National Geographic Traveler magazine today announces its new Travelers of the Year initiative. The honorees for 2012 are boundary breakers, who explore the world with passion and purpose, inspiring others to expand their horizons, ask big questions and seek new answers. The Travelers of the Year are featured in the December 2012/January 2013 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine and online.
This year’s honorees include a high school librarian and a Maasai warrior who teamed up to bring the Serengeti to schoolchildren in Denver; a modern nomad who is documenting the oral histories of everyday Americans; a 29-year-old grad student who has established the Bread Houses Network in 12 countries, where people from all cultures and walks of life can bake bread together, share stories and form friendships; and a 15-year-old online travel host who scripts and stars in a video series that reveals the world through the eyes and experiences of young people.
The 2012 Travelers of the Year are:
- Paula Busey and Samwel Melami Langidare Mollel, who teamed up to bring the Maasai culture to kids in Colorado;
- Heather Greenwood Davis; husband, Ishmael; and sons, Ethan, 10, and Cameron, 8, who chronicled their yearlong, round-the-world adventure on globetrottingmama.com;
- Diana Gross, a teacher whose globe-spanning goal is to digitally connect students and teachers by bringing technical education and video training to underserved communities;
- Theron Humphrey, who took a year to see America and record the story of one person on film and video every day;
- Mary Jean Jecklin and Kelley Rea, who, through their website PACforkids.com, help travelers to developing countries identify how, why, where and what to give to needy children living there;
- Booker Mitchell, a Manhattan high-schooler who brings off-the-rails adventures to a new generation;
- Robert Pennicott, who led the first-ever circumnavigation of Australia by rubber dinghy to raise funds for conservation and polio eradication;
- Amy Russell, who is walking the length of Africa to raise funds for clean water;
- Nadezhda Savova, who bakes up cross-cultural connections;
- Linda Yuen, an 85-year-old who travels the world, continually seeking new destinations and experiences.
“We sifted through hundreds of nominations to pick world-shaking people on innovative missions,” said George Stone, contributing editor of National Geographic Traveler. “Each of these dedicated voluntourists, green-minded adventurers and culture-embracing pilgrims reminds us that we have the power to reach beyond the bubble of our daily lives, learn from locals in far-flung places and make a difference both around the world and in our own neighborhoods.”
As most of us know, traveling is more than just visiting places and taking photos. It’s about really learning about a place, the culture and its people.
To learn more about each Traveler of the Year through photos and interviews, check out the December 2012/January 2013 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine which hits newsstands on Tuesday, December 4 or click here.