Go Travel and Talk’s ‘Blog Feature of the Month’ is all about connecting each other with the inspiration we need to EXPLORE, SHARE and IMPACT. The purpose of this monthly feature is to showcase explorers who are out in the world making a positive impact, and to empower each other to get involved. By joining the Go Travel and Talk community and learning from one another through sharing our insights, stories and experiences we believe that TOGETHER we can positively shape the future of travel.
Go Travel and Talk’s ‘Blog Feature of the Month’ September 2019 goes to the inspirational powerhouse Emily Farthing. Emily runs Eat Pray Bike, a platform dedicated to sharing the nuances of responsible travel, personal discoveries and major 'life fumbles'.
There are a million and one reasons why we love Emily and why we enjoy following her journey so much. Her candor and honesty, her zest for life, her passion for connecting people and places and reminding us how important and life changing living in community can be. She inspires us daily with her words and with her experiences that she shares through the Eat Pray Bike platform, so in return we can learn, understand and grow.
Emily’s outlook and values are SO inline with everything we believe in at Go Travel and Talk. Her message and personal story is emotive, relatable and inspirational and we are so grateful that our paths have crossed. Her articles are in-depth and jam packed with knowledge and her photography is beautiful!
But what we love most about Emily and her platform, is that it is real and authentic.
You instantly feel connected to her and the work she is doing. Her energy is contagious and her Instagram (and platform) is a place of inspiration and love. So do yourself a favour, and follow Emily as she journeys through life. And don't miss out on her Instagram stories - they are incredible!
Emily is a traveling photographer, teacher, and communications specialist dedicated to the cultivation of community, both online and IRL (and matching her Instagram music to her stories, slightly obsessively ;)).
For the past 7 years, she’s dedicated her lifestyle, post getting clean from alcohol and drugs, to exploring how vastly different communities can work together on housing solutions. This was a direct result of seeing first hand the correlation between addiction and homelessness. This has meant living in and managing some untraditional spaces such as shared housing, a trailer, on the road, office floors, shared rooms, and more recently a favela in Rio de Janeiro.
Her studies three years ago at the University of Oregon in Public Policy led her to an internship opportunity in Rio with Favela Experience (Favex) where she began to explore how Rio’s neglected neighborhoods create sustainable solutions while cultivating thriving community networks. She continued this work remotely while traveling the world and documenting her travels and off the beaten path adventures. She is now based out of Vidigal favela in Rio de Janeiro where she is part of the Favex team curating international partnerships, creating opportunities for exchanges and experiences within Rio’s favelas, led by the community leaders themselves.
The blog “Eat Pray Bike” began in 2012 as a way to talk about going from little experience in distance cycling to cycling over 800 miles one summer as a fundraiser for the Interfaith Prayer Service International. It continues now as a way to document the nuances of responsible travel, personal discoveries, major life fumbles, and the spiritual journey that encompasses it all.
Her commitment to bring awareness and joy through action and humor can be explored - @eatpraybike Or you can follow her adventures in travel and favela living on her website, Eat Pray Bike.
What does exploring mean to you?
Exploring is an adventure that from wherever you are in the world can be done internally. There have been countless trips I’ve taken, like flying to Bali, then breaking up with my boyfriend there, then having the volcano erupt and being stuck in Bali with said ex-boyfriend, in which the biggest trip was not how spectacular the location was, but how well mapped out parts of my insides were to handle this situation. I wanted to die in this moment. I wanted to be anywhere except there, and this wasn’t the first time that has happened while traveling.
The old homage, no matter where you go there you are, is SO TRUE.
To be able to navigate reactions to other people in a way in which I don’t later find myself cringing at my own words is an explorational goal in maintaining a serene internal landscape. It is a daily practice and where I am at now in my journeys ;) Which can be CHALLENGING living in a place where day to day there might not be water, Internet, electricity or peace. Finding internal rhythms that provide that slice of peace during journeys that are out of my control is
EXPLORATION of the most spectacular kind.
Why do you believe in sharing your experiences?
Stories are power.
8 years ago I witnessed a woman sharing her most embarrassing personal stories to some women who had gone through a similarly traumatizing and relatable history. Watching her share so candidly and openly about things that had also happened in my past, but I was too consumed with shame to share with anyone, be used as a tool to let others know it gets better, IS GOLDEN.
Our stories are what can bring hope, and connectivity, education and empathy.
I think the more stories we shared we could have the ability to make massive shifts in some of our world’s most dire issues. For me, hearing the stories of other women have literally saved my life.
How do you make a positive impact through travel?
Travel pushes our limits to show us what we are really capable of. Through traveling I have been able to better relate to people who once I may never I thought had anything in common with. My mind is continually blown for instance, how lower-income communities in Brazil are teaching me what community feels like, and how social networks can organize in ornate systems on a level I have never witnessed in the United States. For me, in the past three years, most of my personal growth and awareness of how to be a better neighbor and global citizen has come from spending time here in Vidigal favela and the work with Favela Experience and Favela Inc.
Travel is also a catalyst for economic empowerment.
Some helpful guidelines around knowing where your money is going while you travel check-out PHENOMENAL fellow travel bloggers: Uncornered Market whose blog is an endless resource on impact tourism and travel.