This July I had the extreme adventure of working abroad and traveling around Nairobi, Kenya. My husband and I had planned the trip for over a year, but were unsure if we’d actually be allowed to go as the US had elevated Kenya to high risk for terrorist activity the month prior to our departure. We stood by monitoring the news, decided to risk it, and thankfully had not a single issue during our travels. For a month we lived and travelled with our dear friends Sam and Miranda Grant, who moved to Nairobi a year ago from Uganda to work in micro-finance and video journalism throughout the country.
Our timing was beautiful, as we were in Kenya to witness the Great Migration in the Serengeti (more on that later), and I was able to work directly (face-to-face!) with Miranda on a collaborative project she’s created called The Human Geographic. It was a privilege for me to be on the ground floor of this grand idea- and to work with Miranda outside of Skype and email! The Human Geographic is an online quarterly magazine featuring stories, documentaries, and audio from a network of journalists around the world. Each issue revolves around a theme, and the inaugural issue, Miracles, launched November 15th.
The undertaking of such a project took many, many months of coordinating, developing, planning, researching, many dry-erase boards of infographics, navigation charts, and website programming. Miranda took this feat head-on, hoping to challenge the format in which we are now so used to receiving information, with a desire to present news and stories in a more beautiful and multi-sensory presentation. I feel grateful to have been a part of the project as design consultant, illustrator, and in help with programming the WordPress site for the main portion of The Human Geographic. The logo was designed by talented Australian designer Morgan Stokes, and our Think All Day programmer extraordinaire Susan Harkey also jumped onboard for help on some of the more difficult programming features – huge thanks to her as well!
Okay, so you’re intrigued, but what exactly is The Human Geographic? Well, jump on over and dive in! The main site is filled with stories and teasers (for free) from around the world which you can search by location on the global map. And the magazine is available for $4.99 and includes a full length feature documentary film, Static Miracles by Gabrielle Brady along with loads of other exclusive articles and stories related to Miracles. It’s one of those that you should enjoy with a hot cup of tea and a few hours to yourself. The next issue, Hero, will be released in January and new stories are always rotating up on the website.
In this season of gratitude, I feel so much thanks for the wonderful people I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with on this project, for the experience of visiting (and falling in love with) Africa, and for my job at Think All Day for allowing me the flexibility to work from anywhere (as long as there is internet)!
May this find you filled with wanderlust and spark your sense of adventure!
The aspens will soon be changing to gold in New Mexico, and I’m already missing the short season of green we had here. With lush landscapes on the brain, I thought I’d share a few pictures from a trip I took to Romania this spring with my husband. The leafy mountainsides, leggy evergreens, and winding country roads gave us one of the greenest journeys I’ve ever seen. This was my first time in Eastern Europe and it was such an experience; culturally, I loved the rural areas in the northern region, which felt like stepping back (way back) in time.
Here we have:
A man shepherding his sheep in a beautiful field backed by rich jade hills (above).
The most adorable grandmothers ever, selling farm cheese and sheep’s yogurt at the market. This was my mainstay snack on our hair-raising drives through unbelievable traffic and twisting highways.
Typical walking trail through the woods, ferns, and wildflowers in Transylvania (!).
The Merry Cemetery, with hand painted art and unique folk poems honoring each life, decorating hand-carved wooden headstones.
Corner construction on the primitive wooden churches common throughout the countryside.
Europe’s oldest running narrow gauge steam train.
A Maramureş wooden church, typical of the high timber constructions we saw all over stunning meadows like this one.
Just one example of the incredible hand-painted vernacular artwork covering the walls, floors, and ceilings of the churches.
View from Bran Castle, one of the original inspirations for Dracula!
Streetside in Transylvania; more amazing murals.
One of the lovely bedrooms in the charming old hotels where we stayed—which always featured old-Euro style separate duvets.
Leadlight windows in diamond patterns of red, white, and blue.
Sun hitting a rainbow of pastel homes on a cobblestone street.
My favorite, perfect wildflower meadow.
Clock tower in a historic village, with moving medieval figures who appear upon the chime of the hour.
Rural cemetery in the forest.
More wooden churches, with original frescoes and antique pennants (my husband is an architect so these ancient buildings were big on our sight-seeing list).
Horses and carts, the preferred mode of transportation in the north country, including for families taking children to school—so much fun to see.
Red poppy field.
More extraordinary paintings.
Lighting positive intention candles in the cave below a convent.
A visit to writer, activist, and Nobel prize winner Elie Wiesel’s home in Sighet, Transylvania.
A quiet street at night, from the window of our hotel.
The town plaza, with pigeons.
An arched yellow arcade, peeking out onto the town square.
Maybe it’s the nip in the air, or the last dregs of late-day sunshine—but, there’s something about fall that makes me want to hit the road. This is one of the loveliest northern New Mexico day trips I have taken: October, Santa Fe to La Cueva by way of Las Vegas, then back to The City Different on a big, scenic loop through Mora and Taos. It was one of the most beautiful drives and pretty, sunny days I could have asked for, with lots of fun stops along the way.
The old Grist Mill in La Cueva (Spanish for ‘The Cave’) can be found at the junction of New Mexico Route 518 and 442. According to the historic wooden marker, legend has it that village founder Vicente Romero named the town this way because he lived in a nearby cavern while building his ranch house in 1851.
Another sweet local gem is Salman Raspberry Ranch. The harvest season is typically August through October, depending on the first hard frost of the season. We grabbed four delicious pounds of warm, you-pick-it berries from the field (and probably devoured that many more on the spot). We then proceeded to the cafe to eat raspberry pie with raspberry ice-cream and raspberry sauce, topped with more fresh raspberries.
Cosmos, roses, sunflowers, and sage are in the last stages of full bloom, and bustling with bumblebees in wildflower gardens throughout the old village. A walk through the paths was the perfect way to soak up some precious golden-afternoon autumn light.
Our drive capped off winding through the country roads of Mora Valley, beside the river and beneath aspen leaves turning yellow—ending with a little live music and tequila at the Taos Inn‘s Adobe Bar, and a mountain sunset seen from the driver’s seat as we dropped back down toward Santa Fe.
This view has been on my mind a lot lately: the never-ending, rhythmic, intoxicating California coast. Last month, I traded in the land of sunshine and beach bums for my new land of microbrews and apple orchards and am now calling Washington state my home. My ears are still adjusting from the pulse of LA, a city that never quiets, to new sounds of the river, barn owls, and sprinklers (we have a yard!) here in Yakima, “The Palm Springs of Washington.” If Los Angeles was a city to collect inspiration, Yakima is the city to create. Looking forward to the many exciting projects we at Think have coming up, and to the many projects waiting to exist.