Travel without leaving home: Drum Circles in Los Angeles


Peace Corps and the Princess

Four Seasons Kuda Hura, Maldives
Photo by Tim Yeung

George was in the Peace Corps, lived in Paraguay, dug his own latrine and was the only one in his village who could wash dishes inside since he created the only “sink” in “town.” During the same time, I lived onboard a 5 star cruise ship and my job was to be Julie MaCoy from the Love Boat. You might imagine that our traveling styles were VERY different! What an understatement! We have learned that what is GREAT to one of us can be very far from GREAT to the other. Over the years, we have tried different styles and stayed in places from 5 star as in the Four Seasons Kuda Hura in the Maldives to the YMBA in Kataragma, Sri Lanka where most rooms had no bed, light, bathroom or much besides a door. We have learned to travel in many different ways.

Besides the ability to stay in places with no water, or electricity (what do you want for $4.50), we have also shared other interests. George is a great musician and travels with his ukelele. While we were in Morocco at the Flint Oasis, which is gorgeous and amazing, we participating in a fantastic drum circle.
I am happy to report you do not have to fly to Morocco for a spectacular cultural experience and drum circle. We went to two here in Los Angeles in September.

With the RPCVLA (Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Los Angeles), we participated in the annual summer picnic and drum circle in Rustic Canyon Park. What a group of committed individuals, volunteers were staffed everywhere from Kenya, Liberia, Jamaica, Hungary, Ecuador, Columbia, to Madagascar. The energy and friendliness was INCREDIBLE! We look forward to to celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the Peace Corps in the Fall!

Nashuva Tashlich and Drum Circle at Venice Beach: As part of Rosh Hashannah, Jewish New Year, there was “a service at Venice Beach. We will do Taschlich, cast our burdens and wrongs into the sea, have a drumming circle and blow the shofar.” We threw our bread (symbolizing our sins) into the Ocean and asked for a wonderful New Year. It is inspiring to be by the water and join in percussion with over 100 people. The drum circle which is the largest Jewish Drum Circle in the world is always amazing. And so is Rabbi Naomi Levy! Not only are Nashuvah services inspiring but she has a new book, Hope will Find you

Please see the recent Jewish Journal Cover Story on her and her new book.

It is possible to find hope or let hope find you. It is possible to have travel or cultural experiences while staying at home.

We hope that all your dreams come true this year!
Lisa and George

Coming soon: TUK TUK BLUES
Music composed on the road with friends from many countries!

Want to be part of Nashuva’s Kol Nidre Service:

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Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.6 million views. After three months on TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and YouTube Shorts, she had over 500,000 (1/2 million) views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.6 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

4 responses to “Travel without leaving home: Drum Circles in Los Angeles

  1. HI Lisa:

    The drum circles sound amazing. Thanks for passing that on. Our Yom Kippur was more traditional as you can imagine since you have been to our schule. I had a two hour security shift as well which helped to pass the time. Your trip to Sri Lanka and the Maldives sounded great. You certainly saw more things in your month in Sri Lanka than I did and I am glad it was a good destination for you as it was for me.

    Roslin and I are on our way to Hong Kong where we will spend a week with her nephew Mike who is working for Macquarie Bank and then to Bali where I will spend 5 weeks and Roslin 2 weeks.

    Wishing you and George a happy and healthy new years and look forward to seeing you both on Dec 14th.



  2. Maldives, considered the smallest county in Asia, is the lowest laying country on Earth. Located on the Equator, it never fails to see the Sun throughout the year, which makes Maldives Holidays the ultimate choice of many.i like your post and blog.

  3. I think you will want to add a twitter icon to your blog. I just marked down this article, however I had to complete it by hand. Just my 2 cents.

  4. Hello! Thanks for your comment. I believe if you click on the TITLE of the blog post, you will get a twitter icon on the side!

    Thanks for your interest in our blog! You can sign up to get each post by adding your email into the box at the top!


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