This Week in Travel: Good people & pumice stones

#1 Strangers being kind


Travelling with a child is challenging. When Lori Gabriel, mother to 6-year old Brayson, flies with her son, she does so with ‘advance mode’ switched on. Brayson has autism. While he enjoys flying, this particular trip was rather tricky. Just as Lori started worrying about the situation potentially turning ugly, the flight crew made exceptions to accommodate Brayson. Passengers high-fived Brayson and one even wrote a sweet note to Lori, reminding her that she was loved and supported.

#2 Making difficult situations easier

Flight delays are the worst. Passengers waiting to board their flight from Orlando to Washington D.C. recently, unfortunately, found themselves in this very situation. Two and a half hours into the delay, a gate agent initiated games to take everyone’s mind off things. Passengers with the “Worst Driver’s License Photo” or the best paper aeroplane folding skills won token prizes of US$ 25 in airline vouchers and merchandise.

#3 Using celebrity for positive influence

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We’re all aware of the dire situation ongoing in the Amazon Rainforest by now. Fires have been raging at a record rate threatening wildlife and Earth’s oxygen. Leonardo Di Caprio, actor and environmentalist, has launched a US$ 5 million fund to assist the local organisations who have been working tirelessly to protect the rainforest and survive amidst the massive blazes. According to Earth Alliance, Leo’s newly minted environmental organisation, 100% of the donations will go directly to protecting the Amazon.

Read also: The Amazon Rainforest is on fire: what is happening and what can we do?

#4 Raising awareness where it counts


Antonio de la Rosa, a 50-year-old from Valladolid, Spain, paddled all 2,500 miles on a massive stand-up paddleboard that measured in at 21 feet long. The trip from California to Hawaii took 76-days to complete. In an effort to raise awareness for protecting the oceans from man-made pollution, Antonio painted the words, “SAVE the OCEAN,” and “NO plastics, NO nets, RECYCLE.” Sustaining himself on dehydrated food with the occasional freshly caught fish, he paddled for up to ten hours each day and slept on the board in a small hatch just large enough for him.

#5 Pumice rocks floating through the sea

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

A massive floating sheet of volcanic pumice rock is drifting towards Australia. Caused by an underwater volcano eruption near the Pacific Island of Tonga, this ‘raft’ is approximately the size of Manhattan. It is believed to house organisms like crabs and corals. Experts say that if the waterlogged stones arrive at the Great Barrier Reef, it could actually help revive the ecosystem. This is one way Mother Nature distributes sea life across the ocean.

Chloe Pharamond

This nomad's natural habitat is napping under a shady tree on the beach with a book clutched in hand. She likes fresh coconuts with a healthy splash of rum, organic conversations that meander into the night and getting lost in new places.

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