Tag Archives: backpacking

Me Too

Before heading to the Middle East to work a six month contract, I knew I might be in for a bit of culture shock, especially as an American woman. Accordingly, I tried my best to mentally prepare myself ahead of time, and to not let myself fall into the pit of eurocentrism. I arrived in Oman feeling ready and excited for the upcoming months, but what came as a shock wound up not being the new country I was living in, but rather the UK-based company that hired me.
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Killing the Blues

Simien Mountain National Park

Gary and I arrived in Addis Ababa via Dubai late, and after changing money immediately began making delirious ‘Hamilton’ currency puns (would you like some birr, sir?), eventually finding our way to the hotel to crash for a few hours. The next morning we set out for a full day around the capital, starting with the National Museum to visit Lucy, a 3.2 million year old australopithecus afarensis. Fun (and challenging!) to say or spell, it was cool to see and learn about one of our oldest relatives, even though her skeleton is only 40% complete.

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Sunday Candy

The greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing familiar is taken for granted. -Bill Bryson

i thank You God for most this amazing day: for the leaping green spirits of trees and a blue dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes -e. e. cummings

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Prayer flags in front of Namagyal Tsemo Monastery

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Hallelujah

Oh, well hello!

Oh, well hello! I really did have grand plans to write about all of the wonderful things that happened in August: my friend´s magical wedding in a little town straight out of Beauty and the Beast, wine tasting in Bordeaux, climbing the Dune du Pilat in Arcachon, revisiting my old study abroad haunts in Paris, and discovering that bohemia still exists in Berlin. Hopefully at some point I still will. However, even with ample time to relax in Toulouse, the hours somehow slipped away and I now have been walking as a pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago for 21 days.

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All Things Must Pass

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Driving through the Chivay Valley

Peru! Peruperuperu. I kicked off my newest love affair in Arequipa with a three day trek through the deepest canyon in the world, the Colca Canyon. After a 2:30 am wake up, followed by a sleepy bus ride, we arrived at Cruz del Condor to watch the condors do their morning hunting. I had no idea just how big condors are, it was impressive to watch them glide in circles over the canyon, on occasion swooping close enough to hear the sound of their wings cutting through the wind. Afterwards we continued our drive up through the Chivay Valley, 14k of land purely dedicated to cultivation. The farmers still maintain plots built during Inca times,  creating a colorful patchwork divided by ancient stone walls for me to gaze at out the bus window.

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