Tired of competition? Join forces to change to the world!

It can seem sometimes that our world is geared towards competition. Throughout our education, during our quest for the perfect job, while searching for the perfect apartment, in the workplace - it can feel like everyone is pitted against each other. And this can create a culture of scarcity. We can begin feeling like we need to fight for what we want, or settle for something less and feel not so great about ourselves.

In my life I have experienced these feelings first hand. Unfortunately, veterinary medicine is a fairly competitive field. For me this meant I was competing with my university classmates for a spot at vet school. Once in vet school I was competing with my classmates for placement opportunities in my field. My interest has always been in wildlife conservation, and it seemed we were constantly told that there weren't enough spots, not enough opportunities, not enough jobs. 

This feeling of famine can make us close ranks, stop sharing, focus on our own best interests.

But what if we turned this idea on its head - began to look at the world from a place of plenty. What if there was more than enough for everyone?

This is the philosophy that was behind the founding of Animal Experience International. We set out to create a space where people are encouraged to participate. Where there are opportunities for all! Everyone can get involved! There is no shortage of places you can visit and ways in which you can help! 

Creating a culture of bounty means we are collaborating and creating together. We are sharing and joining forces to make the world a better place. When we remove the pressure of competition and the fear of failure, we see people soar, their hearts open, the possibilities become endless. This is where true growth begins, true innovation, true change making. 

Join us at Animal Experience International and embrace collaboration and abundance. You can make a difference today!


Poachers are just a symptom of the toxic problem.

So many of our programs have hired on ex-poachers as conservationists. Typically poachers don't hate animals, they just love their families more. The illegal pet trade, palm oil plantations, illegal bush meat trade and urban development all lead to marginalised people turning to poaching to feed themselves, their families and sometimes their addictions. Poachers are just a symptom of a much bigger problem that we must address. We can address it by supporting locally lead conservation and animal welfare programs who hire people in their local communities and provide meaningful work. Care2 just highlighted an amazing conservation program that hired an ex poacher to help hornbills.

Next time you think about poaching and how horrific it is, continue thinking that BUT think about why it exists. It exists because of poverty so the best way to stop poaching at it’s source? Invest in the community, invest in people.

Family Travel Matters

How can you encourage a heart for empathy and compassion than volunteering with your kids? How can you reconnect with your grown up siblings than travel? How can you make memories that will last a life time with your grandkids? Traveling and volunteering of course?

AEI programs are safe, ethical and authentic. We go to the placements first to make sure! We have you volunteering directly with animals, scientists and experts in the local community so you know you are helping the animals you and your family members love so much. The best news? All your food and accomodation is sorted! That’s right, these are all inclusive trips so you just have to focus on the animals!

Want to learn more? Read our interview with the Family Travel Association and see why family travel matters so much to us!

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Greener Travel

We love travel but it isn’t always as green as it could be. Tonnes of plastic are thrown out every year from airline drink cups alone. You have the power to make a huge difference in your life! Remember you don’t need to use one use plastic at home, on a plane or when you are travelling. Our friends over at Ahimsa Eco have put together ELEVEN ways to help make your travel just a bit friendlier to the environment. Check out: 11 Tips of the Eco Conscious Traveller and let us know what you think. Share it with your friends and be inspired to make greener choices when you are away from home.

Expedition: Guatemala, recap by Lauren

Why Volunteer in Guatemala?

Did you know that animal trafficking is the third largest illegal source of commerce worldwide? Wildlife trafficking, along with unsustainable forestation, over-hunting, and human population growth are the leading causes of species extinction. Illegal trafficking is primarily for the pet trade. Sadly, the survival rate of animal contraband is as low as 15%. Birds are the most commonly trafficked creatures; it’s estimated that two to five million birds are illegally traded worldwide each year…..

Want to read the rest? Check out Lauren’s blog: Justin Plus Lauren

It’s time to ban inhumane predacides in Canada

In Nepal there is a street dog problem. We have partnered with two amazing groups that are taking part in humane population control. What does that mean? Spay and neuter programs. That is the only sustainable and humane way to help the dogs, protect the citizens and decrease the number of dogs on the street.

We can proudly tell you that in the areas our programs work, the government doesn't poison the dogs anymore. That is what they used to do. Leave strychnine on the street so animals would eat it and die. It's a horrific and terrible death- killing intended and unintended victims in horrible ways.

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency wants to know what you think about their plan to use strychnine against animals they think are pests: wolves, coyotes and bears.

AEI couldn't not be more against the horrific, unsustainable and cruel form of population control. We stand with the Vancouver Humane Society when we say there should be an absolute ban on poisoning animals as population control. Pesticides as population control is draconian, inhumane, proven ineffective and completely unnecessary in Canada.

Please, email: hc.pmra.publications-arla.sc@canada.ca and let them know that you do not support the use of poison/pesticides as population control in animals.

Namaste Jan

Since May I have been trying to write something proper about Jan Salter MBE, founder of the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre and my friend. She died in 2018 and it was clear to me she changed my life and I wanted to tell others how much. Unfortunately, during times like this words often fail us.

I had the wonderful opportunity to write something about my experience in Nepal for Musa Masala. Of course, I knew I couldn’t write about Nepal without writing about Jan. Words continued to fail me but at least I was able to write something. Please accept my humble offering of how Nepal, a country of tremendous beauty, welcoming smiles and impossibly interesting history changed my life by helping my path cross Jan’s.

Nepal: Inspiration for a New Beginning.

Namaste,

Nora

A Podcast Just For You!

What makes AEI different from other social enterprises who are owned by women and have a dozen awards for their benefit to the community and the environment? Well... we are actually the only one! Listen to our story and what our founder has to say about being 'successful'. 

Listen to the newest episode of The School for Humanity Podcast to learn more about AEI and why travelling ethically helps us, you and the planet!

Social Enterprise Apps to Change Your Life- and the World!

People are always asking us about our favourite travel hacks, tips and products. We love talking about our favourite things and today we wanted to let you know about 2 apps that have changed our life and we think will change yours!

First is Random Acts of Green! A Canadian social enterprise also owned by a woman! How badass is that? Random Acts of Green is an incredible community that not only celebrates those green heros and sheros out there, but they also launched an app! The app is downloaded for free and is the #1 green behaviour promoter you can use today! After setting up a profile, you log in your green acts! Anything from buying carbon credits to hanging your laundry up to dry. Everything has a score that goes towards your daily green points. Once you have enough points you can redeem them to get discounts on great green products like steel straws and bamboo toothbrushes. Things you need anyway and are GREAT to have in your carry on. It never hurts to just keep a tooth brush and a straw in your carry on at all times, then you never forget one at home. Our founder Nora downloaded the app and she loves it, not only to track all her green acts but to read articles about how to make even more green choices! Upcycled Christmas decorations? You are on…

Check out Random Acts of Green and download the app today! Here are some screenshots!

If you watched our insta story last Wednesday you would have seen that we love Cupanion and their brand new #FillItForward Campaign. We originally heard of the Canadian company Cupanion when we saw their hilarious kickstarter video. We became backers and have been OBSESSED with our bottle and the Fill It Forward campaign every since. Here’s how it works: you download the free app and order some #FillItForward stickers. Every time you fill up a bottle or mug you scan the bar code sticker. It registers that you are keeping yourself hydrated, keeping single use plastic out of the landfill AND (here is the kicker) it raises money for clean water projects around the world. Easy! All you have to do is keep hydrated. We are terrible at keeping ourselves well hydrated while travelling and this has made it SO easy. We just look at the app and know it’s time for more water and it’s time to donate again. Staving off jetlag through proper hydration and helping raise more for clean water programs has never been so easy.

Check out Cupanion and download the Fill It Forward app today! Here are some screenshots!

What are your favourite travel and green lifestyle apps? Let us know so we can use those, too!

Adventures are in the speed bumps

Imagine you are going on the adventure of a lifetime to volunteer with a sea turtle conservation group in Australia. Everything is in place. Your pick up from the airport is all arranged - you know exactly where and when to meet the shuttle. You have accommodation at a local hostel and they have all your arrival information and are expecting you. The organization where you will volunteer is all set up, and you know exactly where to meet the group on your first day of volunteering and at what time. How exciting! And then at the last minute disaster strikes. One of your many flights has a gate change and you miss your connecting flight! Your new flight has you arriving in Australia a full day after you planned to get there. Your flight is boarding, you're hurrying to get on the plane and you have no time to make any changes to your many arrangements.

What do you do?!

If you have booked your travel adventure through Animal Experience International, you simply relax. A quick email to the AEI Coordinator, and you will know everything will be taken care of for you. Your shuttle will be re-booked. Your hostel will be notified that you will be delayed. The people meeting you from the sea turtle organization will be informed and a new arrangement will be made for you. You can get on your flight and relax, knowing everything has been taken care of for you. Animal Experience International is a registered travel agency. Not only are we animal lovers, we are also travel counselors and travel managers and active members of the Travel Industry Council of Ontario. Booking through AEI gives you peace of mind - knowing that you can sit back and enjoy your trip.

Including all the bumps in the road that make travel an adventure - not an inconvenience!