How to Participate in World Oceans Day

If you’ve ever stood on a paddleboard or gathered seashells or sat on a surfboard, you know the feeling.  Watching waves crashing onto shore or the anticipation of the rolling water as a boat passes by in the distance gives you a sense of awe, excitement and fear as you think of how open and limitless the ocean is.  Whether you’re surfer in Hawaii or kayaking in the calmer waters of Mission Bay in San Diego, the water is something that connects us all.  Today, the ocean is of particular interest as various organizations work towards protecting this body of open water.  Why would a day be observed just for the ocean?  Because the oceans provide food and medicine, regulate climates and produce oxygen; their health determines our well-being.  Currently oceans are being threatened with plastic waste which in turn harms animals who mistake plastic for food.  What can you do to participate in our oceans’ health?  Here are a few ideas to get you started: Continue Reading ›

Our Incredible Planet

“The earth is what we all have in common.”
-Wendell Berry

I’ve traveled many places and seen many cultures around the world, and the one thing that always inspires and at times perplexes me is how we are all connected by the earth we live on.  Growing up in the southwestern United States, I was used to open spaces with a unique mix of orange desert sand and hillsides of mountains covered with pine trees.  I was always eager to venture to the city and feel its bustling energy and variety of culture and people.  Eventually, I was able to experience what I wanted by traveling to cities like London, Shanghai, Milan, and Paris.  Although I still love visiting a city, I began to wish for a moment in the wide open spaces I had grown up in.  Encompassed by the clouds of pollution while visiting China and recalling the skyscrapers and flashing billboards of Times Square in New York City, I often wondered if the planet would soon become one giant city of smog with advertisements of franchises and corporations.  Cities can give us great opportunity, but I find my creativity and inspiration can flourish just as much in the natural beauty of the outdoors.  If you don’t understand what I mean, take a look at these photos from my travels around the world to inspire you to enjoy and preserve nature for future generations: Continue Reading ›

Life’s a Beach

In terms of my travel, I’ve taken lots of different paths. I’ve traveled to places for work, perhaps knowing a co-worker or two from a previous job or not knowing anyone at all. I’ve gone to places only having done research on the area a few days before, cramming in as many foreign words and phrases to help me find my way around. Other times I’ve gone having done research months beforehand to help myself acclimate to my surroundings. At times I know exactly what to pack in my suitcase, and yet others I’ve guessed and packed last minute while finishing one job and moving on to the next. Everyone has a different travel style, and traveling with others is no easy task since everyone prefers a different approach to packing, figuring out what activities to do, and how much they want to spend. Having traveled with my family either going with them to a location or meeting them after a job ends, I am no stranger to varying individual travel styles. My recent trip with my parents to San Jose del Cabo in the Baja area of Mexico was no exception, even on a simple day at the beach. Continue Reading ›

Surfer Girl

My 30th birthday brings all kinds of surprises, including two days at the beach on the northern surfing town of Mancora.  Swimming in the ocean and venturing the unpredictable waves, my colleagues, Gina, Fiorella, and Andrea are eager to test the waves with a surfing lesson.  My supervisor, Ibada, decides to join them and before I know it, they’re suited up and ready to go.  I wait on the beach, hesitant to tempt a surfboard to overthrow me as I strain to understand my instructor calling out to me in Spanish.  The next day, however, I put my caution aside and recall a list I made of things I wanted to do before I turn 30.  “Learning to surf” is on that list.  I have no excuses now.

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