Friends, one of the lessons to be learned from travel is that you can apply some of it to yourself.

On my most recent trip overseas I got to meet up with some old friends, one being a tour guide in Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia.

This man has spent the last several years with another of several travel companies, to take people out on the land in his vehicle.

When the boss assigns him someone who wants to visit his country, he begins by finding out the details of where these people want to go.

He then gets busy calculating the mileage involved, the amount of gas it will take to go there and back, the camping supplies and food needed, along with whatever repairs are required to his vehicle.

With a final amount in hand he asks the tourists to send him a third of it, just to make sure they are serious.

The trip he took me on took five days, ending on the other side of the country, at a hostel run by a Kazak family, from nearby Kazakhstan.

Since I was traveling with the tour guide more as a friend, the lodging’s owner asked how long we were staying and anything additional we might want to do while there.

One of these involved traditional Kazak music and dance, all performed by his family, including grandparents who lived there. There was one grandmother who would not let me sit down, period!

Narangerel, Kazak hostel owner Murat and his wife and columnist Antoine Mountain. The four stand with a ger, also known as a yurt, round tent-like living structures, which can be found in Mongolia and that hold hold ten people each. Columninist recently visited Mongolia.

We also learned that at the peak of the tourist season at this place, Ulgee, the family have a total of six gers, or yurts, round tent-like living structures, to hold 10 people each.

When you think of it, all of this wouldn’t be hard at all for any of our Dene communities, individuals and/or families to do. We already have the expertise of living on the land, which

I am quite certain many people from around the world would be more than overjoyed to learn for themselves.

I know from experience that what the tourist takes away is a lifetime of memories. You simply cannot find such a true way of visiting except from a family setting.

Mahsi.

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