Come travel with us
Travel Journals from
Nepal, Tibet, Thailand
Rio Carnival, Fiji
Fun times, Spirit
Profiles of our favorite travelers:
Can travel anywhere
Trouble seems to find her
The healing of her country
Going native with Yao women in Thailand.
Physicist, RF engineer
Wakes up in:
Schoharie Creek, NY
Surfing overhead waves, guitar
The Caves of the Canary Islands
Getting hijacked by banditos
south of the border
Latest acquisition from Inspired Planet:
Protective bone and eye bead necklace.
Sarah Jane Kincaid-
Madrid, Spain, atop a 16th century villa
Spring escapade to Morocco
Spanish culture and literature
Stunning beauty and brains
Latest Book Read:
The Early Diaries of Anais Nin
A Cambodian silk scarf in shades of purple from Inspired Planet.
Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
The national parks of Malasia
Professionally accomplished/contagiously silly
A Siamese healing stone from Inspired Planet.
Copenhagen design studio
Flight of Fancy:
Reveling at the colorful Spring Holi Celbrations. Rajasthan, India.
Ruby (and Fuzzy)
Riverdale, New York
An adorable white rabbit
Last book read:
Are You a Ladybug?
An Ethiopian wand and peacock feather from Inspired Planet.
"There are deeper reasons to travel--itches and tickles on the underbelly of the
unconscious mind. We go where we need to go, and then try to figure out what we're
doing there. It took a surprisingly long time for me to realize that all these
trips to Nepal and environs were united by a single, fundamental theme: the need
to steep my cerebral cortex in the culture and religion of the region, in the hope
that as much of it would soak in as possible. It was like heaving my brain into a
fathomless lake--an unpredictable pool that sometimes seemed as clear and clairvoyant
as a crystal ball, but at other times rippled black and opaque, like octopus
ink--and hoping it could swim."
-Jeff Greenwald, Shopping for Buddhas
Postcard From Our Legendary Founder
Close your eyes and imagine an erstwhile bodhisattva boinging between heaven and
earth. I rooted through the gangled streets of Kathmandu gathering sacred symbols.
I felt the blessing of holy men at the Shiva temple and nearly sank in the shit of
a million pilgrims. Now alighting among the pools and gardens of the Osho ashram
in India. We do dance meditations to raga rock jazz fusions. Here I have a moment
to breathe. It's been a challenge handling biz and staying creative. Contrasting
a collection of antique lamps with a line of modern lanterns of my own design.
Thinking of new ways to tell the old stories. Living this journey and trying to
bring it all home.
|Lapis and Gold Vermeil Shield.
Both luxurious and powerful, this is our exclusive design…Large deep blue lapis lazuli from the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan, set in an Eye Shield, bringing awareness and protection. The back has a brooch pin and pendant for hanging. Approx 3 ½” $375.
|Huichol Shaman Mask
Peyote hallucinations are interpreted by spirit guides, called Mara’Akame, during the indian’s ritual pilgrimage from the Sierra Madre to the high desert to hunt their sacred cactus. This powerful Mara’Akame mask is larger than usual in the older style before Huichol art was commercialized. Symbolic animals include double headed eagle, deer, scorpion, gila monsters. Note corn, shooting stars and peyote flowers. Beads, bees wax on wood. 13” Mexico. $345.
This translucent Buddha sits meditating in a transcendental groove somewhere between colbalt blue and grape cool-aid. Should be placed by a window or lamp for full effect. Thailand. Resin. 5 ½”, $45.
|Plumed Serpent Necklace, Earring and Bracelet from Mexico.
Stunning design inspired by legendary Mexican god of transformation, Quetzalcoatl, sacred to the Mayans and Aztecs. The original was made for haute couture in the 50’s. This is a gorgeous handcrafted reproduction in sterling silver and enamel.
|Triangle Dangle Earrings
Sterling silver Siamese filagree earrings. The design is long and elegant. Handmade in Thailand. Surprisingly light. $48.
|Celtic Endless Knot
Old Celtic culture stretched from Scandinavia to Ireland to France and beyond. Their intricate artistic symbols were incorporated into both Christian crosses and illuminated manuscripts and Pagans ornaments and ritual objects. This Trinity represents the connection between- power, intellect and love; mother, father, child; past, present and future. Hand carved, burnt and white washed wood.
"I've always been sensitive to nomads, the inhabitants of
Mongolia as well as globetrotters or punks...To travel is to shed preconceived ideas; it's
mixing with others and getting mixed up--physical travel or traveling in your head."
-Jean-Paul Gaultier, Parisian designer.
Photo locations on this page include the western Sahara desert in Morocco, a Sunyasin in
South India, the high plains in Peru, a remote Buddhist temple in Myanmar, a Canyari
grandmother in Ecuador, a Katakali dancer in Kerela, Kikuyu hunters in Kenya, a Himalayan
valley in Nepal, the mountains of Ethiopia, and the ruins of Angkor in Cambodia.
All photographs are copywrited by Inspired
Planet and Dudley Levenson. It is forbidden to use these images
without our agreement. They are available for purchase or may be leased on a per use basis.
Please E-mail us for permission, details, and special requests.
Heavenly promontory in the Semian Mountains overlooking the Great Rift Valley, Ethiopia.
"Let the tourist be cushioned against misadventure, but your true traveler will not
feel that he has had his money's worth unless he brings back a few scars."
Extreme Adventure in the Himalayas
We like excitement, but why would anyone in their right mind go over Niagara
Falls in a barrel, swim with sharks along the Great Barrier Reef or
mountain bike in the Amazon jungle? This answer to this question is
approached through a true life tale of extreme sport in the Himalayas,
The Last River, by author, Todd Balf. Check out this review by David Hachman:
"One hundred thousand years of human exploration hasn't made things easy
for the turn of the millenium adventurer. After all, with Everest
conquered, the oceans fathomed, and earth already crisscrossed by foot,
rowboat, and hot-air balloon, what's left to conquer?
That quest is the driving force behind The Last River: The Tragic Race for
Shangrila, Todd Balf's heart-pounding account of the ill-fated 1998 kayak
attempt on Tibet's fabled Tsangpo River, a raging, never before ridden
torrent in the dark shadow of the Himalayas.
The Last River is a page-flipping odyssey fueled by the adrenilin and near
madness of a team of well-heeled world class thrill seekers hot on the
trail of an unspeakably dangerous (and ultimately deadly) challenge. And
like Mount Everest, the Tsangpo, which roars through a razor thin gorge
three miles deep in places, is among the planet's most inhospitable and
untested environments--impossibly remote, endlessly mysterious and complete
with its own Death Zone.
This isn't just any river, but the Great River, beginning as a near frozen
trickle on the 22,028 foot summit of Mt. Kailas (the universe's cosmic
center, according to Tibetan Buddhists) and diving 10,000 feet at speeds
upwards of 50 mph through a chasm three times deeper than the Grand Canyon.
With its sheer mossy walls, 50 degree water temperatures and torrential
falls, the river had never been fully explored, let alone kayaked.
Balf digs in to what drove these men-- with their Harvard educations,
Olympic medals, and families back home -- to fool with devil waters that
would eventually claim the life of one of the team's strongest paddlers.
- excerpted from a review by
David Hachman in Entertainment Weekly. The Last River by Todd Balf is
available at the Inspired Planet Bookstore.
"Could it be, I wondered, that our need for distraction, our mania for the
new, was, in essence, an instinctive migratory urge akin to that of birds in autumn?
All the Great Teachers have preached that Man, originally, was a 'wanderer
in the scorching and barren wilderness of the world'---the words are those of
Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor---and that to rediscover his humanity, he must
slough off attachments and take to the road.
My two most recent notebooks were crammed with jottings taken in South
Africa, where I had examined, at first hand, certain evidence on the origin
of our species. What I learned there---together with what I now knew about
the Songlines---seemed to confirm the conjecture I had toyed with for so
long: that Natural Selection has designed us---from the structure of our
brain-cells to the structure of our big toe---for a career of seasonal journeys..."
-Bruce Chatwin, The Songlines.
"I wanted to be something that I was not. I even wanted to be a poet and a
middle class person at the same time. I wanted to be an artist and a man of
fantasy, but I also wanted to be a good man, a man at home. It all went on for
a long time, till I knew that a man can not be both, and have both, that I am a
nomad and not a farmer, a man who searches and not a man who keeps. A long
time I castigated myself before gods and laws which were only idols for me.
That was what I did wrong, my anguish, my complicity in the worldís pain. I
increased the worldís guilt and anguish, by doing violence to myself, not by
daring to walk toward my own salvation. The way to salvation leads neither to
the left nor to the right: it leads into your heart, and there alone is God,
and there alone is peace."
-Herman Hesse, in Wandering.