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Category archives for Travel

St Kilda – Life on a Remote Island

St Kilda is a remote island group in the North Atlantic off the coast of Scotland. Having made it to Scotland, and then the Outer Hebrides, it made sense to hop one more island to what was once the very edge of the world.

The Dirty Secrets of Gold Mining in Senegal

“Look at it,” Samba says as he hands me a solid piece of gold. “It’s better than farming.” I take the gold nugget in my hand. It shines in the late morning sun, beautiful despite its ugly history. The past few months of digging for gold as an artisanal gold miner have paid off for…

The Camargue: Wild West of France

This post is the latest in the series Places, Experiences and Objects to Dream About, which profiles marvelous locations, unique life experiences and objects of interest to modern explorers that Kike discovers during my travels. The Camargue region is sometimes known as the “Wild West of France.” Located in the southeast of the country, it is Western Europe’s largest river delta.…

Everglades Restoration: Alterations of Downstream Biodiversity

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. Changing Waters At first glance, the waterways within Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (RB NERR) seem pristine. While I kayaked…

Florida Keys Museum Tells Story Of Wrecker’s Paradise

John Jacob Housman’s character was complex and colorful. He was an energetic entrepreneur, a shrewd businessman, a daring adventurer, a visionary developer, and it was all wrapped around the soul of a pirate. And in 1830, he found the perfect place to use these traits to his best advantage—Indian Key, a remote, tropical island in…

Trunks in Tethers

Thailand’s current population of elephants is around 7,000, of which nearly 4,000 are captive beasts of burden. These enslaved animals can never be reintroduced into wild herds. They bear the psychological and physical wounds of neglect, abuse, malnutrition, and seclusion.

How the Safina Center is helping to save the seas this World Oceans Day (and every day)

The members of the Safina Center crew send out their World Oceans Day messages and discuss what they’re doing to help save the seas.

Two Days at the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. Day 1 The Reserve Founded in 1999, the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) covers over 18,000 acres along the…

10 Handfuls of India

While working on farms and learning about seed preservation this past year for the Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship, I have really gotten to eat some amazing foods. If my hands weren’t in the soil or toiling with seeds, they were usually grabbing the nearest edible item. People talk about how amazing Indian cuisine is — the thalis, the street foods, the home-cooked meals — and yes, those are all pretty great, but where this creative and intricate cuisine comes from, its ingredients, its flavors, its uncooked beginnings, that’s where the real magic lives. This fertile soil (at least that which is untouched by deforestation, drought, or chemicals) breathes so much beauty into our hands. And I consider myself beyond lucky to have held such raw beauty, however briefly.

NRLI: Finding Inclusive Solutions to Seemingly Intractable Problems

The Natural Resources Leadership Institute is housed within the School of Forest Resources and Conservation and the IFAS Center for Leadership. Situated just outside Marianna in Florida’s Panhandle, Cindale Farms is a dairy comprised of just 600 cattle. I met the dairy’s owners Brad and Meg Austin during one of the most memorable sessions of…

Holding the Cosmos in Our Hands

“The seed comes from the tree, the tree comes from the seed. It’s like the chicken and the egg. If people want to understand it, they will break the seed apart — they will actually kill it — to see the cells, the chromosomes and the genetics. There is another way to look at this. I plant a seed and a miracle happens — something new is born out of this carbohydrate and protein, a new life is born. This is a miracle, you see? The miracle of life.”

Te Araroa and the Increasing Popularity of Thru-Hikes

By Erika Zambello, based on an article by Dan Hawkins. New Zealand is known for breathtaking scenery, popularized in the blockbuster Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie series. Since 1975, citizens have been working toward a scenic, thru-hiking trail to showcase the country, culminating in an official trail that opened in 2011. Today,…

The Report Is In: 30 Percent of Shops in Nine Countries Include Endangered Turtleshell Gifts

After a three-month survey across 600 souvenir shops in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, Cuba, Grenada and Colombia, researchers from 12 conservation organizations discovered that 30 percent of the establishments sold products made from endangered hawksbill sea turtles. Gifts ranged from $1 bracelets and rings to $200 for an intricate comb. Of the…

Misool bluewater shark baitball: A sign of conservation success in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Photographer, filmmaker and conservationist Shawn Heinrichs documents new biodiversity, a sign of conservation success in Indonesia’s Misool Marine Reserve.

Kayaking Within Rookery Bay Mangroves

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. A group of intrepid adventurers and I met at exactly 9 a.m. at the end…