Monday, June 24, 2013

LIT to KY Pt. 2: Adventures in the Sunny South

What?  You’re writing a low impact travel post that begins with a plane ride?  Yes I am.  Please see Pt. 1 for a little more information on my thoughts and rationale regarding this issue.

Day One: In Transit

As is my general practice in life, I took the spring quarter down to the wire.  I had a paper due at 5:00 pm on Tuesday which I turned in, literally at 5:00 pm.  I have trouble letting things go.  I just like to mess with them till the last possible second… Then I had a lab meeting on Wednesday, and class on Thursday, and BBQ on Thursday, and a date night on Friday.  Things got busy and all of a sudden it was Saturday, and I needed to leave the house at 4 pm and I hadn't packed, scooped the kitty litter, or anything!  Lucky for me, at this point I’m very good at packing and my boyfriend is very good at keeping up with the laundry. 

Is this real life?  An empty
middle seat?  Praise be.
I was able to quickly zip up my suitcase and my backpack (with minimal work stuff actually, which was nice), made sure to grab my reusable mug, my water bottle, and some airport snacks, and we were out the door.  We had just enough time to stop by the Co-op on our way out of town so I could grab some coffee and a few more snacks.  I’m sort of obsessed with our local foods co-op.  They have an amazing section of bulk foods and, as luck would have it, one of their awesome bulk trail mixes was on sale.  Score.  I've written before about the importance of bringing snacks with you when you travel.  When you are trying to have a small impact, being able to source the products you consume is very important.  It’s a lot easier to do this when you make your purchases from sources you know and trust than when you are rushed and hangry (hungry plus angry) at the airport.  Bonus points, when you plan ahead, you can make sure the snacks you choose come with minimal unnecessary packaging.  I put my trail mix in a little paper bag and my coffee in my to-go mug and we were on our way.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

LIT to KY Pt 1: Planes, trains, and moral conflict

My Greyhound view on the 20hr trek between NM and CA.
As a preface, this is part one of a two part post about my recent trip home to Kentucky.  Part two will take the more traditional form of my other Low Impact Travel (LIT) posts where I discuss my adventures and the little ways I try to alter my travel behaviors to reduce my ecological impact.  However, I wanted to take some time and space to talk about an issue which often troubles me, how and why we choose our means of transportation.  Please note that while this post does contain some science, it's mostly my own opinions and rational.  It should be taken as neither fact or prescription, and is simply the conversation I have been having with myself for the past 4 years, converted into essay form.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Sheep of Cow Hill

Run away! Doune Castle - more famously 'All of the
castles from Monty Python's Holy Grail except
for Castle Auuuuugh.
That was a different one. 
My Scottish journey took me first to Glasgow where I was able to see the university and a few more areas. I even got to watch Scotland's unexpected win against Croatia in the evening's football match with my Couchsurfing host. My host was also an adventurous fellow and agreed to escape from the city with me for a day of hiking in the Trossachs. I ended up staying in the nearby town of Stirling with all the intentions of keeping on to Fort William. My morning detour to Doune Castle of a bit of Monty Python silliness turned into a day of back and forth complete ridiculousness as I had to backtrack to Glasgow before heading back north to Fort William, at the base of Ben Nevis, Britain's tallest mountain.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cool Stuff Sunday 9 - Special Edition

My good luck with Irish weather is unbelievable. Most days have been sunny and fairly warm. The Irish flock to bask in the warm rays as though they believe it will be the only sunny day the whole summer. By mid-afternoon, most will be bright red with the rare Irish sunburn. Not wanting to miss out on any of the great weather I tagged along with some Aussies planning on wandering about the botanic gardens.  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Why Choose Between Hostels and CouchSurfing?

When I arrived in Dublin on Thursday, my plans for the summmer were very loose.  I'd used many styles of accomadation during previous travels and had great experiences with with CouchSurfing and hostels. When planning for this summer, I had a hard time choosing which to rely on. Luckily, since I have three months to travel and I can take my time wherever I go, I don't have to choose! Before arriving, I had booked two days in Isaac's Hostel and confirmed two days with a CouchSurfing host. The rest of the summer I would plan as I went. 

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