Find the Map Travels with Water-to-Go

Guest blog post from Rosie Dimech about 'Find the Map Travel' and their experience of travelling with Water-to-Go. Rosie gives a fascinating insight into family travels and the amazing places they have visited.

Our modus operandi is ‘Collecting Memories and not Things’! We are a full-time travel family that gave up life in the suburbs to go and explore the world with our kids.

Yes, what we are doing is considered ‘Brave’ to some and just plain ‘Crazy’ to others. However, you only get one life, so you might as well spend your time living your dreams rather than waiting… for them to come true.

My dream is to get to know our kids better and have the time to make unique and long-lasting memories.

So we packed up our lives in the suburbs and are now travelling Europe in a Motorhome spending every day together.

Find The Map’s 20 Countries and Counting

As you can see we have been to over 20 countries in the last year and our biggest parental concern when traveling is the health and safety of our children.

Water-to-Go providing Clean, Safe Drinking Water

Finding reliable safe drinking water in new locations is a top priority. Is the water at our new destination safe to drink? Was a constant question for me as a parent.

We just couldn’t be 100% positive that the water sources were reliable, so I needed a solution that would work no matter where we went.

A fellow traveller recommended the Water-to-Go Filtered Bottle. I love recommendations as they have been tried, tested and deemed trustworthy by someone else. So I did a little research and brought our own bottles.

We have five 50cl bottles and take them everywhere with us. They go up mountains, on city trips and even to restaurants with us.

They are small, lightweight and the perfect size for kids. I no longer have to think about boiling water to drink ‘just in case’ as I can rely on the Water-to-Go filter to remove 99.9% of microbiological contaminants.

As a traveller and parent, Water-to-Go bottles give me peace of mind. Without them we face the prospect of sick kids, lost travel time, doctors and medical bills.

Its one less thing that I have to organise or pre-think before travelling to a new destination, especially if it is a foreign country.

Having clean and safe drinking water is a priority for my family! So is the reduction in single-use plastic, which these bottles facilitate.

Read more on the benefits of using Water-to-Go Filtered Water Bottles for the Environment on our website.

If you are unsure of the water quality in the country or location you are travelling to I recommend you get yourself a Water-to-Go Bottle, which will also help save our environment by reducing the number of single-use plastic bottles that end up in landfill.

It’s a small price to pay to have peace of mind on your next trip.

Water-to-Go and Journey Latin America support charitable work of LATA Foundation

Water-to-Go have established a partnership to support the long-standing efforts of leading UK based Travel Company – Journey Latin America. Together we are supporting the work of the Latin American Travel Association (LATA) Foundation to help street children and vulnerable young people in Latin America with social and educational programs run by local charities. For every purchase that Journey Latin America customers make with Water-to-Go, we will contribute to the LATA Foundation to support this invaluable work. 

The Latin American Travel Association (LATA) is a membership association that aims to promote Latin America as a tourist destination and stimulate growth of travel to the region.  The association is comprised of over 340 companies including tourism boards, airlines, hotels, tour operators, representation companies and the travel press.

The LATA Foundation is a UK-based charity that supports grassroots social and environmental projects throughout Latin America. The projects are helping to transform lives, providing clean water, dental or medical support and practical training to provide people with new skills in Mexico, Central and South America.  It was set up by the Latin America Travel Association, bringing together tourist boards, airlines, tour operators, hotels, ground agents, travel publishers, PR companies and the press to put something back into the countries where they all work.

Journey Latin America understand the importance of eco-friendly practices in all parts of their business – whether it’s offsetting carbon emissions to minimise the impact of long-haul travel or simply recycling waste paper – they strive to operate responsibly in everything they do. They were one of the first tour operators associated with AITO to be recognised for their commitment to sustainable travel and are a great example to the whole tourism industry. With their bespoke, branded water filter bottles from Water-to-Go, they will further their sustainable travel principles by providing safe, clean water to their customers without damaging the environment.

Water-to-Go and JLA understand that mass tourism can be detrimental to a country’s development. We need to think about the effects we have on the environment so have to embrace a ‘take only photos, leave on footprints’ mantra. Taking a reusable Water-to-Go bottle, for example, would help protect the environment by saving on hundreds of single-use plastic water bottles.  

“For over three decades Latin America has endured the unenviable distinction of having more street children per capita than any place on earth…An estimated 40 million children live on the streets of Latin America’s densely populated cities – out of an estimated total population of 500 million.”

(www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/d/j/djm8/422SPRStreet%20Children.ppt)

Sustainable travel is an expression used to embody the travel trade’s principles of using tourism to benefit local communities, conserve natural resources, and bolster the survival of culture and heritage. Currently, more than 96,000,000 children in Latin America live in poverty and around 40% of all children in Latin America do not even complete 5 years of education. We felt that it was important to support the initiatives with the LATA Foundation with Journey Latin America to tackle these problems.

There are several projects from the LATA Foundation that Journey Latin America and Water-to-Go are helping to fund to make a difference in Latin America:

The Project – Vidarte Space has several projects to help underprivileged children from the favelas of Rio de Janerio. Their main project, the Vidanca Dance School, is located in the Complexo do Alemao favela. It began in 2009 as an initiative to offer children from the favelas the opportunity to express themselves through the art of ballet. www.projetovidancar.com.br

The Project – Tiempo de Juego, a Colombian NGO, supports children and young people who are at risk of forced recruitment and violence in their communities. Through innovative arts, drama and music activities, the project encourages the children to explore the challenges they face in their daily lives and help them develop the skills to overcome these.

The Project – Friends of Alalay directly supports the Alalay Foundation, which was started in the early 1990’s by a 19 year-old Bolivian student who passed street children every day on her way to university and was determined to do something to help. Alalay rescues these kids from the streets and offers them a loving environment living together in family cabins. 

Water-to-Go used on medical trip in Rwanda

A quick introduction – my name is Rob Daniels, I am a GP in East Devon and also work as an Ear Nose and Throat physician. I have a long involvement in rural and remote medicine, and as well as being an expedition doctor for a specialist trekking company, am an academic tutor on the Exeter University MSc program in Extreme Medicine. I am passionate about supporting healthcare workers in resource-poor environments, and in November 2015 I spent 2 weeks in Rwanda doing a pilot study of a system to allow doctors and nurses in rural areas to get expert advice on ear disease, using a digital camera and mobile internet.

 

This was very successful and I returned to Rwanda on 27th October 2017 to install the equipment in a small clinic in the western province of Rwanda, close to Lake Kivu. It was important that we stayed healthy and well-hydrated in this under-developed area so we wanted to find a product that we could trust.
The second part of the trip involved a sponsored cycle ride on the Congo Nile bike trail to raise money for pulmonary fibrosis. This is a 240km trail through the bush, that was opened 5 years ago to try and bring sustainable ecotourism to the area. My daughter accompanied me on this trip, to carry out a research study into the impact of the trail on livelihoods and living conditions of women and children along the route.
We spent 5 days cycling and kayaking between remote villages on the shores of Lake Kivu. Cycling 40+ km a day, with around 1000m of climbing most days, with a starting altitude of 1400m above sea level just below the equator, we knew we would need to drink a lot of water every day. Equally important was weight, as we would be carrying everything with us.
Having used a variety of water purification options, from ceramic stirrup pump filters to tablets and even liquid iodine, I was keen to find a simpler but still effective solution. Having seen them at a meeting at the Royal Geographical Society, the Water-to-Go bottles looked too good to be true – they were cost-effective, portable, light and with easy suction.

My only concern was that the larger bottles might not fit in a standard mountain bike bottle cage, so bought an Alpkit stemcell to hold the bottles. The bottles worked better than I could have predicted, proving really easy to use one-handed while on the road, and easy to fill and clean. The water tasted fine, without any chemical odour and they also did fit the bottle cages after all. I also found them really good kayaking on a freshwater lake, where it was great to be able to scoop up some lake water mid-paddle.

I would definitely recommend this product for multi-day trekking, bike packing or kayaking trips, and with replacement filters available, they are really cost effective.

Guest blog post written by Dr. Rob Daniels FRGS

Blessed are the Meek…Family

Recently, at the Adventure Travel Show, we had the pleasure of meeting a remarkable family who are not only doing something incredibly unique but are also trying to make a huge difference in the world.

Let’s start at the beginning.

The Meeks are a family of 4 – Tim and Kerry and their two daughters, Amy and Ella. They lived a pretty normal life until the summer of 2014 when they sold their house, quit their jobs and took the girls out of school to go on a year adventure, travelling the UK and finding opportunities to learn about it in a real and memorable way.

Before the adventure began, Tim and Kerry were both working as teachers but wanted to dedicate more time to the family. After winning a caravan in a competition, they made the radical decision to give up their jobs, sell their house and embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Their dream was to combine their love for adventure with a more personalised and engaging approach to education; the locations that the girls visit become the basis of their learning.

Amy and Ella, came to our stand when we were exhibiting at the Adventure Travel Show to purchase new filters for their Water-to-Go bottles. It was hard to believe that these were children when they spoke with such confidence and intelligence. It was clear that the ‘Meek learning style’ is obviously working!

Since then, the family have started a campaign, and it’s one very close to our hearts.

Following the release of the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development, the Meek Family decided to get involved and have set themselves a challenge to tackle the growing issue of single-use plastics.

The family’s challenge focuses on 3 R’s – Refuse, Refill & Remove.

Their goal is to:

  • Encourage people to REFUSE to use single-use plastic drinks bottles, coffee cups and straws
  • Encourage people to REFILL a reusable plastic drinks bottle rather than buy single-use bottles
  • REMOVE 100,000 plastic bottles from the environment

The challenge ties in with 3 of the UN’s Global Goals: Click on each one below to learn more.

To date, the family have collected an impressive 2,909 single-use bottles from beaches, forests and road-sides.

The family’s target is 100,000 single-use bottles – 1 for every sea mammal killed by plastic in the oceans every year!

We are extremely proud to have the Meek family as our customers and hope their story can inspire others to question their own use of single-use plastic and to Refuse, Refill & Remove.

Follow their adventure at www.dotrythisathome.com