By Bonnie Hinschberger – Co-Founder, Broad Escapes – Tours for Women


Some of my favourite travel photos are of the hands of people I have met.  I’m intrigued by hands and often reach out to my late father for guidance and inspiration by looking at a carving he made of his own hand. In the carving I see the strength of a hard-working man who had a creative talent and a gentle soul.  When I travel and language is a barrier, hands often tell the stories of the people I meet.  Universally a mother’s hand offers protection and unconditional love.  A friendly gesture with a hand sends a welcoming message to those around them.  Reaching out and touching a hand with a genuine handshake, can, in many countries, be one of the most gracious acts one can give to someone they just met.  

The hands of farmers supply the food and those who prepare it use their hands to create the culinary delights of their country.  Artisans use their hands, resourcefulness and traditions passed down from their ancestors to produce unique products specific to their county.  

It is the hands of the people that weave together the threads of their country, which make it unique and desirable to visit and explore.     

Here are some photos of hands I have captured along my journeys.

1. MY LATE FATHER’S HAND


This self carved hand was never completed but it remains one of my most treasured items.   

2. A WELCOMING HANDSHAKE


I have wonderful memories of ths day when our group was visiting a Samburu tribe in Kenya.  The lady, unable to walk, was so excited to be able to visit with our group that she crawled from her hut to join our circle.  Here her grandson was welcomed with with a friendly and genuine handshake from one of our travellers.  It was a spectacular day! 

3. LOCAL ARTISAN 


A visit to a country is never complete until you meet with the local artisans.  Here the women of a remote village in Peru welcomed us to their co-op and taught us the processes they use to make their beautiful textiles.   

4. WOMAN IN INDIA


This hardworking housewife in rural India was kind enough to invite us into her home and make us chapatis over a wood fire.  Her hands tell a story of life in rural India.  

5. MAASAI VILLAGERS 


Here a Maasai villager uses his hands and a simple stick to start a fire. 

6. HENNA


These are the hands of a local artist creating a traditional henna on my hand during a recent trip to India. 

7. LITTLE BOY


This little 4 year old boy found comfort in holding the hand of one of our travellers.  He stayed with her during our visit, sat on her knee and hugged her as we departed. 

7. GRANDMOTHER IN KENYA


This is one of my favourite photos and is the grandmother of the boy in photo #2.  She was so thankful to have us visit her village and genuinely grateful for the opportunity to sit and communicate with the women in our group.  It truly was a life-changing day for many of us and maybe for her too.   The gentle handshake says it all.


The next time you’re travelling I encourage you to observe the hands of the people you meet, reach out with a friendly gesture and embrace the culture of their region woven together by the hands of the people who live there.   

Bonnie Hinschberger
Co-founder of Broad Escapes: Tours for Women

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