No one talks about the challenges of travel. Our phones and computer screens are plastered from top to bottom with romanticized images of foreign countries, smiling faces with new friends, and extravagant or extravagantly simple experiences. And why would anyone want to talk about it? Why should we show weakness when we know our friends … Continue reading Week 1: Auckland to the Bay of Islands
Sometimes when I close my eyes—in between looking at flights, sorting through my things, and the endless bouts of packing and repacking—I see myself as a bright red balloon, floating through the sky. I can see the places that have shaped me into who I am today: Duluth, MN; Gustavus; the Great Smoky Mountains; Denali, … Continue reading Next stop: New Zealand
It’s the end of the summer. In fact, it’s practically the end of fall. In what seems like just moments, we will be in the midst of another seasonal transition—there’s a far-off future with jobs, people, and places we can’t even picture yet. John and I had a final weekend to take advantage of and … Continue reading Utqiagvik, Alaska: the Northernmost City in the United States
January marked one year since I traveled to Tanzania. Between the intense equatorial heat and relentless bouts of traveler's sickness, I didn't fully realize how much I would miss this incredible country. I remember the red bananas bought from our jeep as we passed a market, a coffee pot sitting on the morning embers of … Continue reading Tanzania II
October brought a slight chill to the air of Montana, reminding me that winter--a winter without school, or class, or homework--was coming. But I've always liked school. I like having a schedule that is scattered throughout my day and ranges from environmental studies to music to tutoring writing and mentoring first years. I loved the … Continue reading Aspen.
I recently returned from a 4,000 mile road trip from Alaska through Canada and the western U.S. I set up camp every night, slept on the ground, cooked my own meals, packed my own snacks, and mapped my own route. I explored national parks and monuments, interpretive centers, trails, and small mountain-town main streets. After … Continue reading How to Plan a Cross-Country Road Trip
Sea·son /ˈsēzən/ noun That half (or third, or fourth) of the year where you find yourself employed, staying in one location for more than a week at a time, and earning benefits of some kind. I was first introduced to the term “seasonal” in 2015 during my internship in the Great Smoky Mountains. I met … Continue reading Reflections on a Seasonal Lifestyle
Goodbyes have always been hard for me. The leaves have fallen from the trees and blanketed the wet ground. The air has gotten colder, and chilly walks to the shower building in the morning are making it harder and harder to get out of bed. The shops and hotels in the nearby "canyon" have boarded … Continue reading So Long, Farewell.
Autumn is here in Denali. The golds of aspens and willows spread through forests, across valleys, and over mountains. The air is crisp and cool enough for a jacket, scarf, and socks with my Chacos. I've started craving things like apple pie, chai tea, and homemade applesauce. The last month and a half has been … Continue reading Falling into Autumn
I cringe when I toss wrappers and non-recyclables into the trash. I know that they'll end up in a landfill not far from my home (and stay there for potentially hundreds of years). I hate throwing away used shoes, or binders, or containers. I hate throwing away anything that seems like it still could have … Continue reading Why TerraCycle is Your Next Sustainable Move