7th Annual Nomadic Journey: Trekking the Incan Citadel of Machu Picchu

Experienced by Kimatni D Rawlins

For my 7th Annual Nomadic Journey to enlighten the mind, body, and soul, I adventurously explored the remote citadel of Machu Picchu by way of trekking the awe-inspiring Inca Trail. Consisting of continuous miles of stone paths and thousands of original rock-strewn Incan steps carved from the Andes Mountains centuries ago, the short expedition was spiritually uplifting and full of awakening sustenance.

The Journey

 

You will fly into Jorge Chavez International Airport outside of Lima from your home destination and then take a short flight into Cusco to prepare for the adventure to Machu Picchu. In my case, United Airlines routed me on a direct Business Class flight from Newark. It is advised to enjoy Cusco for at least two days to acclimate to the altitude before hiking. But please make sure to visit Green Point while in Cusco for some of the most delicious and purest vegan food the city has to offer.

Whether you decide to engage in an extended 4-day hike to Peru’s 7th Wonder, or ride lavishly aboard the 1920s-styled carriages of the luxurious Belmond Hiram Bingham train through the Sacred Valley, the enchanting experience will replenish your temple with restorative Andean wisdom and vitality. More affordable options include either IncaRail or PeruRail from San Pedro station in Cusco. I chose the 1-day Inca Trail trek with Sam Travel Peru, which required me to train it to stop 104 (common hiker’s drop-off point) for a deeper understanding of the archeological site. This option was about $400 from the experienced Peruvian tour group. My guide Miguel educated me on the history of the Incas and vicariously showcased the ways of the ancient world.  I also met some new friends from London, Marta and Nuno, who were just as adventurous.

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The River and The Rock

Strong, unyielding and resilient is the rock,

that lay in paths of river streams eventually forming walls of resistance,

Rapid, swift, and bending is the forceful flow of liquid current.

dipping over, around, and throughout the creative path of boulders and river rocks –

Only nomadic rhythms will deny it from being stopped.

Who is the wiser?

Which is more dominate?

Life force is created when two becomes one,

such as heat and sun!

Once united, the mind synthesizes all natural elements,

transitioning to the physical next,

then the spirit for nirvanic relevance.

Thus, the stone wins against water,

and water overpowers the rock.

As above, so below;

for, balance is your key to life.

Keep rising!

By Kimatni D. Rawlins in Machu Picchu Pueblo alongside the Vilcanota River.

Heavenly Experiences at Montego Bay’s S Hotel Jamaica

Words by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Wah Gwaan! Welcome back to the land of pristine Caribbean waters, roots rock Reggae, and jerk recipes that satisfy the soul. Whether your travel is romantic, entertainment, or spiritually based, Jamaica will always provide that cerebral experience required for a heavenly getaway.

I typically jet set to the island of “natural mystic” a few times annually to release old, negative energy and inhale positive vibrations with family and friends. Plus, it’s a must that my belly maintains satiation from Rastafarian iTal or spiced vegan grub to enhance bodily function. And no matter where I venture to my spiritual leader, Robert Nesta Marley, is always by my side, such as at the S Hotel Jamaica where I settled in for a few fantastic evenings during a short excursion. [Read more…]

The Ethiopian Experience: Trekking the Highlands of Lalibela

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Selam, and welcome to “the origin,” the African nation that has never been colonized by Europeans. Look up The Battle of Adwa where King Menelik II defeated the Italians in an epic sequence of historical consequence. So finally, after years of research, readings, teachings and listening to roots reggae rhythms epitomizing The Promised Land, I finally took the requisite steps needed for a transformative Ethiopian experience as part of my 6th Annual Nomadic Journey in Addis Ababa and Lalibela.

I ventured to Ethiopia for its strength, Abyssinian culture, veggie injera meals, traditional Eskista shoulder dance up close and to breathe with deep spirit from the highlands of Lalibela. I began the excursion upon landing into Addis Ababa, the capital and largest city of Ethiopia, while enjoying many of the historic sites including the National Museum of Ethiopia, Ethiopian National Theatre, Ethnological Museum, the Red Terror Martyr’s Museum, Menelik Palace in the Entoto Hills and the Historic Kidist Selassie Cathedral which is the highest-ranking Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in the city. Sarcastically, I was also also looking for freedom fighting singer Teddy Afro, the Bob Marley of Ethiopia. Listen to any one of his classics and you will be become an instant devotee. Trust me! [Read more…]

Fit Fathers 6th Annual Nomadic Journey: Kenya’s Maasai Mara & the Balance of Nature

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Jambo! It’s the Swahili greeting I heard and repeated regularly throughout my 2-week journey in the Motherland to experience the beauty of nature in its purest and most divine form. The 6th Nomadic Journey — where I venture solo like a rover to rediscover life, disconnect from addictive American culture and explore deeper consciousness and spiritual freedom — brought me to the lands of Africa to spend time with the wild in their natural habitat within the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Southwest Kenya.

Majestic, serene and spiritual scenes left me in awe for the entirety of the trip and ultimately fulfilled some of my profoundest, transcendental aspirations. I began the long excursion from Washington, DC and traveled on United Airlines to Frankfurt and then Lufthansa to Nairobi. As a frequent traveler I always fly with the same airline alliance to earn miles, upgrades, respectable customer services, etc. After traveling almost 3-million miles with the Star Alliance I’ve earned a prestigious position for exceptional treatment. Arrival to Nairobi took place on Jamhuri Day which is a national holiday celebrated December 12th to commemorate Kenya’s attaining of independence. As you can imagine people were rejoicing with adulation across the country. [Read more…]

Healthy Culinary Experiences in Africa

Here are some of the amazing and traditional vegan foods we enjoyed in Kenya, Egypt and Ethiopia during the 6th Annual Nomadic Journey. Keep in mind that the staple food for mostly every indigenous culture is a legume (bean) or grain.

Our favorite culinary experiences included the Ethiopian veggie injera dish with lentils and cabbage and Egypt’s Koshari national dish which was divine. Koshari is a super meal made from macaroni noodles, lentils, rice, chickpeas and spiced tomato sauce. In Nairobi, Kenya make sure to pay a visit to the LMS Adventist Guest House for their magnificent $2.70 all vegan medley. [Read more…]

Travel Fitness: Run London’s Hyde Park

Fit Fathers struck again, this time at London’s enchanting Hyde Park for an energetic 6-mile loop around the perimeter before flying home today. Representing as the largest of the four Royal parks, you can also take in the sites of the Italian Gardens, Kensington Gardens, Albert Memorial, Queen Victoria Statue and much more. Now we will burn off the rest of our vegan weekend feasting through another two miles of walking the Underground train system and the massive airport terminal at Heathrow. [Read more…]

Vacation Fitness in Paradise: Experience The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali

Words by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Welcome to “The Island of Gods” in the magnificent Republic of Indonesia for an immersive vacation to focus on deeper spiritual awareness and living in the presence of Mother Nature’s serenity. Located between Lombak and Java, Bali is a majestic land consisting of volcanic mountains, mesmerizing topography, stunning flora and heartwarming people. The tropical climate — commingled with deep ravines, hillside rice fields, enchanting waterfalls and delectable Balinese fare — has created an indelible imprint that will remain with me indefinitely.

The lifelong dream of visiting Bali was shared by my wife Misa so we decided to manifest our intentions and make reality come true. Deciding on accommodations, whether it’s a resort, condo or villa, is always pivotal. Since Misa is a Platinum member with SPG we zeroed in on The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali which is conveniently located 10 kilometers from the Ngurah Rai International Airport (resembles an ancient temple) and close to the capital city of Denpasar, the main gateway to the island. The luxuriant 5-star family resort is nestled on white sandy beaches with beautiful vistas of the Indian Ocean. The Westin was perfect for enhancing our constellation of wedding commemorations. [Read more…]

Globe Aware Trip to Cambodia: The Impact of Volunteering for a Family

A family’s week-long volunteer vacation in Cambodia harvested a new global perspective for their four children, ages 10-17.

For their volunteer project the Vlaisimsky family spent time building a well for the community, assembling and distributing wheel chairs to landmine victims, and teaching English at a local non-governmental organization providing schooling for disadvantaged children in Siam Reap. It was during their time at the school that the family became intimately acquainted with the richness and reality of the Cambodian culture.  [Read more…]

Machu Picchu, Peru & South America: Trek the Lares Trail:

For those of you who like to get off the beaten track, the Lares Trail trek is the most scenic and cultural of all the Inca trails. The journey begins in the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco, and travels through small highland communities that have experienced little change over the centuries. We’ll witness firsthand the traditional lifestyles of the locals as we pass by artisans, weavers, and shepherds with their flocks of llamas and alpacas. With any luck, we’ll also see the impressive Andean condor soaring above. The grand finale is a visit to the legendary Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas.” This Peru trekking tour showcases the heart of Peruvian mountain culture. [Read more…]