quote holy books and sacred history in defense of ethnic privilege and inequality. Many of our videos and posts ask you to ponder this conundrum with us. What is perpetuating the conflict? What might resolve it?

The Dome of the Rock

2. LATIN AMERICA. These days Latin America is almost as volatile as the Middle East. People here are angry. Five million people have fled Venezuela since 2015. More than one million Chileans are in the streets of Santiago as I type. Indigenous communities in Ecuador are protesting the end of fuel subsidies. Rampant violence in GuatemalaHonduras and El Salvador is driving thousands of families to flee. In Peru, where Alessandra was born and where we live, the President just dissolved congress in a campaign against corruption. That’s just the tip of the Latino iceberg.

And yet, Latin America summons us. The beauty, the hospitality, the food, the music, the traditions, the natural wonders. Many people know about Peru‘s natural wonders: the Andes, the Amazon jungle, Lake Titicaca, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. But how many know Peru’s story — about Inca dominion, Spanish conquest, religious syncretism, national independence, guerilla warfare and terrorism, political turmoil, vast inequality, the rise of Pentecostalism and more? We hope you find our posts on these topics provocative.

The Sacred Valley of Peru

We’re also curious about what is going on these days in NORTH AMERICA. It’s not just the strange demise of civility. So many Americans, including Christian Americans, seem to have retreated into cultural bubbles that eliminate the need to take other groups seriously. If you disagree with us, we want to learn from you (assuming you’re not a troll). We hope these pages will model humility and openness to correction.

If something on our site fires your curiosity, let us know! And, if you can take that curiosity on the road, join us!

It’s not where you go. It’s how you go.

Four-wheel trekking in Wadi Rum, Jordan