The Author in Antarctica

In my early years, I had lots of time to hunt out the ideal, cheap lodging, the best, cheap restaurant. Most importantly, I had the patience to wait for what might come along, whether people, buses or adventures. Now, I am impatient and willing to let someone else take care of the details. All of these recent trips have had a specific focus. Often it is the pursuit of birds that take me to interesting places, a wonderful excuse to leave the cities.

I don’t write about every trip, and there are no hotel suggestions or what to pack guidelines. These are just the adventures that intrigue and delight me.

I’d wanted to go to Antarctica for years, but until my local Audubon offered a trip, I could not be assured that our presence would not disruptive to the wildlife or polluting to the environment. (2001)

I’d been to Australia previously, but never to find the fabulous birds. While the country was more familiar than some, the adventures encountered on the way to the birds were delightful…and some were not. (2007)

Four stories of Botswana are from two recent trips. At the invitation of my niece and her husband, who were finishing a longer trip, I joined them and others of my family on a budget safari. The need for flexibility and patience reminded me of my travels when I was Annies age. (2009,2011)

Bhutan is a remote and mysterious land if only because tourism is so restricted. Exotic as they may seem, the Bhutanese are dealing with the same sort of dilemmas as other countries, but in their own special manner. (2007)

Friends at Hogar de Ancianos

In Costa Rica, I met and worked with elders at Hogar de Ancianos. My experience with the elders there was moving and delightful. (2010)

Big birthdays are a bother since I am not one for parties, so I went to Cuba for my sixtieth. It was well timed since soon after, travel restrictions tightened. And now Cuba is being touted as a model for us to consider as we learn to cope with oil restrictions. (2003)

On my second trip to Cuba I joined a humanitarian group from my church. Loaded with supplies for our Cuban friends and their projects, we were denied entry under unfortunate circumstances. I hope to try again. (2009)

Water is the next emerging crisis. I joined UUSC (Unitarian Universalist Service Committee) again to meet the Ecuadorians who have been changing the way water is managed in Guyaquil in hopes that they never encounter a time when there is Nary a Drop to Drink. (2010)

The trip to Guatemala whetted my interest in human rights trips during which my presence as an American might bring a more positive message to people our government has wronged. Not as fun as some trips, but far more meaningful. (2006)

Lemurs were one of my must-see animals and they only live in Madagascar. We spent as much time watching their antics as we did looking for the birds. (2004)

In Papua New Guinea, I was fortunate to attend a sing sing where tribal dancing troops massed and danced with great flash and vigor. Since I saw a photo of a Huli years ago, I had wanted to see them, and to see so many, and dancing for themselves, not me, was my dream come true! (2010)

Northern Peru is very birdy and endemics abound. Encountering a very shy and rare bird can be a profound experience. For a lighter experience, we had one night in a basic, perplexing and thought provoking inn.

What next?