As a photographer, storyteller, travel advisor, athlete and friend, I apply my love for adventure and people with Yahnny Bly & Co. My travel company creates custom journeys to remote landscapes that typically include physical activity. But our journeys are immersive as we learn cultural notes and anecdotes from the people we meet while traversing the land and sea with utmost reverence. We relish foods and drinks weaved together with family recipes and rich histories. During the past 11 years as a travel professional and photographer, I met local merchants, artisans, athletes and public figures who have become great friends. It is important to my mission that I build this same kind of experience with custom trips that provide unforgettable memories for my guests. Most importantly, I am a friend to those I meet along the way. We are all here to share the world and as travelers. We are responsible for applying an ethical approach towards preserving our environment and to respect the diversity that paints humanity with unique beauty. As mindful travelers, we share the story of the world and its history while ushering a new generation to fearlessly continue our journey.
Who is Bly in Yahnny Bly? The pseudonym was influenced by historical journalist Nellie Bly (1864-1922) who was a pioneer of investigative journalism and America’s first female war correspondent. She wrote for several prestigious American newspapers and focused on controversial issues surrounding the plight of the poor, immigrants, and women in America. In 1889, she challenged the world to watch her travel without a male escort to beat Jules Verne's fictional character Phileas Fogg from Around The World in Eighty Days. The connection I feel with her is purely due to the respect and admiration for her work as a journalist, philanthropist, and having the pure guts to challenge the status quo.
2022 will be filled with a few travel destinations that will be on the edge of popular consideration. In my opinion, this is what travel is all about…this is where you will find cultures that have been nominally affected by mass tourism. You may not have the best WiFi and GPS; bus stations and port cities can be chaotic; talking with broken languages and hand signals become part of survival; and, driving on country roads can make you question your defensive driving skills. Yet, it’s all worth the trouble if you accept these challenges as being part of the experience and a damn good story that eventually can be shared with a few laughs, fond recollection, and a sigh of relief.
This is the kind of travel that goes beyond hitting up all the expected sites that have become affected by overtourism. Nothing will ever replace talking with locals who are not constantly tuned into social media. They share their world as they have always known it – unfiltered and unadulterated by the pressures of pop culture and tainted politics. There are a few places left on this planet where you can feel this way and where you can still talk with people where words are conveyed with eyes and hands; sitting down to meals are with the families of hosts; and your heart longs to return even before you’ve left.
I am excited to be with you every step of the way and thank goodness for our local hosts and guides with years behind them leading the charge with the kind of slow tourism that offers immersive experiences. For them, this has always been the way to share their home. As each of us flourishes in the rapidly growing sector of adventure tourism, our main goal above all else is to promote responsible tourism. My directive for everyone including guides and guests is to have our presence thrive without affecting the natural balance of the environment and local culture. In some way, this is a learning experience for all of us. We are learning from each other all the time and taking this knowledge back to our respective home countries can teach us about ourselves and the impact we have on the rest of the world.
I am a traveler just like you and desire experiences that shift me into a higher level of personal development which I hope you experience on these trips.
Cheers to the adventure and I look forward to taking this journey with you.