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Navigating Nature

A globe-trotting activist communicates science and the environment

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Travel

Chile Part 4: One Week North

Even though it’s now been two months since my trip to Chile (sorry for the blogging hiatus – moving to Chicago and starting a new job took over my life), I am still immensely grateful for my six-week adventure there. My last big adventure in Chile was to the Atacama Desert, which is the most arid place in the world (besides the poles), and receives the highest radiation and celestial exposure – which means it is very dry, the sun is extremely strong, and the stars are incredible. Even though I was there during a full moon, I could still see the Milky Way and thousands of stars filling every corner of the night sky. Continue reading “Chile Part 4: One Week North”

Chile Part 3: Two Weeks South

During the second half of July, I headed to Chile’s beautiful southern lake region, about halfway between Santiago and Punta Arenas. An inspiring landscape of volcanoes covered in snow, rushing turquoise rivers, green coastal cliffs, and deep blue lakes, it was my first taste of a very different Chilean landscape. I’ve been learning and talking a lot about how many different ecosystems Chile has along its 4,000-km length, but it was amazing to experience it first hand. In my two weeks south, I explored the outdoors, learned about the history of the region, discovered more about my family heritage, and got a taste of the culture of the south. Continue reading “Chile Part 3: Two Weeks South”

Chile Part 1: Family and Exploring the Big City

After an unintentional break from blogging, during which I graduated from college, I embarked on a six week trip to Chile. My mom and her family are Chilean, and since I´ve only been here once, I decided that now was the right time to rediscover my roots and explore the country for a few weeks. I´m now one week in, and wanted to share some of the things I´ve done and my overall impressions of this beautiful place so far.

Almost immediately after getting off the plane, I joined a huge family lunch of 15 people in total. We had a beautiful meal with food from Chiloe, cooked by my amazing aunt. It was such a gift to be surrounded by family who welcomed me to Chile, and to reunite with people I hadn´t seen since I was six years old! We spent the afternoon in typical Sunday style, eating, talking, and relaxing together. Continue reading “Chile Part 1: Family and Exploring the Big City”

If You Like Piña Colada(s) and Getting Caught in the Rain…

Then Puerto Rico is the place to be! Bryant and I traveled there last week for spring break, and while we only drank one piña colada and got caught in the rain just once, it was a fantastic trip. We were there for six days and experienced a wide variety of settings in such a short amount of time, experiencing the urban history of San Juan, examining the Caribbean reef ecosystem up close while scuba diving, beach-hopping in remote Vieques, and hiking through the dense jungle of El Yunque. Continue reading “If You Like Piña Colada(s) and Getting Caught in the Rain…”

Making Friends in the Brazilian Amazon

After spending the first week of our Brazilian vacation in Bahia, we headed to the interior of Brazil, deep into the Amazon. We flew at night to Manaus, Brazil’s westernmost large city and home to 2.5 million people, and all we could see on the way there was blackness. Even during the night, it was easy to tell how dense and enormous the Amazon was, despite the huge amount of deforestation that is going on. Continue reading “Making Friends in the Brazilian Amazon”

Bahia’s Beaches and Boulevards

Last month, my family and I went on a two-week vacation to Brazil – not to see the Olympics, but to see my sister Laura, who was studying abroad in the city of Salvador, and to reconnect with a country we love, since we lived in Sao Paolo when I was very young. Continue reading “Bahia’s Beaches and Boulevards”

Central Coast Wanderings

Over Memorial Day weekend, my boyfriend Bryant and I decided to explore some new territory and take a road trip through California’s Central Coast. I’d traveled extensively in the Bay Area and had been to LA and San Diego before this trip, but the Central Coast was a big blank spot for me. Continue reading “Central Coast Wanderings”

A Solo Woman’s Guide to Travel Safety

As a 20-year-old woman who has traveled alone in Europe and in small groups through South America, Australia, Africa, and the Pacific, I promise it’s worth it. Traveling enriches your life in ways that greatly outweigh the slight hassles that come with transporting yourself overseas and leaving your daily life behind for a few days, weeks, or months. Seeing the world’s most beautiful places and experiencing cultures that are different from your own are privileges that many people will never have. And so here you are, about to embark on a fantastical journey to a far-off place you’ve never been, and you’ve been dreaming about the new sights, sounds, smells, and tastes for months. Don’t get me wrong, the world is your oyster, but there are a few things you should keep in mind as you travel: Continue reading “A Solo Woman’s Guide to Travel Safety”

Canyons of the West (And a Few Odds and Ends)

It’s been a few too many weeks since I last actively participated in the blogosphere (as an excuse, I was finishing up final exams at Stanford) but I had a fabulous spring break last week that I want to write about. We had nine days, so my boyfriend Bryant and I hopped in the car and took off for the Southwest from Palo Alto. Our ultimate destination: the national parks of southern Utah and northern Arizona, none of which I had ever visited before. For those of you that know me well, you’ll know that I was thrilled about exploring this uncharted territory. Continue reading “Canyons of the West (And a Few Odds and Ends)”

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