National Geographic’s top Travelers of 2012

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National Geographic Traveler has just announced the inaugural honourees of its “Travelers of the Year” initiative

National Geographic Traveler has just announced the inaugural honourees of its “Travelers of the Year” initiative.

Established earlier this year, the programme aims to celebrate “boundary breakers, who explore the world with passion and purpose, inspiring others to expand their horizons, ask big questions and seek new answers.”

Picked from hundreds of reader nominations, this year’s honourees 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.

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“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 neighbourhoods.”

The 2012 National Geographic Traveler magazine Travelers of the Year honourees in full:

  • 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;
  • 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, help travellers 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.
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National Geographic’s top Travelers of 2012 was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Brett Ackroyd
Author: Brett Ackroyd (631 posts)

Brett hopes to one day reach the shores of far-flung Tristan da Cunha, the most remote of all the inhabited archipelagos on Earth…as to what he’ll do when he gets there, he hasn’t a clue. Over the last 10 years, London, New York, Cape Town and Pondicherry have all proudly been referred to as home. Now it’s Copenhagen’s turn, where he lends his travel expertise to