Why You Should Still Be Traveling in Grad School


This post was posted by The Hipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on 2016/02/11. If you’re a grad student, it’s easy to come up with reasons not to travel. It costs a lot (and you’re low on funds). It takes time (and you have a thesis to write). If you’re a teaching or research assistant, it […]

5 Items That Have Upgraded My Long-Term Travels


My style of travel is to move to a new country, then use that place as a homebase for exploring. When I moved to Ethiopia in May, I didn’t exactly pack light, but I packed smart for living abroad and taking shorter trips from here. These are a few recent, well-loved additions to my packing checklist:

An Impromptu Trip to Ethiopia’s South Omo Valley


Today in the life of a travel trade gal – I’ve been invited to tag along on a fam trip to Ethiopia’s South Omo Valley. The region is famous for its decorated tribes and bartering markets. My 4WD ride leaves early on Friday morning (36 hours from now!). I’ll be on the road and offline for 8 days. More details, photos, and stories to follow …

My $20 Toward Hope For Rhinos (and Travel Prizes!)

Photo courtesy Susan Portnoy, The Insatiable Traveler

Bad news, guys. African rhinos are in trouble. In addition to the habitat loss that endangers a wide range of species, the rhino’s threat is its particularly valuable horn. Sadly, poachers can fetch huge sums of money for rhino horns on the black market in East Asia, where the horns are believed to possess medicinal powers.

Confessions of a Travel Contest Addict

Why I just keep entering these things

Rumors have circled back to me lately that I’m a habitual travel contest enterer. It’s true. I can’t resist a good sweepstakes where the prize is some kind of adventure. It’s gotten pretty bad lately. A few weeks ago, a Colorado Public Radio pledge drive was giving away a weekend trip for four to Crested Butte …

Aboard an Earthship in Taos, New Mexico

Greater World Earthship Community

“Climate Change? Bring It.” A bumper sticker for sale in the visitor center snarkily sums up what the Greater World Earthship Community near Taos, Mexico is all about. Without power lines, water systems, or natural gas pipes connecting it to the outside world, this growing cluster of Earthship homes is built to fend for itself.

September in Peru: My fam-tastic four-week itinerary

postcard from machu picchu

During the month of September, I’ll be enjoying the big perk of life as a travel professional on a fam trip to Peru. I wrote about the anatomy of a fam trip after Ecuador in 2012. To summarize: “fam trip” is tradespeak for familiarization trip. I’ll be getting familiar with elements of our upscale itineraries at Southwind Adventures.

Never Too Late For a Junior Ranger Badge

Court of the Patriarchs, Zion National Park

Call it a phase, but I’ve been a little obsessed with national parks lately. It started last summer on a four-day backpacking trip through the backcountry of Colorado’s own Rocky Mountain National Park. One of my most vivid memories is watching the alpenglow on the peaks reflecting in a remote alpine lake, stunned by the beauty. I heard the mating call of elk for the first time. I understood what it meant to have a national parks moment.