Guest Spotlight: Morocco in November

By Neil Graham

My 69-year-old father, my younger brother, and I arrange a big mountaineering trip each year. We've been fortunate enough to trek to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, the summit of Mount Olympus in Greece, and mainland Spain's Mulhacén, to name a few.

It's not about the profound, male-bonding odyssey or the quest to push each other and test ourselves against the natural elements. Living in different countries, it's the only chance we get to hang out except at Christmas, so we try and make it as memorable and as rewarding as possible. (Just an excuse for a few cold beers, really.)

We have always been intrigued by Morocco, however, with it being so close to Europe, yet on the continent of Africa, and having a large Arabic- and French-speaking population—in addition to ancient cities, bustling markets, sweeping deserts and, of course, superb cuisine. I had been to Tangier for a couple of days a few years earlier where I got a quick glimpse of the above, but this time, I was here with my father and my brother to climb the highest mountain in North Africa, Jbel Toubkal, which stands 13,671 feet tall, is around 60 miles south of Marrakesh, and is no mean feat.

Stay in a luxury tent in the Agafay Desert near Marrakesh!

As we stepped out of the frantic, yet sleek and modern, Marrakesh Menara Airport, we could see the snow-covered peaks of the Atlas Mountains through the sandy haze in the distance. We had no time to truly take it in, as we were ushered into a weathered SUV amid the chaos of the airport's taxi rank.

The driver hilariously repeated our pronunciation of Imlil out loud before chuckling and continuing to exchange friendly banter with us until just outside of Marrakesh. As we were approaching the foothills, the car went silent as we gazed out of the windows, looking at the rocky hillsides and the sheer drop into the deep canyons below, which were just centimeters away as the roads got narrower and narrower.

We arrived in Imlil—a small Berber village that we would use as base camp for our ascent—in the early afternoon and we were greeted by our amiable host, who was nothing but a complete gentleman the entire stay. Within half an hour of our arrival, we were treated to a delicious chicken tajine with a plate of fries, a traditional Moroccan salad, and mint tea.

We spent the rest of the day exploring the shops and the cafés, which, more often than not, just felt like stepping into people's homes—being made very welcome and being offered everything from tea to a three-course meal. The highlight of the day was when we were overlooking the village from the top of a shorter hiking route at the time of the call to prayer. From noisy commotion to a calming silence, the change was surreal. The first lines of the prayer projecting out of the mosque, resonating throughout the mountainous valleys, was spine-tingling.

After a hearty breakfast of boiled eggs, spicy olives, and toast, we set off on the first leg of our trek. We were headed towards the refuge on Toubkal, roughly a four-hour walk past steep gorges, even smaller villages, and numerous mule trains. We stopped for tea and coffee a couple of times on the way, and each time we were greeted with warmth and kindness from the local Berber community.

Upon arrival, our room at the refuge was cramped to say the least. The bunk beds were merely large planks of wood with small mattresses laid out side-by-side to accommodate 16 of us in total. You can imagine the difficulty of trying to sleep in dramatically reduced temperatures, while 15 other people are snoring, rustling in their sleeping bags, and coughing—it was quite orchestral!

We set off for the summit at 8 a.m., and the route started with some steep, energy-sapping scrambling before switching to a long slog up snow- and ice-covered inclines. By this point, the high altitude was having an effect, and the snow made crampons and ice axes a necessity. Despite the relative struggle, however, it was easy to be in awe of the, quite literally, breathtaking surroundings.

Four hours later, we were standing on the summit just as some menacing looking clouds were coming in thick and fast. We had just enough time for the obligatory summit selfie before navigating our way back down during a blizzard. The weather report had predicted snowfall in the evening, but that's mountaineering for you!

We were delighted to arrive at our lodge in Imlil for the night, quite ready for some more tajine and some mint tea. Our room was simple, but sophisticated; the beds were warm and cozy, the shower had hot water, and there was a stuttering Wi-Fi signal, everything we could've wanted. In the morning, our host had prepared us a glorious breakfast and arranged for our ride back to Marrakesh.

By this point, the snow had reached Imlil, and we were looking forward to the dryer weather and the chance to explore the city, especially the medina and its vibrant markets. We were able to enjoy a well-earned cold one in the airport before a few high fives and some back slaps, and then we were on our separate ways...until next time!

Has this blog peaked your interest? Check out these unique accommodations for extraordinary adventures and our top glamping sites in Morocco!

Easy Thanksgiving recipes if you're away from home

By Marta Gintowt

Many Americans find themselves being summoned to the homes of friends and relatives far and wide across the country. As there is nothing more uncomfortable than coming empty-handed to any event, there is also nothing worse than showing up with the same generic bottle of wine like everyone else.

Sharing food can be considered a way of showing love and care, so why not get creative with these easy Thanksgiving recipes for when you're not at home and make something that will be remembered? From things that will last the ride to things that can be made in a flash in your host's kitchen, this collection features gourmet delicacies that everyone will enjoy.


Canapés are elegant starters that are both simple to make and easy to eat. Since assembly can be fast and cooking is not necessary, they are perfect to bring along to any Thanksgiving gathering. Impress other guests with bright colors and interesting ingredients that will leave everyone hungry for more. Our favorite combinations are blinis covered with crème fraîche, salmon roe, and dill, as well as crackers topped with goat cheese, honey, and rosemary. Let's just hope there is enough counter space for assembly!

Roasted butternut squash soup

Is there anything more cozy and comforting than a big bowl of roasted butternut squash soup? After a long day of waiting for the feast to begin, this healthy soup can be introduced as a light, delicious, and warming appetizer. This soup actually tastes better when made ahead of time, so the flavors have time to blend, making it perfect for transporting in a Thermos during a car ride. It can be easily made vegetarian or vegan when cream is omitted and vegetable broth is used, so it's perfect for those who find it hard to find meat-free options on Thanksgiving.

Baked macaroni and cheese

A favorite Thanksgiving staple, baked macaroni and cheese is always sure to please. When preparing for a journey ahead, this recipe can be made the morning of and easily taken to the next destination, where hopefully an oven with plenty of room awaits. The traditional recipe calls for plenty of cheese and milk, but bolder chefs can add a twist by mixing in other ingredients, such as onions or broccoli, as well as traditional fall flavors, like smoked cheeses, pumpkin, and butternut squash.

Gourmet coleslaw

Thanksgiving calls for heavy, salty dishes that usually leave guests wishing they had something more fresh. This crunchy and colorful classic side has just that! Perfectly paired alongside turkey and heavier sides like stuffing and mashed potatoes, guests will be thrilled to dig into this red cabbage coleslaw. The crunchiest coleslaw is mixed right before serving to avoid wilting, so the light apple cider vinegar and vegan mayonnaise-based dressing can be mixed ahead of time, and the cabbage can be shredded at home before traveling commences.

Homemade biscuits

Homemade biscuits might sound underwhelming, but they are perfect when traveling long distance. Biscuits can even be made the evening before so they have time to cool down. With simple ingredients, like flour, butter, and baking soda, cooks can feel free to experiment with adding cheeses, herbs, seeds, or dried fruits, as well as substitute normal flour with a more healthy alternative.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Some consider dessert to be their favorite part of a Thanksgiving meal, and pumpkin cupcakes will certainly not disappoint. Simple yet delicious, those looking forward to baking these can do so ahead of time and pop them in the fridge until it's time for them to be served. As easy as using boxed vanilla cake mix and adding a can of pureed pumpkin and a half-tablespoon of cinnamon, these light cupcakes are the perfect compliment to heavy Thanksgiving fare. Top them with a whipped, cream cheese icing and orange and brown sprinkles, and watch them steal the show.

Apple Crisp

Perhaps the most complex dish on our list, apple crisp is certainly worth the effort. When bringing this dessert to another destination, feel free to assemble the ingredients ahead of time. When dinner plates are being cleared and guests are having a breather, pop the pastry in the oven for 20 minutes for the perfect crispy texture. Depending if you are trying to impress, you can opt to make a beautiful creation or a beautiful mess, as both will be equally delicious.

You've got the food sorted, but what about an alternative accommodation or a list of things you're grateful for? Don't worry—we've got you.

9 ways to show gratitude on Thanksgiving

By Kelsey Leon

Sometimes we forget that Thanksgiving is called "Thanksgiving" for a reason; it's a time where we're meant to reflect and show gratitude. In today's world, it can be easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of complaints and negativity, but expressing thankfulness is easier than you think. Here are 9 ways to show gratitude on Thanksgiving!

1. Reflect on privilege

This is a rather abstract concept, but an important one. Your ability to access the internet, go to Glamping Hub, and read this article already indicates your privilege. It is very important to realize that you have a lot to be grateful for. A simple way to do this is for every complaint that you make, state two things that you are thankful for.

2. Hug

Time for a little bit of science! Did you know that hugging releases oxytocin and endorphins? Oxytocin is a hormone that lowers blood pressure, as well as the stress hormone cortisol. Endorphins make you "feel good," and thus, happier. The bottom line is...give a lot of hugs this Thanksgiving!

3. Write cards for loved ones

Perhaps you aren't a person of many words, but it's incredible how a simple card can really make someone's day. Even if it's just a small paragraph expressing your love and appreciation for that person, a little goes a long way.

4. Volunteer

Volunteering may seem to be a cliché way to take action and show gratitude, but that doesn't mean it's any less effective. It's important, too, to make sure you're volunteering for something that is meaningful to you. For example, if you are passionate about keeping the ocean clean, you can volunteer for a beach cleanup. Start getting some inspiration!

5. Donate

Donating is similar to volunteering. Donate to causes that you are passionate about, whether it be to help foster children or save the rainforest, for example. If you donate to something that is important to you, it will have more of an impact on you.

6. Cook with the family

Perhaps this is something that you already do or maybe you are the one who does most of the cooking. If not, however, you should definitely try it out this year. Helping with cooking shows that you love and care about your family, and it's a great way to spend time together. Your family will be grateful for your help, too!

7. Do the chores

No one likes washing dishes, and that is exactly why you should. If you don't help with the cooking, you should contribute to the cleanup process. Sometimes showing gratitude means doing something as simple as helping out around the house; small actions like that are really appreciated.

8. Be present

This is such a simple item, but we often fail to realize that simply being in the presence of loved ones can mean so much. Spending time with each other and sitting around the dinner table is such a wonderful experience and creates memories that last forever. Put away your phone and any other distractions for a second, and allow yourself to really be in the moment.

9. Take time to appreciate nature

Often times, when we reflect on what we are thankful for, we generally think of people and materialistic things, such as a house or electricity. While it's important to appreciate these items, we don't generally think of nature. This is unfortunate, because nature is such an incredible gift. The best way to appreciate the great outdoors is to be in it, so why not celebrate Thanksgiving surrounded by nature?

Hungry for more Thanksgiving posts? Check out our blog on where to host an epic Friendsgiving!

Helpful tips for guests and hosts on America Recycles Day

By Amy Ahlblad

We bring our own bags to the grocery store, we've ditched straws on behalf of the innocent turtle we saw on Facebook, and we would never be caught dead with a plastic water bottle. It would seem that society is moving in the right direction, but we can't help but we treat going green on vacation in the same way we do with a "cheat day" when we're on a diet?

We actively control our eco-friendly impact, or carbon footprint, at work and at home, but does all of that go out the window as soon as we go out of town? We'll skip the guilt trip, as holiday days are meant to be enjoyed and to clear your mind, but there are ways you can do both! Both hosts and guests with Glamping Hub can rejoice without greenwashing1 on America Recycles Day on November 15 with these helpful tips.

For guests

A few small changes can be made before you ever leave your home. While walking out the door, be sure to turn down the thermostat and temperature on your water heater; unplug appliances that are not in use (microwave, iron, TV, etc.); and close your curtains and blinds to reduce added strain on your air conditioning.

It's not your fault that the small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash are seemingly irresistible—we're hardwired to find small things adorable. What's not cute is the plastic waste these little guys create. Every time you half use them or take them home, they will need to be replaced, thus creating more waste. Invest in a zero-waste toiletry kit to bring with you while traveling!

Unplug from your devices literally and physically. Remove chargers for phones cameras, hair straighteners, electric shavers, and other electronic devices from the wall plugs when not in use. These "energy vampires" are still sucking energy when left plugged in.

Do what you can to make things easier on your host by separating paper, glass bottles and cans, and plastic.

Ask your host if they compost and separate your food scraps accordingly if they do.

Limit the use of electricity and water at your accommodation. While you may not be footing the bill for the endless hours of air conditioning, energy is still being consumed.

For hosts

In recent years, the travel industry has been shaped by the rise of the eco-conscious consumer. Here, we will explore a few quick fixes to reduce waste and recycle.

Start a compost pile. Composting enriches the soil and helps retain moisture, thus reducing plant disease and pests. Composting also reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, and encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter to create humus, a nutrient filled material. It's easier than you think and will support a beautiful environment around your accommodation.

If you provide the proper place, guests will recycle. Make it easy for guests to do so by labeling the trash receptacles appropriately for plastic, glass, paper, and organic waste to be composted.

Low-flow faucets and showerheads can reduce water consumption by 30% to 50% and can reduce your water bill by up to a quarter. By installing an Aerator, which is a small, metal filter that attaches to your faucet or showerhead and adds air to the stream, water pressure will not be compromised. Low-flow faucets, showerheads, and aerators can be found at Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond, and on Amazon for roughly $15.

If you are located in a place with heavy rainfall, you should consider recycling this natural resource. Collect rainwater in barrels and reuse it to water plants or wash the floors. There are also long-term rainwater collection installments available, which can be used as an irrigation system or filtered back into the house for use in the showers, faucets, washing machine,and more.

Light fixtures are a simple fix that can help you save money and reduce waste long term. CFL and LED light bulbs use far less electricity and can last up to 10 times longer than traditional light bulbs. While these bulbs may initially be an investment, they will cut costs in the long term.

By making changes to go green, whether you are a guest or a host on Glamping Hub, you'll become part of a much larger, global effort—allowing guests and hosts to both help preserve the beautiful nature that surrounds our accommodations.

1The term greenwashing was coined by New York environmentalist Jay Westervelt in a 1986 essay regarding the hotel industry's practice of placing placards in each room to promote the reuse of towels, ostensibly to "save the environment." Westervelt noted that, in most cases, little or no effort toward reducing energy waste was being made by these institutions, as evidenced by the lack of cost reduction this practice affected.

Our favorite fall campfire snacks

By Marta Gintowt

Some of our favorite, quintessential fall things include pumpkin carving, apple picking, leaf raking, and trick-or-treating. Fall (in most parts of the Northern Hemisphere), however, can also mean the final days of the year where spending an evening outdoors can be enjoyed without shivering!

Taking in the fragrant autumn air under a starry sky is a beloved pastime, which can be made more cozy with the presence of a crackling campfire. As Halloween approaches, both young and old can enjoy traditional ghost stories and seasonal snacks, so let us share with you our favorite fall campfire snacks that deviate from the ordinary.

Spiked apple cider

'Tis the season where apples are falling abundant in orchards, making way for a bounty of apple-inspired dishes. From homemade apple sauce to sugary apple crisp, the possibilities are endless. When socializing around a campfire, however, what could be better than a fall-inspired cocktail? Whether you want to brew your own cider or buy the store-bought version, adding a little whiskey or other hard alcohol to your steaming beverage while enjoying a romantic fireside evening is perfect for making memories.

Pigs in a blanket

Pigs in a blanket can be considered an All-American hors d'oeuvre and are perfect for snacking while telling spooky stories. Tasty both warm and at room temperature, these snacks can be made the traditional way or with a gourmet twist, for those with a more refined palette. Prepared with hot dogs or sausages wrapped in crescent rolls and then baked, you can feel free to experiment by adding fancy ingredient, such as tiny gherkins, blue cheese, or whole-seed Dijon mustard, depending on the mood you want to set around the fire.


S'mores are to campfires as cookies are to milk, so this seasonal snack will never disappoint when the opportunity arises. The traditional, rustic method never fails and is made even better when using fallen twigs from nearby trees. Add sweet chocolate and graham crackers, and the storytelling will have to be postponed until everyone is finished savoring their sweet—and potentially messy—snack!

Spicy nut mix

After carving pumpkins, do you ever wonder what to do with that abundance of leftover seeds? Fortunately, we have a delicious solution! Lightly roasting the seeds in the oven will dehydrate them and make them beautifully crunchy. With the addition of spices (sweet or spicy) and other ingredients, there is a combination for every type of snacker. Our favorite is a spicy, salty combination of pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts, pretzels, and popcorn, mixed with a little bit of cayenne pepper, Old Bay seasoning, and, of course, sea salt.

Gourmet candy apples

When throwing a party, the main concern is usually if the guests will be impressed and happy. Mixing rustic with gourmet, these candy and caramel apples will surely make a campfire get-together truly unforgettable. Host and guests alike can participate in choosing their flavor and then decorating them with an interesting topping, all to be enjoyed while sitting fireside.

Pumpkin spice Rice Krispies® treats

The classic Rice Krispies® treats recipe we all enjoy and love is getting a new fall twist. They are the perfect fall dessert to complete the night as the fire dies down. The steps are simple—melting butter and marshmallows in a saucepan over high heat and then adding pumpkin puree, cinnamon, powdered ginger, grated nutmeg, and crispy rice cereal—these treats can be made ahead of time and easily transported to any fireside fiesta. You can even use fall-inspired cookie cutters and colorful sprinkles to make them extra festive.

Mulled wine

Chilly weather calls for warming beverages, especially when huddled around a campfire on a chilly night. Mulled wine might remind you of Medieval Times, but it is a truly delicious treat to make when the temperature drops. What makes mulled wine extra special is that is can either be made on the stove or, more spontaneously, outside over a crackling fire. All you need is a few bottles of red wine, spices (such as cinnamon and cloves), oranges, and a bit of sugar. Simmering is key so that the flavors can blend, and, after about a half an hour, this lovely, hot beverage can be enjoyed.

Love fall and Halloween? You can't miss our glamping take on spooky stories!

Top 5 Outdoor Activities to Enjoy While Glamping

By Stephen Gillis

1. Surfing

Waking up at the crack of dawn to squeeze into a wetsuit and hit the waves is a feeling like no other. Catch the perfect wave that carries you down the coast and launches you through the pipeline. Imagine exiting the pipeline onto the beach and right onto your glamping luxury tent! Spark up the fire and grab a cold one before settling in for a comfortable night sleep to prepare you for the following day's surf. With glamping accommodations in some of the best surf spots in the world, you can be sure to get to hit the waves in style.

2. Mountain Biking

Helmet on and gear set, you are ready to navigate your way down that mountain. The trek up was grueling, but it will all be worth it as you fly down the trails with the cool breeze and spectacular views. Hit the hills of Moab, Sun Valley, Crested Butte, Brevard, and many other stunning places to mountain bike. Ride directly down to your glamping site, where you can fully relax and recover for another day of action.

3. Whitewater Rafting

Hit the rivers paddle in hand and and helmet strapped tight. Brace yourself for the thrill of whitewater rafting on some of the U.S.’s top rivers. We're talking the Colorado River, French Broad, Chattooga, Arkansas, and many more. Regardless of where you decide to embark on this water-based adventure, glamping will be within a stone's throw. Finish up the day on the whitewater by relaxing at your luxury camping site with all the desired amenities.

4. Horseback Riding

Take a ride on arguably the most majestic animal to exist—the horse. Powerful, yet gentle, and elegant, yet sturdy, a horse can make a lasting impression. Horseback riding is an experience like none other, where you can navigate rough terrain to catch a glimpse of breathtaking sunsets. You will not only build a closer connection to nature, but with the animal that is making it possible. Nothing screams glamour more than horseback riding on a beach. Stroll down the coast directly to your glamping site for an unforgettable experience.

5. Hiking

A great way to exercise and explore a new environment is to explore it by foot. You can gain a much deeper appreciation for a location by staying closer to the ground and at a slower pace. That way you can have a more intimate hike through the pure, majestic wilderness of some of America’s finest National Parks. No matter where in the US you decide to hike, glamping will be available for you to enjoy all the necessities you would expect in a 5 star hotel. Book now for a truly unforgettable experience!

Looking to plan a trip? Head over to Glamping Hub to browse our full inventory.

Gourmet Glamping

By Stephen Gillis

1. Sonoma, California

Hands down, the best way to feel glamorous is by swirling a glass of red wine, and what better place is there to indulge than in California Wine Country? Napa Valley of Sonoma County in Northern California is home to some of the finest vineyards in the world, with optimal conditions for growing numerous varieties of grapes. What makes the environment so perfect is everything to do with the cool breeze that combs through the vineyards. At night, the crisp air chills the grapes and protects the thin, vulnerable skin. While glamping in Sonoma County, you will be able to experience the same breeze as you sip red wine cultivated on the very earth you stand upon. The best way to describe this experience is totally grounding, and you will only think about who you are sharing the moment with.

2. Asheville, North Carolina

The mountain oasis known as Asheville, North Carolina, is truly a gem in the American south and stands tall as a beacon for craft, culture, and cuisine, while boasting the energy of a bustling artistic epicenter. The inhabitants, along with glampers who visit, have an appreciation for the hand making of crafts that runs as deep as the roots of the surrounding spires of towering pine. This is apparent in the craft beer scene of Asheville, which attracts beer lovers from across the country. You may find yourself in The Thirsty Monk at one of their tastings, or for a longer event, you would certainly enjoy the city's Oktoberfest.

3. Damazan, France

While glamping in France, food lovers shall rejoice as eating well is inevitable. With traditions and recipes passed down from older generations, the French cuisine is sure to be the highlight of any visit. After collecting local produce from the town market, guests can prepare a meal inspired by the perfect surroundings. When dinner is ready, spirits are lifted as the bread is broken and the local wine is poured. Outside the French doors, the Canal Lateral reflects the bright, full moon light. What you are feeling now is within grasp at this beautiful cottage in the picturesque region of Damazan, France. Glamping here will allow you to be able to spend time with loved ones in an environment perfect for making memories.

4. Venice, Italy

Perhaps one of the most romantic destinations in the world is the one-and-only Venice, Italy. Imagine gently drifting in a gondola down a narrow canal on a warm summer day, and having just indulged in a tiramisu gelato. Glamping in Venice is truly an experience unlike most would have in Italy. Situated just outside of the city, your glamping site is just a short, beautiful boat ride away from the main square. In this bell tent, you can enjoy peaceful, quiet nights right by the coast.

5. Portland, Maine

With the Atlantic Ocean drifting onto the shores, Portland, Maine, boasts some of the freshest and most delicious seafood available. The lobster is a local legend, but the lore is for you to uncover. Discover the beautiful and historical city of Portland through the gourmet cuisine in through your taste buds. Feast on lobster rolls that boast a very liberal quantity of the coveted delicacy, warm your belly with creamy clam chowder, and try many more local favorites. To go glamping in Maine means you must come hungry for both local delicacies and plenty of adventure. Are you ready?

6. Granada, Spain

Granada, Spain, is a gastronomical city unlike anywhere else. You will not only eat well, but you will eat cheap. Order a glass of your preferred beverage, and then you will be presented with a delicious free tapa that pairs perfectly. Mind you, when you want more food, that means you will need to ask for another beverage to prompt another free tapa. Something else that sets this beautiful Spanish city apart are the amazing caves found dotted in the mountains. With polished furnishings and modern amenities, they are perfect for relaxing after a full day exploring the wonderful culinary opportunities that Granada has to offer.

7. Austin, Texas

When in Texas, glampers are going to need an appetite as big as the state itself. While Tex-Mex and Barbecue are a staple of the local cuisine, the city of Austin allows glampers to step out of their culinary comfort zone and try something new. Whether its a lively food truck festival or an unexpected fusion restaurant, glamping in Austin seamlessly mixes the perfect gastronomical adventure with fun outdoor activities that reconnect you with nature.

Hungry for more? Head on over to Glamping Hub to check out some more fantastic getaways!

3 Key Ways Travel Can Inspire Your Yoga Practice

By Amy Ahlblad

Editor's Note: This blog post was written by Sheila Miller of Yogapedia.

I was 16 the first time I took a big trip without my family or any of my friends. Everyone else knew one another, and as the new kid in an existing social structure, I had the opportunity to see the consequences of my choices clearly.

Going through our daily lives, it can be difficult to detangle our own patterns and habits from the world around us. Doing so is a crucial part of the yogic practice. The yogic sages taught that in order to create lasting transformation in our lives, we must extract ourselves from karmic and behavioral patterns, called samskaras. If karma is not a concept you find helpful, consider that the patterns of belief and interpersonal interaction in your family are probably much older than you are.

That first experience of traveling alone gave my 16-year-old self a chance to determine which sufferings I could directly control, and the three-and-a-half weeks I was away convinced me I had the courage to make difficult changes and face adversity alone. When I returned, I made two big changes. My life has been better ever since.

While that might not sound like yoga at first, one of the most critical aspects of a yoga practice is study of the self. Our physical prowess amounts to mere tricks if it doesn't relieve our suffering and change our behavior when we are in challenging situations.

Read on for more information: Svadhyaya: Spend a Lifetime Getting to Know Yourself & Deepening Your Yoga Practice

Removed from our usual surroundings, we can see ourselves more clearly. The process of using our powers of reason, analysis, and observation to learn about ourselves connects to every other part of the yoga practice. In the remainder of this article, I'll offer three ways travel can further inspire your yoga practice.

New Beginnings

Any disruption to our schedules can be an opportunity to form new, positive habits or abandon negative ones. Whether you'd like to eat oatmeal every day or begin setting aside 10 minutes daily for pranayama, a shift in your schedule and priorities gives a window in which to make it happen.

In addition to being free from many of our usual time constraints, we are less subject to the patterns and habits that govern us when we are outside of our usual environment. Before your next trip, you might choose a habit or activity that would bring you joy and plant the seeds of that life each day during your journey.

During an extended trip to Costa Rica, I finally started using my Neti Pot daily. Those fantastical sounding claims about it improving your sleep (among many other benefits)? They proved true for me.

Going Deeper

Yoga can be the purpose for travel, too. Setting time aside for dedicated practice, such as going to a retreat, can help you break through plateaus and elevate the baseline satisfaction you experience with your practice.

There are so many yoga and meditation retreats that it can be hard to choose. I recommend finding a teacher from whom you'd like to learn, a technique or practice you'd like to spend time with, or a place to which you feel a connection.

A retreat enables you to gather a store of resources to call upon when you return to daily life and to meet yourself very intimately. I did my first week-long, silent meditation retreat 20 years ago, and I still learn lessons from it to this day.

Letting Go

Even while traveling, we aren't free of our habits, patterns, and conditioning. A journey puts us outside of our comfort zone; it's up to us what we do while we're there.

One of Patanjali’s sutras on yoga that I have found especially helpful to work with while traveling is this one, Heyam duhkham anaagatam (Yoga Sutra II.16), which may be translated as "future suffering can be avoided." This means that if it hasn't happened yet, then we still have room to intervene.

Travel allows us to feel and to experience our own reactions to thoughts and circumstances. The clutter in our minds and hearts of needing to pay the bills, be at work and so on, quiets, and we have an opening through which to see what we would like to change.

Realizing we wish to change something in our lives can be frightening. Still, this is one of the most potent ways in which travel can fuel our practice of yoga. Simultaneously, being out of our usual environment affords us affirmation that we'll be alright. Through change, comings and goings, fear, and comfort, we'll be alright.

For tips on how to keep your sadhana while traveling: Yoga for Your Travels

OM To-Go

The main idea is this: Seeing the world and the lives of others helps us to better see ourselves and the impact of our actions more clearly. No matter where you go or whether you can bring your yoga mat, you can still bring your practice. Happy travels!

Yogapedia is dedicated to curating knowledge from around the globe. Our intention is to help seekers turn within and connect with Self (Ātman) through shared understanding of the philosophy and practice of yoga.

To keep up with Yogapedia, follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Don't forget to check out Glamping Hub's guest blog on Yogapedia, too—read on here.

National Parks: Interesting Facts and Captivating Accommodations

By Neil Graham

On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act, which ensured that Yellowstone was "reserved and withdrawn from settlement, occupancy, or sale" and that it was "for the benefit and the enjoyment of the people," thus, creating the concept of a National Park.

Today, there are 60 National Parks across the United States, many of which showcase some of the world's most fascinating and awe-inspiring geological features on the planet—including red rock canyons, snow-capped peaks, deep lakes, and even a supervolcano. Every year, they attract millions of adventurers who are yearning to experience the sublime beauty of the wilderness and a rejuvenating sense of freedom.

An image of Yellowstone National Park.

To help you decide where to go on your next glamping getaway, here are five interesting facts about National Parks along with five of our most extraordinary accommodations nearby.

Yellowstone National Park

A view from Yellowstone National Park.

Sprawling across three different states, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, Yellowstone was the first ever National Park and is renowned for its multitude of wildlife and geological features including Old Faithful, a spectacular cone geyser that erupts with relative predictability, which led to its name.

Fact #1: Beneath the surface of Yellowstone is an active supervolcano that contains enough magma to fill the Grand Canyon more than 11 times over.

A view from the exterior of the log cabin near Yellowstone in Montana.
For your trip to Yellowstone, stay at this log cabin with mountain views in Montana.

Sequoia National Park

A photo of Sequoia National Park in California.

Sequoia National Park lies in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California and is world famous for its astonishing sequoia trees in the Giant Forest and its breathtaking trails, including the Moro Rock Trail, which offer sensational mountain views.

Fact #2: Named after an American Civil War general, the General Sherman sequoia tree towers above any visitor at 83.8 meters tall and is the largest-known, living, single stem tree on the planet.

A view of the exterior and outdoor seating area at the riverfront cabin near Sequoia National Park in California.
For your trip to Sequoia National Park, stay at this riverfront cabin in the Sierra Nevada Foothills of California.

Yosemite National Park

A photo of the mountains in Yosemite National Park in California.

Thanks to the efforts of Scottish activist John Muir, who grew up in Wisconsin, the natural beauty of Yosemite was well-documented in national newspapers, magazines, and journals, and he was able to raise awareness about the potential threat of destruction to its landscape.

Fact #3: Yosemite's Half Dome granite rock formation provided the inspiration for the logo of outdoor specialists, North Face.

A view from below the impressive cabin rental near Yosemite National Park in California.
For your trip to Yosemite National Park, stay at this gorgeous woodland cabin in Mariposa, California.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A photo of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.

Spanning across North Carolina and Tennessee, the legendary park is renowned for its astonishing fall colors, its snowcapped peaks in the winter, and its rich Southern Appalachian history. Unlike other National Parks, there is no charge to enter the park, and it proudly holds the title of the most-visited National Park in the U.S. There are over 800 miles of hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail, as well as picturesque rivers and waterfalls, ancient woodlands, and 300-million-year-old mountains.

Fact #4: The park gets its name from the Cherokee word shaconage, which means "place of blue smoke" and describes the eerie fog that gathers above the forested mountains, which creates a "smoky" effect.

A view from the exterior of the log cabin in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in the wintertime.
For your trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, stay at this luxury log cabin in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Olympic National Park

A view of the ocean waters that form part of the Olympic National Park in Washington.

The Olympic National Park is one of the most unspoiled parks in the country, giving visitors an insight into its ancient formation from glacial ice and an authentic wilderness experience. Its mountains were developed deep beneath the ocean's surface before glaciers, which were one mile-thick, carved out its rugged terrain. Nowadays, it is home to an array of diverse ecosystems, all teeming with wildlife, and boasts 73 miles of epic mountainous coastline.

#Fact 5: Due to its Ice Age isolation, 15 animals and eight species of plant evolved here and nowhere else on the planet, such as the Olympic marmot, Olympic mud minnow, and crescent trout.

A view from the exterior at nighttime of the cabin rental near Olympic National Park in Washington.
For your trip to Olympic National Park, stay at this spacious cabin rental in Port Angeles, Washington.

Check out our collection of extraordinary accommodations near National Parks and enjoy an unforgettable experience in the sublime beauty of nature!

Earth Day, Ecotourism, and What You Can Do to Help

By Kyomi Wade

Without nature, one of the four pillars of Glamping Hub's core values would crumble—which is why we, as a business, both respect and appreciate every aspect of it. This month, as Earth Day approaches on April 22, we are taking the opportunity to help spread the word about its aims and complex subject of ecotourism.

Glamping Hub will be donating 10% of the day's revenue to the official Earth Day Network and have launched a Green Pledge with the full support of the company's senior management.

Photo courtesy Earth Day Network

What is ecotourism?

As you begin to understand the principles of ecotourism, it is easy to immediately be thrown off by the industry's technical jargon. Eco-friendly, responsible tourism, conscious travel, and green tourism are just a few of the larger list of terms that are regularly used in an interchangeable way.

But we have good news for you! The majority of these definitions unify to support quite a simple ethos: protecting and respecting local culture, adopting environmentally-friendly practices, and economically supporting local communities in a sustainable way.

We particularly like the definition of Ecotourism coined by the director of the International Sustainable Tourism Initiative at Harvard, Epler Wood: "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” For example, it might be easier to think of conserving the natural wonders of our earth as ecotourism—which it is—but equally so is making sure that the locals are economically benefiting from tourism.

The travel industry has the opportunity to provide education, job/career creation, and development for local communities. However, due to what is referred to as "tourism leakage," sometimes only a mere 10% of money is going back to the local community. Your contribution as a conscious traveler can be awareness when traveling, choosing to spend your money at local businesses whenever possible.

Earth Day and making a difference

This year, Earth Day is calling each and every one of us to pledge to end plastic pollution, one of the most important environmental problems that we face today and one that we have contributed to greatly—whether knowingly or not. Did you know that 300 million tons of plastic are sold each year and that 90% of that is thrown away? The opportunity to tackle this is huge, and with your input we can really make a difference.

But why should you care about plastic pollution? The issue with plastic is that the amount of plastic we create is essentially here forever. To put it into perspective, one single plastic bottle, though it may decompose, takes close to 500 years to fully do so. Moreover, although it breaks down, it still remains in our soil and water, affecting our crops, ocean life, and ourselves.

When plastic decomposes in the ocean for example, it breaks down into small poisonous particles, microplastics, that are then swallowed by ocean life and, later, humans. As if this wasn't enough reason for concern, the energy it takes to simply create plastic creates omissions that catalyze climate change. Therefore, if we think about how much plastic we use on a daily basis, pledging to recycle or cut down on usage seems like a small feat to combating climate change and protecting the health of both our sea life and ourselves.

What you can do and our pledge

Thanks to our wonderful and proactive Glamping Hub Green Initiative Team, we have already started to take steps as a business to reduce our waste and recycle. We have developed a system to educate our office on what goes where, making the process of recycling easier for everyone. Currently, we can are recycling plastic, cans, paper, glass, and batteries.

Continuing the green theme and our support of Earth Day on April 22, we pledge to not use plastic bottles, bags, and straws for the whole month of April. We have also organized fundraising initiatives to add to our contribution.

If you're wondering what you can do to help out starting today, let us be of assistance. Begin by reading some easy-to-implement tips on traveling green. If you are a traveler, you may or may not know that 2017 was the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, and a very useful resource is their "Tips For a Responsible Traveler" guide, from the #travelenjoyrespect campaign, which you can find here.

You can also sign the Earth Day petition to end plastic pollution. The petition calls on governments and world leaders to take note of the severity of plastic pollution. Your signature would make a world of a difference in showing those in charge that we, the people of planet Earth. You can find the petition here!

Lastly, you can book your next glamping trip with peace of mind! As mentioned above, Glamping Hub will be donating 10% of revenue made on Earth Day, April 22, to the official Earth Day Network. You can plan your perfect getaway knowing that you are simultaneously making a pledge to protect our earth.

Want to browse some beautiful, eco-friendly properties on Glamping Hub? Start exploring here!

We hope that by Glamping Hub pledging to make internal changes, we have made you think about your relationship with our planet. Though we don’t yet consider ourselves to be a fully eco-friendly company, we hope you will join us in our journey to do so,one step at a time!