Make your travel bloom
Travel with LOTO
A LOT OF INSPIRATION
LOTO is the Italian name for the lotus flower. This plant has ancient origins and we could write books on its meaning and its role in many cultures and religions. But let’s talk about our role. We deal with new kinds of active citizenship, travel routes and volunteering experiences. Our association could have had many beautiful and meaningful names, but no one seemed to be suitable for us. One day, we came across a book: “No Mud, No Lotus” by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk, and we had the certainty about the road we must take.
Thich Nhat Hanh writes:
Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud.
We looked at each other. It was just a moment: our new association’s name was going to be LOTO. A simple but strong name and a way for us to be aware of the journey we had made so far – our university’s studies, lots of time ago, the unsuitable jobs, those we had loved from the beginning, those which deceived us and those we were forced to leave. A funny choice, which made us believe that despite all, we just had to start again.
The mud doesn’t smell so good, but the lotus flower smells very good. If you don’t have mud, the lotus won’t manifest. You can’t grow lotus flowers on marble. Without mud, there can be no lotus.
Lotus is a water plant which lives in stagnating water. It has strong roots which anchor themselves to the mud and grow up till they reach the water surface. And there, against all odds, the lotus flower blooms, shiny and beautiful. Its leaves and its petals are not bruised by the obstacles its roots have faced and it becomes the symbol of delicacy and inexorability. Each night the lotus flower closes up, just to bloom again with the first sunrays. Its roots remain in the mud, because without the mud the flower could not exist.
When you are in a dark place, you sometimes think you have been buried. Perhaps you have been planted. Bloom.
We have been collaborating with extraordinary associations in Nepal, Madagascar, Myanmar, Thailand, Abruzzo and Lampedusa Island. We want to talk about people and environment, in order to create connections between people who want to travel the world with the same respect as if they were home Have a safe journey.