Climbing Kilimanjaro in a body not built for these heights, part 1
Never have I felt so lucky to have this traveling job than I did on our attempt to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, even in the face of extreme conditions and sudden danger. This is part 1 of a 3-part series on our journey to the top of Africa and a bittersweet goodbye four years in the making.
Shoving 100 wet wipes into a skinny bag with 3 liters of water, rain-proof pants, and the day’s lunch isn’t easy. Though my work “uniform” often calls for a back-bending pack of gear, I felt like a fumbling mess trying to make this ...
My first step into the world of feature-length documentaries
If you've ever wondered what the role of "Media Specialist" at a traveling high school consists of, join the club. I am constantly scratching my head and looking around this ever-flexing job description to make sure I am fulfilling my real purpose. What began with a need to create video and photo content for marketing purposes expanded within the interview process to also include the creation of educational media, followed by a teaching role, archival responsibilities, and curriculum building. It gets a little bigger but a little more focused every year.
I like to think that, on top of my five ...
One meal inspires three months of memories in Thailand
Therapy in shopping and chopping
The fleshy innards of skinny and green eggplant made frequent protagonists on our plates at 6pm. Depending on who felt inspired (and hungry), Irene or I would sautée the slender tubes in bubbling coconut milk, soy sauce, and vinegar and cushion their final presentation with a pillow of noodles. Our meals didn't resemble the table art from our favorite reality cooking shows, but those plates held evidence of our dietary independence and resurfacing domestic skills.
Whenever I could squeeze my week out for a drop of free time, I would strap on my bike helmet, mount one ...
Assume the world wants you to take risks, keep learning, and do what you love
My work life and personal life don't just run in parallel; they are the same. It is as though my tree of personal life once swayed in a wind that carried with it a seed. That seed became a vine that began to wrap and envelope my tree, not in a parasitic way but in a mutually symbiotic relationship. The vine became one with my tree; they grew together and now cannot be separated without killing both.
The wind was Semester at Sea.
The seed was a love of travel.
The vine is now a career path stemming from travel (pun intended).
Oddly enough, ...
Northeast Japan still hurts from the 3/11 disaster…and you knowing that actually helps
One month ago, I was staring out of an oval window, watching the choppy water get shockingly close, and grabbing my armrest with one hand while the other hovered over the vomit bag in anticipation. Our descent into Sendai was paired with my co-worker's story of the time when a captain on his flight announced they were going to make an emergency landing in water. That didn't help.
I knew we would be okay; today was just a windy day. I still had white knuckles upon our arrival though, and I think it was less about bumpy landings than it was ...
Q&A: The truth about Semester at Sea
Send in your questions, too!
Hi Lindsay, I have just been accepted by SAS for the Spring 2011 voyage, and I randomly chanced upon your website. I am currently having a hard time trying to decide between a Semester at Sea program and a study abroad program in Berlin. I know they sound very different, but I think they appeal to different parts of me, which makes it even harder to decide. Hence, I have some questions about your experience if you don't mind answering:
When you were traveling around the ports, did you feel they were too touristy? I don't want to ...
Mementos from a beautiful chapter in the Pacific Islands
Guatemala Guayab cold brew bottle rings top my armrest. I love the way this couch design enables my morning coffee needs. The elixir leaves a rich aftertaste that comforts me as much as the wafting smell of cinnamon and simmering tangelos from the stovetop.
Soon I will set up a buffet on the kitchen island: spicy potatoes, simple salads, kiwis and oranges galore. This is all that is left in our Auckland apartment, other than the Weetbix and Vegemite. Those can stay put.
My toes are chilly, as per usual with these cold, slick wooden floors. I do not have good posture ...
A little valentine for my dear, sweet Buenos Aires
Not only was this the longest time I've lived in an international city, it also happened to be a culture I fully embraced. Our impending departure pricked me in the last week, drawing up thick sentiment I could only process through creation. What could I make that would facilitate a meditation on a city that showed me a wonderful time?
Prior to our first and only asado, I splayed out on my bed in a square of warm light and began a graphic design project, one that mimicked the Ork-style posters that fit neighborhood names into their map locations. My idea ...
Is it important to visit the places from which your family originates?
The thin line of text atop my computer screen reminded me of a birthday. It was a realization that went down like a horse pill.
Today, my grandfather would have been 92.
He passed away as I was frantically flying home from Thailand, my work trip cut short due to his declining health. As I was suspended above the South Pacific—poorly timing my first viewing of The Descendants—he received the rare opportunity to die at an old age, surrounded by family, with a smile on his face. I missed it, but that's okay. I've been saying cautious and thoughtful goodbyes since I ...
Attending my first opening night via the interwebs
Everything about my first photography exhibition was fitting.
It took place in my hometown.
It took place in the community center that could be credited for the start of my global knowledge and interest.
It was a digital display, the medium in which I create.
I displayed images in an order that reflected my life philosophy.
The images represented all the continents I've been fortunate enough to experience.
The gallery was named after my late grandfather.
I attended the opening night virtually.
My best friend did the technical support to help me experience the night from my apartment in Boston.
[caption id="attachment_10023" align="alignright" width="300"] Image courtesy of Amy Sullivan[/caption]
The irony of my lifestyle, part 5
Allow me to perplex you with a seemingly disjointed introduction to a post about travel and home.
These wet rocks where the tide has been,
Barnacled white and weeded brown
And slimed beneath to a beautiful green,
These wet rocks where the tide went down
Will show again when the tide is high
Faint and perilous, far from shore,
No place to dream, but a place to die,–
The bottom of the sea once more.
There was a child that wandered through
A giant’s empty house all day,–
House full of wonderful things and new,
But no fit place for a child to play.
- Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1921
Born a landlocked being, ...
Reunited with the Fiji of my dreams in the markets of Suva
I'm thankful for magic today, the kind I'm used to in India, the kind that places two pals who have been separated for five years in the same market at the same time. What started out as an overly confident internal monologue – one repeating to the eyes that the people they see are familiar – turned out to be based on truth, on a belief that not only is the world small but Fiji even smaller, especially with Facebook and a little prior warning.
Here's what happened the moment we hit Suva.
Piling our loads on our backs, Chaney, Bethany, ...
Why do maps still have a hold on us?
It is one of the most appealing features of large maps, and world maps in particular, that all journeys are feasible.
Every time I return home from a trimester abroad, I find that some mischievous hands have misplaced a couple pins on my big world map. All of the pins on the Caribbean will be scattered on the carpet below, a region equal in size and elevation to a baby's hand. There will be a few pins in the middle of the ocean, adjacent to the sea monster or the three-masted ship that make this modern map look old and ...
Andrew Zimmern and the Transformative Power of Travel
I've been a big time fan of Big Tony B. since the No Reservations series began in 2005. His approach to travel television and subjective, experiential authenticity abroad felt so relevant amidst a sea of market-y documentation. His conceptual thread continues to be pretty darn obvious, which makes it easy to instantly jump on the Bourdain train. But for his fellow Travel Channel host (and our Creative Council member), Andrew Zimmern, I had a harder time identifying what truly made him tick and drove him to produce what he does. Thankfully, I had a recent opportunity to hear Zimmern clarify ...
And then I became a teacher…
I don't just mean TOEFL.
From April to October in 2011, I went from contract work in production to holding a full blown post as a high school teacher at an international school. In that time period, I didn't become more skilled or capable of performing this task. In fact, all I did was trek a bit in China, take some actors' headshots, write some articles, and move to Ecuador. I accumulated no additional training; I only did frantic research and let my years of high school and university instruction resurface, willing cream to rise from freshly settled milk.
Like a good ...