Category Travel

Vacationing with my Ex: 8 Days in Kauai

Mike and I broke up last summer over a brutal few months that plunged me into therapy, Landmark Forum and salsa dancing, and inspired him to lose 40 pounds, switch career paths and develop a daily meditation practice. Despite the changes, I didn’t want everything to change. I had loved him for 10+ years, and […]

Can the Yucatán Peninsula Save a Marriage?

Barcelona, Cuba, Bolivia. Those were among the list of locations I texted to my boyfriend. “They’re easy to access and relatively cheap flights. Choose one.” He chose the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. Mike and I haven’t traveled together in almost two years and my job as a petsitter keeps us sleeping separately about five nights […]

Big Bear: Two Days off in Southern California

A dogwalking client recently bought a cabin in Big Bear, a small mountain town in Southern California, 2 ½ hours from the beach town where I live. They’ve been using it on weekends so they lent it to me for a midweek getaway, my first days off since May 22nd when I returned from East Africa. […]

Claim Your Entitlement at Customs: Travel in Tanzania

We Americans complain about everything. The coffee is too hot, the ice cream too cold, the bus is late. One reason I travel is to flee the manicured and manufactured life of white middle-class America. My most recent trip was one month in the bush of Tanzania, outside of Ruaha National Park. The attitudes I […]

Pre-Safari Interviews with Tanzanian Villagers: an NGO’s Environmental Ed Project

I’m holding Abeli’s waist as we weave around potholes and pass bright green rice fields. Our task for the day is to interview the eight residents from a nearby village who were randomly selected to participate in tomorrow’s Safari. Finding the villagers quickly becomes an adventure. We show the sheet of paper listing names to a […]

White Lady On The Loose in Tanzania! (Me.)

I don’t remember the first time I saw a non-white person. If I stared, my mother would’ve flicked me and said, “Stop being rude.” The topic of race is taboo in White America, maybe because the guilt is too much. Now I’m a mzungu (white person) in Tanzania and I get stared at everywhere I […]

24 hours in Tanzania- Learning to Roll with It

I give the last of my cash to the Customs Official in Dar Es Salaam for my visa (no credit cards accepted.) Tanzania is a cash-based society but I’m planning to go to the ATM anyway, so no problem. Until l learn that all the ATMs in the airport are broken. I’m the only one […]

I’m a Traveling Introvert 

After an eight hour bus ride on the Greyhound-like TransLux, I’m at my hostel in Johannesburg. It has a courtyard and pool, bamboo-lined pathways and two dogs. I sprung the extra $6 for a private room but I’m hanging out in the lounge where a man is watching a TV show subtitled in English and […]

As the Kids Grow Up: Orphan Baboons Find a Forever Family

I’m back at the baboon rehab center in South Africa. When I was here a few years ago, the babies were Mica, Oscar and Pippin. They’ve since grown into big kids happily playing and foraging with their baboon families in big “semi-wild” enclosures. The enclosures are on plots of regular African land with an electric […]

Pre-trip is like Friday Afternoon Before Shabbat. Now I’m Africa Bound.

I’m sitting in seat 45H on my way to south and east Africa for two months. My eyes are puffy from too much crying and a puppy has kept me awake the past four nights so I’m not a pretty sight, but I’m cocooned in with a good book and dried mango. All week has […]