Posts Tagged:

Travel Tips

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    [ID] => 154370
    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2019-02-21 12:08:17
    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-02-21 19:08:17
    [post_content] => 

We love to see research supporting the same conclusions our alumni students and parents have come to. If you're debating the pros and cons of a Gap Year, we highly recommend this article by Psychology Today.

Here's an excerpt:  

"Universities are starting to understand the benefits of the gap year and making deferrals easier, even offering their own gap year service experiences. Tufts and Princeton offer tuition-free international service programs. Florida State University, University of North Carolina, and Duke are offering scholarships to make gap years available to students of diverse backgrounds.

“Why should we live with such hurry ….?” Henry David Thoreau wrote in 1846. This is a question we can ask ourselves today in our fast-paced society. The gap year may be a solution for some students to grow socially and emotionally, to gain maturity, or to get a stronger financial footing, so they can achieve success in the college years."

Read the full article, Is a Gap Year Good for Your Child's Mental Health and GPA? on Psychology Today.

[post_title] => Featured Article by Psychology Today: Is a Gap Year Good for Your Child's Mental Health and GPA? [post_excerpt] => We love to see research supporting the same conclusions our alumni students and parents have come to. If you're debating the pros and cons of a Gap Year, we highly recommend this article by Psychology Today... [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => featured-article-by-psychology-today-is-a-gap-year-good-for-your-childs-mental-health-and-gpa [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-02-21 12:09:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-02-21 19:09:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 697 [name] => Dragons Travel Guide [slug] => dragons-travel-guide [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 697 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 21 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 2 [cat_ID] => 697 [category_count] => 21 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Dragons Travel Guide [category_nicename] => dragons-travel-guide [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/dragons-travel-guide/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 700 [name] => For Parents [slug] => for_parents [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 700 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Blog posts specifically curated for parents wishing to know more about Dragons culture, programs, company, and community. [parent] => 0 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5 [cat_ID] => 700 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => Blog posts specifically curated for parents wishing to know more about Dragons culture, programs, company, and community. [cat_name] => For Parents [category_nicename] => for_parents [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/for_parents/ ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 670 [name] => Recommended [slug] => recommended [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 670 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Recommended reading, watching and listening. [parent] => 0 [count] => 9 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 11 [cat_ID] => 670 [category_count] => 9 [category_description] => Recommended reading, watching and listening. [cat_name] => Recommended [category_nicename] => recommended [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => Dragons Travel Guide, For Parents ... )
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    [ID] => 153469
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    [post_date] => 2018-08-02 10:15:32
    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-02 16:15:32
    [post_content] => 

This week on Instagram, we featured a story soliciting Alumni student tips on how to deal with the reintegration to life at home after returning from a Dragons program.

The past participant answers were so smart and insightful, we've decided to repost them here on the blog.  Read on for tips from people who have been there before, and know exactly how it feels.... Dragons Instagram Story Soliciting Tips for Reintegration
  1. Stay in touch with host families! The connectedness is something really unique.
  2. Don't go on your phone right away! Reminisce on your time while being at home first.
  3. Don't be afraid to talk with others honestly and transparently about your experience.
  4. Read lots of books, they felt like home to me.
  5. Remind yourself what truly brought you joy from ur trip, aim to sustain that feeling at home.
  6. Your Dragons family is the best resource. They understand cuz they're also going through it.
  7. See your hometown with "travel goggles." Enjoy the little things like you did abroad.
  8. Don't try and rush 'normality.' It takes time to get used to being home (a culture shock 4 sure).
  9. Don't do everything at once. For example, meet up with only one friend per day (or less)!
  10. Talking to your fellow dragons members--as much as humanly possible.
  11. Enjoy for a day. And then set new goals. Keep the direction forward or suffer in stagnancy.
  12. Journal on the wisdom you want to hold onto from the cultures you visited.
  13. Make sure any "what did you do this summer?" conversation goes both ways.
  14. It was hard! I said 'namaste' to everyone for a few weeks on my return home from Nepal.
  15. Write a lot in your journal and get a good nights sleep.
  16. Be patient, home won't feel the same but that's ok. Travel changes your perspective in unexpected ways.
  17. Home cooked meal and self-reflection.
  18. Have a small "elevator speech" to share until you feel ready to talk about specific experiences.
  19. Look for new ways to explore wherever you are now. Keep being curious!
  20. Tell your families and friends about it. Show pictures!
  21. Stay connected with other Dragons.
  22. Reconnect with all your friends and family and ease back into the Western culture.
  23. Don't feel rushed to reintegrate: take your time and enjoy the experience.
  24. Reach our to your Dragon's friends if you are feeling alone. They can relate and help.
  25. Take time for yourself, reflect, & journal!!!
  26. Cook your favorite food from your host country, keep learning that language, write!
  27. Immediately start planning your next adventure.
  28. Embrace it.
  [post_title] => 28 Bits of Advice on Reintegration from Dragons Alumni [post_excerpt] => This week on Instagram, we featured a story soliciting Alumni student tips on how to deal with the reintegration to life at home after returning from a Dragons program. The answers were so smart and insightful, we've reposted them here... [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 28-bits-of-advice-on-reintegration-from-dragons-alumni [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-08-23 09:54:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-08-23 15:54:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 697 [name] => Dragons Travel Guide [slug] => dragons-travel-guide [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 697 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 21 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 2 [cat_ID] => 697 [category_count] => 21 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Dragons Travel Guide [category_nicename] => dragons-travel-guide [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/dragons-travel-guide/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 646 [name] => Alumni Spotlight [slug] => alumni_spotlight [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 646 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured Student Alumni and their projects/organizations/visions. [parent] => 0 [count] => 25 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 10 [cat_ID] => 646 [category_count] => 25 [category_description] => Featured Student Alumni and their projects/organizations/visions. [cat_name] => Alumni Spotlight [category_nicename] => alumni_spotlight [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/alumni_spotlight/ ) ) [category_links] => Dragons Travel Guide, Alumni Spotlight )
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    [post_date] => 2018-05-23 11:23:47
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Will LeVan (Alumni of Dragons Peru Summer Program) decided to pursue a Gap Year in 2018-19. And he was kind enough to answer some questions we posed of his decision making process. Take a look...

Q: How did you come to the decision to take a Gap Year? Was it an intuitive or calculated choice?

A: During junior year I began to consider taking a gap year.  I was fatigued from a challenging high school education and hoped that a gap year would revitalize and re-inspire my education.  However, my decision was quickly made after my six-week Dragons trip to Peru. After the trip, I realized that traveling and working abroad as I did in Peru would teach me in ways that a classroom no longer could.  Additionally, the opportunity to increase my Spanish proficiency and enter college with work and service experience abroad were integral in making my decision.

Q: What were/was your biggest questions going into the process? How did you get them answered?

A: Would it be affordable?  Could I find programs that would make it meaningful?  What would I do? These were my biggest questions going into my gap year.  Through a lot of research, and I mean a lot, I scanned through dozens of programs. The trips ranged from three weeks to eight months and included volunteer work in Philly, education aboard sailboats in the Pacific, and hiking the Camino in Spain. By skimming these programs, a picture of my gap year manifested, including a Where There Be Dragons Semester program in Nepal, volunteering on a sustainable farm in Spain, helping build converted vans in Washington state, and hiking the Camino de Santiago. Websites like WWOOF and Helpstay were very helpful in my search.

Q: Did you have any regrets after making the decision?

A: I only wish I could do more.

Q: Do you know anyone else that's taking a Gap Year? Do you ever feel lonely in the decision?

A: I have a few friends who are considering it, but never have I felt lonely in the decision because others have been so supportive, and sometimes envious, of my choice and plans.  

Q: How did your parents respond to your decision?

A: They were very supportive.

Q: Is it hard to stay committed to your Gap Year vision when all your friends are talking about their fall school plans?

A: Not really.  Since I applied to college during this school year and have deferred my enrollment, I’m not too jealous about my friends’ fall plans at college because I’ll know that I’ll have those experiences eventually and don’t have to worry about the stresses of college applications in the meantime.

Q: Do you have any fears regarding your Gap Year?

A: Part of me is worried that I’ll enter college behind in my studies.  I think this is a common fear among students. However, I’m confident that I won’t be too far behind and can make it back up quickly.  Additionally, I think the lessons I learn over my gap year will be just as valuable, it not more, than anything I can learn in the classroom.

Q: Did you already know where you wanted to go for your Gap Year?

A: I really had no idea where I wanted to go.  I did a lot of research and looked at places like Chile, Jordan, Madagascar, South Africa, the Galapagos, Australia, and eventually ended up on Nepal in the fall and Spain for the spring.  How did I decide on these places? First off, I love to hike and the opportunities to hike in the Himalayas and along the Camino in Europe are hard to pass up. Additionally, the ability to study Spanish in Spain was a big pull for me.

Q: What do you hope to learn from your Gap Year that you couldn't learn in school?

A: How to live independently, work with others from different backgrounds, and be more aware and conscious of the world around me.

Q: Did language study play a role in your Gap Year decision?

A: Yes it did.  After my Dragons summer experience in Peru, I knew that I wanted to experience more Spanish immersion in a non-classroom setting.  I also believe that going into college and feeling more confident in my Spanish proficiency will only be beneficial. Therefore, I plan on volunteering and interning in Spain in the spring of my gap year and then hiking El Camino de Santiago in Spain to cap off my year.

Q: Will you be pursuing any type of internship or particular study of craft during your gap year?

A: Due to busy summer schedules throughout high school, I haven’t had many job experiences.  This in part played into my gap year decision because I wanted to have more work experience before college.  There isn’t a specific type of craft I’ll be pursuing, but instead just volunteer and work experiences in general.  To fulfill this, I plan on working on an organic or sustainable farm in Spain.

Q: What would you say to someone on the fence on if they will pursue a gap year or not? A: There are very times in life when you will be able to shed responsibilities for a year and just go travel and learn. A Gap Year is one of those opportunities. Additionally, the experiences you have and lessons will be long-lasting. If you can design a Gap Year that will be productive and constructive, I think it’ll be an amazing experience that you won’t regret. Thank you Will!

Are YOU going to do a Gap Year in 2018-2019? If so, we encourage you to share the news of your plans via a social post with the tag #gapyeardecisionday. If you'll be a Dragons students next year, include the tag #wheretherebedragons so that we can find and potentially feature you!

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WP_Post Object
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    [ID] => 153116
    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2018-05-22 08:45:37
    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-22 14:45:37
    [post_content] => 

[caption id="attachment_153119" align="aligncenter" width="970"] Photo by Tim Hare.[/caption]
Bistate jannus. “Walk slowly,” advises the Nepali goodbye bidding.
One of my early expeditions in Bolivia involved a fairly ill-conceived plan to hike 700-kilometers across the southwestern altiplano region with three donkeys to Sajama, Bolivia’s highest peak at 22,000 feet. We thought a month should be sufficient. Along the way we passed through a village every 40 kilometers, creating a constellation of humanity in an otherwise desolate high desert. One of the most memorable interactions was asking a local farmer how far it was to Pisiga, one of the larger towns along the route. It was late morning. Looking up from his quinoa fields he squinted off to the distance, “Son 4 horas, no mas.” We raced off towards Pisiga, eager for a good meal and maybe a bed for the night. We ended up having dinner over a camp stove in the middle of a salt lake, under the southern cross constellation, rather than in Pisiga. We arrived to Pisiga the next day, at sunset, after 16-more hours of hiking! We sold our donkeys in that town and never made it to Sajama.
...how strange it is to chop our days into hours and our hours into seconds. To the majority of humans that have inhabited our planet, time is the sun rising, arching in the sky, and setting just as the stars and moon come out to trace their long path across the heavens. Time is a changing leaf, the coming rain, and the migration of birds.
What was most memorable about the exchange was just how different our perceptions of time were. I reflected on how strange it is to chop our days into hours, and our hours into seconds. To the majority of humans that have inhabited our planet, time is the sun rising, arching in the sky, and setting just as the stars and moon come out to trace their long path across the heavens. Time is a changing leaf, the coming rain, and the migration of birds. In such a spacious and dynamic structure of time, there is little need to ambitiously pack as much into each tick of the clock. Time is not transactional and economic; it is not “money” but, rather, it is one measure of the elegant and often unpredictable arc of existence which demands our respect rather than our control. In order to fully appreciate time in these terms we need to get lost in it. We need a lot of time on our hands to fully lose track of it and start observing these other, ancestral measures of time. One of my favorite bands, Elephant Revival, sings

“Well what is time? It’s when the sun goes down The moon comes up The people dance all around”

[caption id="attachment_153118" align="aligncenter" width="864"] Photo by Tim Hare.[/caption] AT DRAGONS we opt to run courses that are a month or more in length. We hear from our students all the time that they wanted to do a Dragons course for years but weren’t able because they had competing summer activities and camps. Other prospective students may choose a program that takes place in two weeks but promises all the same places and highlights. So why would someone elect to do something in 4 or 6 weeks that they can “do” in 10 days? We ask participants to join us for 4 or 6 weeks, or even 85 days not so they can do more things in that time, but, often, so they can do less.
We ask participants to join us for 4 or 6 weeks, or even 85 days not so they can do more things in that time, but, often, so they can do less.
At Dragons we try hard to travel less, do less, have more space, be bored at times, and take the time to know a place well. We encourage others to do the same. We know that deep learning and connection comes not from quantity but from quality - and quality takes more time.

ON DEPTH

Learning, these days, seems to be chopped up into increasingly small bites in order to meet our diminutive attention spans. According to one study, attention span in students currently runs around 10 minutes. Education and travel compete with other fast-paced aspects of our lives. What is gained in breadth of learning is often at the cost of depth. Broad, “landscape-level” learning is useful. On course, however, we want to combine this broad learning with deep dives into the weeds in order to look at intricate connections and more profound meaning. Travel is so intimate it demands depth. Depth takes time.

ON BOREDOM

While Dragons courses are far from boring, we do hope that students have the time on our courses to be bored. We hope they can space out on a long bus ride, wander around local parks or temples, wake on a Saturday morning with no plans other than to accompany their host family to the river to wash clothes. We expect that students may be bored while washing the clothes. Boredom is a forgotten art. We actually may need to schedule it in.
While Dragons courses are far from boring, we do hope that students have the time on our courses to be bored.
Some amazing research is being done on the value of boredom, as outlined in Manoush Zomorodi’s Bored and Brilliant, and its role in opening the mind to contemplation and creativity. When was the last time you were bored? Social media rarely lets us be bored. And the 24 hour news cycle works tirelessly to keep our attention. Boredom helps us to to explore our own minds and our own creativity.

ON BEING FRUSTRATED

We repeatedly see that a group experiences a life cycle where students begin with politeness and interest in each other and the place. Students generally engage each other with curiosity and respect and are open to learning. But we all begin any experience with a level of naivety. It’s like a new relationship, and we often call this the “honeymoon phase,” or forming. Things will almost invariably turn south. And they should, or at least they must if they are to be authentic and honest. So, both in the group and with a student’s experience of place, the group begins to storm. Individuals might start to dislike the local food, or each other, or the smells; they begin to grow tired and frustrated in general. But they will grow beyond that. Students will see each other and the place not with the rose-colored glasses they started with, but, rather, as the multi-faceted interactions they are. Most meaningful interactions are pleasant and unpleasant, fun and also challenging. Students begin to norm when they don’t just see the idyllic version of the place or their peers, but rather their wholeness; they are learning to relate to them in this complexity. Finally, if all goes well, students may arrive at a performing stage, where they are in step with each other and the place. They know how to navigate with confidence. They speak the language. They work through conflict with skill and grace.
We want our students to get frustrated with each other and with the places they are traveling through. Ultimately we work to help them to transcend that frustration.
This dynamic process moves in fits and starts, and is more cyclical than linear, but it generally moves forward and is essential to meaningful learning. As courses get shorter, however, it is far easier to simply avoid conflict and remain in the honeymoon phase - in a fun but rather inauthentic space, both with one’s peers as well as a place. At Dragons, we want our students to get frustrated with each other and with the places they are traveling through. Ultimately we work to help them to transcend that frustration. This deep learning is inaccessible if one chooses to hop from one place to another, one experience to another, one country to another, never having the time or space to be frustrated. [caption id="attachment_153120" align="aligncenter" width="970"] Photo by Tim Hare.[/caption]

ENVIRONMENTAL AND CULTURAL IMPACT

It would be tragically ironic if our desire to see the Amazon rainforest, to live with communities on the fringe of intensifying desertification or seasonal floods, or our passion to walk in the icy glaciers of the high Himalayas actually hastened their demise. It is. A flight from Denver to Kathmandu creates 4.9 metric tonnes of CO2. That’s more than double the required per person yearly average which will slow or reverse climate change. Do we typically then take a two year break from air travel after taking one of these intercontinental flights? Probably not. If we’re going to take such long flights, we should do so less frequently, and we should aim to make the experience as meaningful as possible by slowing down and truly immersing ourselves. In addition to the huge environmental impact, travel has massive cultural impact. By staying longer and going for depth over breadth, intercultural exchanges become human-to-human affairs rather than a kind of objectifying experience that tourism all too often becomes. Familiarity breeds care and concern; thus, the more familiar we become with a place or a culture, the more care and concern we are likely to foster.
By staying longer and going for depth over breadth, intercultural exchanges become human-to-human affairs rather than a kind of objectifying experience that tourism all too often becomes.
Wade Davis describes the ethnosphere as, “the sum total of all thoughts and dreams, myths, intuitions and inspirations brought into being by the human imagination since the dawn of consciousness.” At least half of the world’s roughly 7000 languages spoken today are likely to disappear this century, according to the National Geographic July 2012 article. One language dies every 14 days. According to Davis, the loss is the canary in the coal mine, in that, as the languages die, so do stories and ways of living on the earth. There are a lot of forces at play here, but tourism and travel can add to this decline. By spending the time to learn languages and affirm beliefs and world views we can push ever so mildly against this trend of homogenization. But by sweeping through a place in a short amount of time, never learning the language or truly immersing in the culture, we perpetuate the global power dynamic that is creating this loss. Perhaps the best way to understand this is with a quote from an alumni of our longest course - the 9-month Princeton Bridge Year program:

"Travel, for me, used to be a time to get away and experience something different from my daily routine. However, being in Bolivia for such an extensive period of time has required me to not think of this experience not as "getting away," but setting a new normal. The amount of time I have spent here has pushed me to not use home as an escape. When I face something hard, I cannot just resort to the fact that I will go home where things will be better. When I don’t understand what my host family is saying I am propelled into studying Spanish in more depth. When my service work was not productive I was pushed to ask more questions, take on more projects, and dive into the community further, instead of just accepting the way it was. It is an incredible learning experience that I must face these challenges head on and figure out how to resolve them or live with them." - Sarah Brown, Princeton Bridge Year Bolivia Program

In other words, Bistate jannus. “Walk slowly,” advises the Nepali goodbye bidding.  

Tim Hare is Dragons Director of Risk Management and Staff Training. He calls the mountains of Colorado home, while having made a life for himself climbing, exploring, teaching, and learning throughout the mountains of the Americas.  With Dragons, Tim has instructed or supported courses in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Nepal and SE Asia. He lives in Boulder with his partner and two children.  Read his full bio.

     

Interested in learning more about some of Dragons longer-term programs? Take a look at our 3-month Gap Year programs in Asia, Africa and Latin America, or Dragons 6-week Summer Programs in China, Indonesia, India, Peru, and Madagascar.

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Slow Travel: The Benefits of Longer-Term Programs and Immersive Experiences Abroad

Posted On

05/22/18

Author

Tim Hare, Dragons Director of Risk Management and Staff Training

Description
"At Dragons, we ask participants to travel longer, not so they can do more things in that time, but, often, so they can do less. We try to move less,… Read More
WP_Post Object
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    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2018-04-11 08:23:40
    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-04-11 14:23:40
    [post_content] => 

When three EXPERTS put together a "Master Packing List" for Indonesia, you grab it and save it for your next trip to Southeast Asia! Ps. Thank you Luke Hein, Rita Sri Suwantari, and Olivia Werby! The following post is from the Indonesia Gap Year Program Pre-Course Yak Message Board.

Selamat Datang Dragons, It’s about time to start that first round of packing. This is when it all starts to feel real! It is less stressful when you consider that there is no “one way” to pack, just as there is no one way to travel. The three of us all have different styles of packing. You know yourself what will make you happiest. The mantra for our trip is “travel light.” It’s not going to be the “stuff” that makes your trip. In fact, it is very freeing to travel without so much stuff. The culture on our trip will not be one of fashion-sense. We’ll be wearing our clothes repeatedly (and learn how to wash along the way). THINK LIGHT! You will have to put whatever you bring onto the tops of buses and into the backs of trucks, and you may have to carry your bag for long distances. The lighter you pack, the happier you (and the rest of the group) will be! Pack your bag and then walk around the block three times. Seriously, ask yourself, “can I walk two hours with this on my back in 90 degree weather with 100 percent humidity?” If the honest answer is “no”, then open it up and decide what isn’t necessary. When you’re hiking through the jungle or weaving your way through a crowded port, you’ll be so happy you took our advice. Students who arrive at the airport drastically over- packed will be asked to send extra items home at their own expense. We will be taking flights with weight restrictions. Some flights may allow only 10kg (22lbs) of checked luggage per person. And although there will be many opportunities to do your laundry by hand, you’ll be happiest with light, wrinkle-free, quick-dry clothing that doesn’t easily show dirt. It is very important that you can fit all of your belongings into one backpack (and a day pack) that you are comfortable carrying on your own! Note: you will not have to fit your daypack into your backpack. When we are carrying all of our things, your backpack will be on your back, your daypack on your front. Additionally, you will be asked to help carry separate group gear bags in partners with your free hands. We will become adept at hauling our world! GEAR – The most important point here is that you should be comfortable with your gear. Be sure you know how to pack and adjust your backpack, and that you can carry it comfortably when it is full. We have made suggestions of possible companies that make certain items on this list; however, the same product is almost always made by other non-brand-name brands. Comfort is key! Each participant will get a phone call from one of the instructors over the next few weeks, to answer any questions you have about the trip, and about packing. If you’d like to ask it sooner, just post a public yak with your question. Below is the GO-TO packing list. There is another general list for Indonesia trips that was mailed to you. It’s close, but if there are discrepancies USE THIS ONE. REQUIRED EQUIPMENT:
  1. PASSPORT ideally kept in a plastic cover.
  2. PASSPORT COPIES: Scan your passport–the main passport page (with your photo) and print three hard copies: Two to carry with you to Indonesia, and a third to leave at home with your guardians. Pro tip: Email yourself and your guardians a copy of the scans so that you can access them online if necessary.
  3. STUDENT ID Having this with you will help us, as there are sites that will give us discounted entrance tickets. This needs to have an expiration date and be valid. If for whatever reason you don’t currently have a student ID, then bring a picture ID like a driver’s license as this often works.
  4. A BACKPACK around 45 liters is the best – Just remember that you will be carrying it, and the smaller it is the better. Your shoes (and everything else) need to be able to be packed inside your pack, nothing tied on to the outside—it’s culturally offensive to have your shoes showing.
  5. A BACKPACKCOVER: Waterproof slip to fit over your backpack is important for the group will be traveling during a rain and mud season. HEFTY trash bags (to layer both the inside and outside of your bag) can work equally well.
  6. Small, light DAY PACK with straps (15-20 liters). This must be well-made as it will be used daily and may be weighted down with books or gear and water for day hikes. It’s nice if it has a small hip belt to provide a bit of support despite its lightweight material and small packing size.
  7. A COMPRESSION SACK (stuff sack) for your clothes to pack down small, re-sealable quart-size ZIPLOCK BAGS to keep liquids separate from other items to prevent explosions and get through airport security, and a small DRY BAG. This will come in handy for our water time when you want to keep valuables dry. Having your things in stuff sacks or smaller bags within your giant pack will make packing, un-packing, and re-packing a lot easier as well as keep your valuables safe from water and rain.
  8. TWO REUSEABLE WATER BOTTLES about 1 quart each (like Nalgenes) – some students recommend one regular water bottle and one pouch-style water bottle that rolls up to save on space and weight. Regardless, make sure the cap-style you choose is not prone to leaking. A pro tip is to wrap some duct tape a few times around the middle section of one of your water bottles for later use. Duct tape is handy in a number of scenarios, and it feels great to be prepared for whatever you encounter: a small tear in your bag, a broken flip-flop, etc!
  9. MOSQUITO NET (only bring one that you have opened and tested). This is an important piece of safety equipment. Even if you are taking anti-malaria medication, it’s not 100% effective and there are still some nasty viruses (namely dengue fever) that we can contract from mosquitoes, not to mention they can make for an annoying night’s sleep! We want to develop safe mosquito practices early on so we all stay healthy for our 6 weeks of travel together. Most likely you will use your net over your homestay bed in Jogja, Langa, and Sampela. One of the most important aspects of a mosquito net is that it doesn’t touch your skin while you’re sleeping, and that it fits all the way around your sleeping space. It’s possible your homestay bed will be a wider mattress, and you want to make sure your net fits all the way around the bed, so we recommend a double-sized model. One version we recommend is the Sea to Summit Pyramid Double. This hangs from a central point on the ceiling and can easily tie to a light fixture, a beam, etc. If you are a large person or a rowdy sleeper you might consider a four-cornered version like the Mombasa Outback Double. Even if there are not hooks on the walls around you, this version is light enough to attach with tape, and doesn’t crowd your sleeping space.
  10. Small bottle/tube of MOSQUITO REPELLENT (1-3 oz bottle stored in a Ziploc bag) You can buy more there. Some choose natural ingredients, while others feel they aren’t as effective. If you choose to bring DEET, you do not need more than 30% strength. Anything over that is redundant in terms of protection. DEET is a chemical, so one must wash their hands with soap and water after each application to ensure it does not get ingested or near the eyes. Note: The best deterrent is staying covered by wearing long sleeves and pants.
  11. Small, lightweight HEADLAMP and extra batteries in a Ziploc bag. It is great to have a headlamp that has a locking function so that it doesn’t accidentally turn on and run itself out in your pack. Pro tip: Headlamps with a red light option (instead of just white) help reduce bugs at night.
  12. Waterproof WATCH w/ an alarm. Practice setting alarm before the trip to become familiar with your gear.
  13. A diary or JOURNAL and pens (that won’t leak/explode in warm weather).
  14. SUNGLASSES (Look for sunglasses that protect you from 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB light) with attached cord to prevent them falling and getting lost during activities.
  15. SUNSCREEN, 45+, water-proof/sweat-proof, two ~3-ounce bottles in a Ziploc bag to protect them from explosions. If you have sensitive skin, make sure to bring enough of your preferred brand for the whole trip. If not, it’s possible to find generic replacements in Indonesia.
  16. CHAPSTICK with sunscreen.
  17. GLASSES or CONTACTS and contact solution stored in a Ziploc bag. If you wear contacts make sure you have enough for the entire trip (+ an extra case and enough solution too!), or if you wear glasses primarily bring a backup pair.
  18. Small travel size SHAMPOO that will last about one week. You can buy more there when you run out. Some use Lush bar shampoo which lasts forever, but can be messy to travel with as it takes awhile to dry out after each use. Your choice. Please note: it is possible to buy a variety of toiletries in Indonesia but not the exact thing you have at home.
  19. TOOTHBRUSH, small tube of TOOTHPASTE, and mini DENTAL FLOSS. These are also available in Indonesia. There’s no need to bring a tube larger than 1 ounce. Any more takes up unnecessary weight and space.
  20. Small lightweight HAIRBRUSH or COMB & any necessary hair elastics, headbands or pins
  21. Small travel size SOAP. Liquid or bar form, your preference. Bronners makes versatile biodegradable soap that can be used to wash yourself and your clothes. Most of the time, our bath water goes straight into streams and oceans. Keep it in a Ziploc bag or container.
  22. TAMPONS are hard to find in Indonesia. If you use these please bring a good supply with you. Pads are also available in cities, but we recommend that you bring your own supply. Pro tip: Look into a menstrual cup e.g. Diva Cup/Moon Cup, as these can be great alternatives too and reduce waste, which can be awkward to get rid of in a homestay setting. We highly recommend the Diva cup (but you must be comfortable using it prior to the trip). Don’t be shy asking your instructors about them!
  23. If you shave, a RAZOR that you like and a few extra blades safely stored. Small bottle or tube of shaving cream in a Ziploc bag. If you have facial hair, it’s appropriate to keep it well trimmed. A clean-shaven face is the cultural norm. On appearance and hygiene: While Dragons supports personal choices about appearance that don’t coincide with social paradigms in the US, it is HIGHLY encouraged to adhere to local cultural norms in order to have the best chance of deep and mutual relationships in a short time-frame based on respect. Most women in Indonesia don’t shave their legs or armpits, but almost all men keep cleanly-shaven faces.
  24. One travel size DEODORANT that you prefer. Many types can be purchased in Indonesia. While wearing deodorant is a personal choice, bathing, hygiene, and cleanliness during homestays is not. Most Indonesians take a bucket bath 3 times a day. We will learn how!
  25. SMALL kit of NECESSARY MEDICATIONS, prescription or over the counter, with instructions on its use and dosage (by your doctor if by prescription) bring a full three month supply of any prescription meds. Clear and correct labeling of bottles with prescriptions is important for proper identification when screened at airports during travel. The Instructor Team will carry a comprehensive medical kit with first aid supplies, over the counter medications, and broad spectrum antibiotics, but it’s nice if everyone carries a small personal supply of basic med items such as a few band aids, alcohol wipes, ibuprofen for pain relief and to reduce swelling, anti-nausea tablets for windy roads (non-drowsy!). You can also consider bringing probiotics, which are not available in Indonesia, to promote a happy GI tract, and Pepto-Bismol or a generic. If you are visiting a travel doctor before you leave, consider asking for ciprofloxacin (commonly referred to as cipro) for intense diarrhea, and azithromycin (commonly referred to as a Z-pack) for bronchial infections (and sinus, and diarrhea). Bringing these antibiotics is not required, as we can easily buy them in country, but some students like to have them for future travels. Pro-tip: request for the pharmacy to put your pills in the tiniest bottle possible to not waste space. Keep the cipro and z-pack in tiny bottles because they are the most important while other meds can just be in their individually labeled packets, torn apart so you bring only the amount you need. You should be able to fit your entire personal med kit in a snack-size Ziploc bag, 6 ½” x 3 ¼”. Bring a 7 DAY PILL CASE/ORGANIZER if you have any daily prescription meds including any anti-malarial meds. Look out for a separate Yak posting on health and medications.
  26. EARPLUGS(2-3 pair of the cheap foam ones are fine) Some of the places that we stay can be quite noisy. Having the ability to zone out when needed regardless of the environment is a great way to stay healthy in body and spirit. They’re also great for air travel. Some instructors also bring a sleeping mask to ensure peaceful rest.
  27. ELECTROLYTE PACKETS Bring a personal supply of Emergen-C, Airborne or alternative electrolyte packets. These will be important to replenish our bodies in the heat and humidity of Indonesia and fend off sickness.
  28. SNORKEL & MASK(we can rent fins in Indonesia). While it is imperative that you bring a snorkel and mask set, it is not critical to buy the nicest set in the world. You can sometimes even find masks/snorkels at thrift stores. We wouldn’t recommend bringing a “top line” mask because it will get beat-up in your pack and we only snorkel for a portion of the program.
  29. DICTIONARY and/or PHRASE BOOKWe strongly recommend the Indonesian-English pocket dictionary by Tuttle…it’s great! The Lonely Planet Indonesian phrase book is quite helpful too, but the dictionary will be more useful. They can be hard to find in stores, but you can order straight from the publisher below, or when necessary, on Amazon. You won’t regret having one of these in your home-stay when you’re trying to make conversation. Trust us, make the $10 investment!
  30. GIFTS FOR 3 HOMESTAYS – look out for a Yak post on this coming soon!
  31. SPENDING MONEY & ATM CARD Whatever you will need for souvenirs, snacks, laundry, post cards, postage, and airport taxes. We recommend $100-$200. Students can use the ATM or currency exchange upon arrival in Indonesia to access local currency. An ATM card is great to have as an emergency backup, just make sure you tell your bank you’re traveling to Indonesia. Pro-tip: Always having $20 US dollars in a hidden part of your moneybelt is a smart practice.
OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT:
  1. WATER SHOES: We need to make sure to protect our feet from the sharp coral when we’re snorkeling. Most of us have found that wearing our strappy/sports sandals when swimming accomplishes this well, but it is optional to bring separate water shoes or neoprene socks if you’re more comfortable in those. Be prepared to have foot protection on at all times, so whatever you will actually wear on the beach and in the water.
  2. A LIGHTWEIGHT QUICK-DRY TOWEL – When you arrive, there will be opportunities to buy the traditional sarongs that are used by most people in Indonesia. Some instructors don’t bring a towel at all, but use a quick-dry piece of clothing in their wardrobe to dry off in order to not carry more than necessary. Do what will make you comfortable.
  3. SLEEPING BAG LINER or sleeping sheet – should be silk or cotton and lightweight. This will keep you warm on our one overnight trek, but you probably won’t use it again. Most students find they only use theirs a handful of times, but they can be nice to have on cold plane rides, etc. It’s up to you. NO sleeping bag is necessary on this course!
  4. Small ALBUM of pictures of family and friends including pictures of your house and school.  Pictures are great for starting conversations, using in English lessons, or just to ward off homesickness. Consider bringing extra copies to give away as gifts to homestays. Avoid pictures showing immodest clothing such as short skirts/shorts or bikinis as they are not culturally appropriate.
  5. CAMERA and memory cards. Bring some extra heavy-duty Ziploc bags as they pack easily and can keep your camera and other valuables dry in a pinch. Some instructors and students choose to go camera-free to better live in the moment and prioritize relationship-building and experiencing moments over ‘capturing’ them. Others love to be the group photographer and feel the camera is a part of their artistic expression. An awesome choice is to bring a Polaroid to be able to give away photos to those you create relations with. Students often set up a photo-share post-trip so that everyone has mementos, regardless of their tech choices on program. You choose what feels best for you. We will cover how to respectfully and safely carry and use cameras once in-country.
  6. SLEEPING PADThere will be at least one trekking opportunity where this will come in handy, but besides that, most students find they rarely use their pads on this course. But sometimes, especially if a homestay family only has a thin bamboo mat as a “mattress” they can make your stay more comfortable. It’s up to you, but if you do choose to bring one we recommend a compact version that can fit inside your pack for flying. It’s also perfectly fine to opt to be uncomfortable for those 3 nights in lieu of lugging around the bulk: again, your choice.
  7. SMALL TRAVEL HAMMOCK can be a fun thing to have along to lounge in, but don’t expect to be able to sleep in it regularly. This is important! Many students expect to sleep in their hammocks, and this is not a reality. Your homestay families will have dedicated a bed to you, and you will be expected to sleep there. If you choose to bring a hammock for lounging, make sure you have straps to hang it with.
  8. Bring a travel-sized INSTRUMENT if you play one: harmonica, travel guitar, mandolin, ukulele, mouth harp, etc. yes please, everyone loves music! It’s a great way to make friends with everyone quickly. You can also find some fun instruments in Jogja. For example, they have these mini travel guitars called “guitarlele”!
  9. GAMES, or something to do as a group- you will have many moments together as a group, it is nice to have games (ideas are cards, Uno, Set, Bang, banana grams, dice).
  10. Travel-sized HAND SANITIZER. Though nothing beats good old soap and water to get rid of germs, when in a pinch, hand sanitizer can be useful.
  11. LEATHERMAN MULTITOOL or POCKET KNIFE. This can be handy for cutting up fruit, etc, the trick is to remember to keep it in your checked baggage during our frequent flying.
  12. SECURITY WALLET/MONEYBELT: Instructors will collect and carry student passports, but some students still prefer to carry their money/valuables in a moneybelt. This is not required, so do what makes you most comfortable. If you choose to bring one, look for cloth options over nylon because they are cooler against the skin in humid weather. Alternatively, you could choose to bring a small soft COIN PURSE that is comfortable to wear in the bra – a sure way to not lose your valuables – or a hidden POUCH that is comfortable to wear against your body (as a necklace under your shirt or belt under your pants). Eagle Creek makes many. This is where you should have your student ID, emergency info card, cash, atm card, and photocopy of your passport. This should be comfortable, incognito, and accessible enough to use on a daily basis.
  13. Small CARABINERS to clip items like water bottles to your backpack so they don’t fall out.
  14. MALARIA PROTECTION Dragons does not issue a formal opinion on whether or not students should take Malaria prophylaxis, this decision is between you, your guardian, and your doctor. Like we mentioned before, the nastiest mosquito-borne illness dengue fever, cannot be prevented against by medication, so safe mosquito practices are important regardless of whether you choose to take malaria medication. If you do choose to take prophylaxis, please consult with your doctor about when to begin taking the medication, cycles, dosage, and any other pertinent information. Pro tip: You can access massive discounts via the website goodrx.com
CLOTHING: When it comes to clothing, keep it simple! You don’t need a lot, and if you find you’re lacking something, inexpensive clothing in Indonesia is abundant. Please make sure that any clothing you bring is CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE. Anything above the knee, or that exposes your shoulders, or that is low cut, or at all see-through is not acceptable. As a good rule of thumb, if you’re questioning whether a piece of clothing is appropriate, it probably isn’t. Sleeveless shirts are not appropriate for anyone. It can sometimes be frustrating to try and find clothes that meet the specifications below in the US, but you’ll be very happy you followed them. Please don’t bring shorts that go above the knees, or any tight leggings (except for sleeping in your long underwear if that’s your preference). Though some people wear shorts in urban Java, they’ll attract unwanted attention, so it is important you have capris/pants/longer skirts that you’re comfortable in. If you bring yoga pants, please bring the loose-fitting kind; no leggings/jeggings or tight fitting clothing. When it comes to shirts, no deep V-necks or loose-hanging, wide cut necklines. The styles in the US right now can be too low and often clothing will stretch out from frequent washing and humidity, meaning the neckline gets even lower which is not appropriate. Make sure that bras do not show through shirts (transparency can be an issue with lightweight fabrics), that your shirt is long enough to cover your midriff, and that bras also aren’t revealed through the armhole. Students who arrive without culturally sensitive clothing will be asked to buy additional clothes at their own cost. Indonesia is largely hot and humid. In general, you want lightweight, wrinkle-free, breathable, quick-dry, sun-protective fabrics that are not too dark (attracts sun and mosquitoes), not too light (shows dirt easily and may be more see-through), and very modest. This is the goal, do the best you can…
  1. One pair of walking OR hiking SHOES (you don’t need both). The best option is a light, low top, hiking or running shoe that can double as a street shoe. (These must be able to fit inside your pack). You do not need high top hiking boots. Make sure you wear them in BEFORE the trip so they shape to your foot. Trying out new shoes on a course is a sure way to get nasty blisters.
  2. One pair of walking SANDALS like Jambu, Chacos, Tevas, Keens, etc. (again, these should fit inside your pack). Please note: people either love or hate sandals like these. They often carry negative connotations associated with “over-geared” wealthy and disrespectful Western travelers, and yet are great all-around footwear providing protection and comfort. If you love them, awesome! If you do not want sport sandals you can use almost any other comfortable sandal, as long as you can walk long distances in them and they don’t give you blisters. They should have buckles and straps (preferably with a back strap across your heel). There is no need to spend a lot of $$ if you don’t think you will wear them. Same thing though, please wear them around prior to the course to make sure they feel good.
  3. A pair of inexpensive FLIP FLOPS is convenient and appropriate for homestays and time in rural communities, but they are not appropriate for trekking/wilderness exploration, NGO visits or travel days. You can easily buy these in country.
  4. HAT that blocks the sun (one that you’ll actually wear on course). Sometimes students show up with safari-style hats they don’t end up wearing because they feel silly. A hat you don’t wear will not protect you from sunburn, so bring one you like. Many instructors prefer baseball hats, but any style is fine.
  5. Lightweight RAIN JACKET breathable material that packs down small, or a plastic poncho that you can drape over yourself and your bag.
  6. Three to four presentable/polite T-SHIRTS. Keep in mind you will receive a Dragon’s t-shirt that can count as one of these, and more shirts can be purchased inexpensively along the way if necessary. Lightweight breathable wicking shirts help dry sweat, but cotton is often most comfortable. It’s important that these are NOT low-cut, and that bras are never visible. Many styles of v-neck or scoop t-shirts currently available in the US are not appropriate in Indonesia. Tank tops are never appropriate. Make sure that at least 1 of your four shirts (including the Dragons T) can be used for: hiking, everyday wear, mosquito protection, sleeping.
  7. One COLLARED button-down SHIRT OR BLOUSE. This can be short-sleeved if you prefer as it will be hot, but it is important to have one item to “dress up” in. Bring light colors, but try to avoid white entirely as it easily gets dirty. Make sure none of your clothing is see-through. This is part of your “nice outfit” to wear to NGO meetings and religious services/ceremonies with your homestay families.
  8. One pair of LONG NICE PANTS (lightweight like Dockers) and/or LONG SKIRT (must reach to the ankles but not drag on the ground) for more conservative or formal situations. It should not be possible to see underclothing through any of your items. This is part of your “nice outfit” to wear to NGO meetings and to religious services/ceremonies with your homestay families. It is lovely to feel “presentable” amongst locals and not out of place with only trekking gear.
  9. One pair of lightweight QUICK-DRY PANTS. Note: these do not have to be expensive zip-offs (which are good but sometimes pricey), just make sure the pants are comfortable and can dry out quickly. These are great for hiking. They must be full length to tuck into socks for leach protection in the jungle.
  10. One to two pairs of LONG SHORTS. One should be lightweight and dedicated for sleeping in while at home-stays and villages. The other could be for street and all-around wear. Remember these MUST go to your knee! Most students spend the majority of their time in their shorts and long skirts/dresses, so make sure you bring ones that are comfortable.
  11. One modest swim outfit – we recommend a RASH GUARD or QUICK DRY T-SHIRT AND a pair of BOARD SHORTS (to the knee) are required for swimming. Remember, Indonesia is a Muslim country and modesty is valued. Also, long sleeves and long shorts provide much needed sun protection. Your skin will thank you! Yet, it can be hard to find board shorts to the appropriate length, so it’s okay to get creative: many students choose to bring long basketball-style shorts, some swim in their hiking capris, and Indonesians swim in their clothes. Choose the modest option that is most comfortable to you. Keep in mind, if you put on your “swim costume” and think you look good, you’re doing something wrong. Some students choose to bring a bikini to wear underneath their Indonesian “swim suit,” a sports bra and underwear works just as well.
  12. WARM LAYERS:Even though most of Indonesia is hot and humid, we will be spending time in some colder regions too. Be sure to bring one WARM FLEECE PULLOVER or JACKET that packs down relatively small, LONG UNDERWEAR top and bottoms that are light to mid-weight capilene or polypropylene: basically some type of synthetic or wool, and a WARM HAT – you’ll be happy to have them for our home-stay in Langa, mountain hikes, and transportation days.
  13. 5 to 7 changes of comfortable COTTON UNDERWEAR (should not be visible in any cases). Cotton is more breathable than synthetic material and thus helps prevent rashes in the humid environment.
  14. 1-2 SPORTS BRAS and 1-2 regular BRAS (if applicable). Should not be visible through clothing. Some people will prefer to only have sports bras, in that case, bring 3-4.
  15. SOCKS: 2-3 pairs. One of these should be quick-dry wool or synthetic blend hiking socks. These can be ankle socks, tall enough to not slide down when hiking, but don’t need to be the full-on long hiking socks.
You can buy a lot of weather-appropriate, inexpensive, and modest clothing once you arrive in Indonesia. So, if you’re deciding between bringing two shirts or four, bring fewer and see how you go. However, for items like water bottles and headlamps we definitely recommend buying those in the US, where there is higher quality and more choice. ALL STUDENTS – DO NOT BRING:
  • Your cell phone. PLEASE DO NOT BRING YOUR CELLPHONE
  • More than 1 book (if everyone brings 1, we will have many to share); Kindle Paperwhite or Nook Glowlight are acceptable, though they are a risk for damage and theft. Tablet eReaders are not allowed. We will have our own traveling library on course that everyone will help to carry.
  • Any sort of electronic entertainment (Beyond what is specified in our electronics policy – Yak to come!)
  • Toiletries bigger than 3 oz.
  • Swimsuits or bikinis (unless to wear under your Indonesian “swim suit”). For a swimsuit you will always wear your board shorts (or capris) and the rash guard that you bring. It is never appropriate to wear a western swimsuit or bikini, so make sure you’re comfortable in these clothes, and have an extra sports bra (if applicable) to wear swimming.
  • Low-cut shirts or tight fitting clothes; not culturally appropriate.
  • Low-riding pants that show boxers or long pants that drag; not culturally appropriate.
  • Full size cotton towels; they are too heavy and bulky.
  • More than one pair of shoes, one pair of sturdy sandals, water shoes (if not sandals), one pair of flip-flops. Please remember that your shoes must fit inside your backpack.
  • Jeans—heavy and will not have time to dry in the rainy season
  • Anything made of leather that you don’t want ruined
  • Ratty, smelly, torn up shoes or flip-flops. The state of your clothing and shoes often determines how polite or respectful you are.
  • Items that have large monetary or sentimental value/Anything you don’t want ruined or lost.
We hope this is helpful. Please post packing-related questions to the Yak Board, and we’ll answer them as quickly as possible! Warmly, Your I-team (Olivia, Rita, and Luke) [post_title] => Master Packing List (Clothing & Equipment) for Indonesia (Southeast Asia) [post_excerpt] => When three EXPERTS put together a "Master Packing List" for Indonesia, you grab it and save it for your next trip to Southeast Asia! The following post is from the Indonesia Gap Year Program Pre-Course Yak Message Board... [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => master-packing-list-clothing-equipment-indonesia-southeast-asia [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-01 10:23:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-01 16:23:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 697 [name] => Dragons Travel Guide [slug] => dragons-travel-guide [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 697 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 21 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 2 [cat_ID] => 697 [category_count] => 21 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Dragons Travel Guide [category_nicename] => dragons-travel-guide [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/dragons-travel-guide/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 700 [name] => For Parents [slug] => for_parents [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 700 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Blog posts specifically curated for parents wishing to know more about Dragons culture, programs, company, and community. [parent] => 0 [count] => 33 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5 [cat_ID] => 700 [category_count] => 33 [category_description] => Blog posts specifically curated for parents wishing to know more about Dragons culture, programs, company, and community. [cat_name] => For Parents [category_nicename] => for_parents [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/for_parents/ ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 670 [name] => Recommended [slug] => recommended [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 670 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Recommended reading, watching and listening. [parent] => 0 [count] => 9 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 11 [cat_ID] => 670 [category_count] => 9 [category_description] => Recommended reading, watching and listening. [cat_name] => Recommended [category_nicename] => recommended [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => Dragons Travel Guide, For Parents ... )