20 Days, 150 Miles Walked, 1,224 Miles Traveled

Originally posted on Arcadia University’s Study Abroad Blog

As I finally sit down to write this, I have to minimize tabs upon tabs of campsites, camper vans, and tramping tracks. I don’t think I’ve sat still since arriving in New Zealand, and I have yet to experience a full weekend in Wellington, my new home. It’s pretty easy to stay active though- it seems as though I am discovering new places to explore every day!

Miles 0-20 Walked, Miles 0-398 Traveled

Stepping off the plane in Auckland, I got my first taste of the northern New Zealand summer- hot and sunny! We were immediately whisked into the city for a whirlwind tour (City! Beaches! Tunnels!) that had one objective: to keep us awake until 8pm. Still fighting jet-lag, our next two days were in the geothermally active city of Rotorua. Here we saw Kiwis (the bird, not the people), watched sheep shearing and herding, visited the Waiotapu geothermal park, experienced traditional Maori culture, and rolled ourselves in inflatable balls down huge hills. The entire town smelled of sulfur, and it was interesting to watch steam escape from cracks in the sidewalk and not see anyone be the least bit concerned. On our fourth morning, we flew to Wellington and settled into our new flats.

Blister count: 0

Continue reading 20 Days, 150 Miles Walked, 1,224 Miles Traveled

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New Zealand!

Originally posted on Arcadia University’s Study Abroad Blog on February 6th, 2017

When people ask where I’m studying abroad next semester, their first reaction is usually “Wow! I hear it’s gorgeous there, you’re going to have a great time!” And yes, natural beauty was a large factor when I was shopping around. It’s their follow up questions, though, that get at the true reason I wish to travel to the land of the Kiwis: “Isn’t it hard to get there? And expensive? No one from around here will be there with you… wouldn’t you rather go on a university sponsored trip with friends?” It is hard to get there- it means almost a full 24 hours of travel, one way, with multiple layovers and connecting flights. It is expensive- I’ve been applying to scholarships and working in preparation for the trip. But the very fact that I will know no one in the entire country is its largest appeal. I want to truly adventure on my own, to test my abilities and to experience a new culture and landscape completely as me, not as the person I’ve become assumed to be by the people who have known me forever.

Continue reading New Zealand!

#48DaysofBlue Day 28 #girlswithtoys

Rachel (of The Seascape) says it perfectly. I feel so fortunate to have so many opportunities in science available to me, but know that the world has a long way to go in terms of STEM education equality. #girlswithtoys

The Seascape

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Day 28: York River, Virginia

Today’s post is dedicated to all of the amazing women in marine science and STEM fields! In light of a recent comment made in regards to science being about “boys playing with their toys”, the campaign #girlswithtoys was created to highlight all the incredible work that women of the past and present have done to advance all STEM fields. It is such an antiquated thought that women do not belong in academia, particularly science. I am thankful for being yet another women to break that stereotype by pursuing the fields of biology and marine science. I have had incredible female advisors and role models all throughout my schooling and in the beginnings of my professional career without whom I’m not sure I would be where I am today. It doesn’t always take fancy equipment to be #girlswithtoys! It just takes a passion to explore our…

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Explore: Cunningham Falls State Park, MD

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Looking to spend a day with my friends from home before we all started work and internships for the summer, I took them up to Cunningham Falls State Park in Maryland. I hadn’t been there since I was a small child, and going the other day was if I had never been before. Continue reading Explore: Cunningham Falls State Park, MD

Explore: Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont

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As part of my spring break (the end of which is rapidly approaching…!), my dad and I took a quick trip up to Burlington, Vermont to enjoy a couple of days of skiing Smugglers’ Notch. We had unusually great weather- both days were sunny and around 45 degrees! Light jackets were worn and gloves were discarded midday. The snow was beautiful, only becoming slushy towards the end of the second day, and even then, only at the base of the mountains. After a couple of dry runs, we waxed up our skis and experienced some of the best skiing we’d had in a long time. Continue reading Explore: Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont

Explore: Door Bluff Headlands County Park

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Door Bluff Headlands County Park in Door County, Wisconsin. On an absolutely frigid winter’s day, I took to the northern tip of the Door Peninsula. There, awaiting me, was the county’s quietest and most under-rated park. Chock full of history, geology, limestone bluffs, pine forests, crashing waves and sunset vistas, I was actually relieved it didn’t receive as much tourist traffic. In the two afternoons I spent up there, I ran into only one other couple. Aside from the grand views and humorously crooked trees covered in ice, the park offered (or lacked, depending on how you look at it) another intriguing concept: there were no maintained trails. Visitors were welcome to explore the 150 acres as they wished, though a couple of “natural” trails had come into existence along popular routes. Winding my way through the trees, occasionally catching glimpses of the nearby bluffs and water, I could imagine myself an Iroquois, the people that originally inhabited this particular section of spectacular shoreline.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline: Why?!

Having just arrived back on campus from one of the most eye-opening and empowering weekends of my life- VA Power Shift put on by the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition and Virginia Student Power Network- I am completely fired up and newly inspired to take on a host of current environmental issues. The topic I learned most about, and the one that incited the most passionate response from me, was Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Continue reading Atlantic Coast Pipeline: Why?!

Explore: Halfway Creek

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About 2, 2.5 miles away from the center of the campus of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA is an unexpected delight. Starting from the intersection of campus and colonial Williamsburg, two of my friends shared with me the wonder that is Halfway Creek. We biked some hilly roads (passing very few cars) until we came to a forested path. This we followed to an amazingly wide, long bridge over Halfway Creek (which in my opinion, is more the size of a river). On that unseasonably warm February day we escaped student life for a couple of hours, enjoying each others company and skills (Irish dancing and gymnastics!). Since we were there right before dusk, I am hoping to return for sunrise sometime this semester. If you are ever in the Williamsburg area, take a break from the 17th century and revel in the beauty of Halfway Creek!

explorations through thought and world