From the Sunny Coast to Brisbane to the Gold Coast - Adventures in Eastern Oz

I had some time off! And it was amazing! Whale watching is a beautiful way to spend your days, don’t get me wrong. In the midst of a busy season, though, you can bet I’ll snatch an opportunity to take a few days off and explore amazing Aussie. After taking so many guests on our trips who simply gushed about the Sunshine Coast and Byron Bay, I knew I wanted to go see them for myself.

Read More
The Final Week: 8 Weeks to a Greener Life & a Bluer Sea

Do something today that scares you.

I'm sure you've heard a similar quote before. Eleanor Roosevelt said it: "Do one thing every day that scares you."

So what's the connection between this challenge and environmental activism? Look, going green can be scary. It means changing habits that you've grown up with. It means politely talking to your parents and grandparents about a new way of life you've adopted that doesn't necessarily mesh with their viewpoints. It means going against the grain more often than not. It means being adaptive, open-minded, and vulnerable to change. That's scary. And it's hard. I recognize and respect that, because I muddle through these changes every single day. I stumble a lot. I fall. I get up. 

Read More
Week 7: 8 Weeks to a Greener Life & a Bluer Sea - Using Social Media for Positive Change

A Positive Opportunity for Education & Activism with Instagram

How many "pretty" pictures of food or drinks or cute cafes pop up on your social media feeds throughout the day? It might just be my love of experimental cooking, foodie-based travel, colorful ingredients, and beautifully-designed dining spaces, but my feed is brimming with snaps of smoothie bowls and tofu dishes and perfectly crafted coffees with hearts and bears in the latte art. I love seeking inspiration from photos of food, and I imagine there's a part of my brain that relishes looking at them as well. Like some sort of dopamine hit. 

Although most of the food-based accounts I follow depict eco-friendly practices, I'm finding that there's still a lot of accounts that are including plastic straws and other single-use plastics in their glamorous marketing shots. Now, I'm not trying to call anyone out and shame them. Nor am I encouraging you to bash anyone or any operation on social media. That's bad form. I'm only saying that I found a perfect opportunity to open up a discussion on single-use plastics when I came across a photo from a hip little pop-up business in Portland specializing in gourmet dessert milkshakes...

Read More
Week 6: 8 Weeks to a Greener Life & a Bluer Sea: #justpickitup

I'm back with Week 6's Eco-Challenge! This is a real simple one, going back to the basics. It's about picking up litter (hence the #justpickitup theme). We see trash all the time in places it doesn't belong, and the concern here is how often we refuse to acknowledge it. On the beach, on your morning run, on the side of the road, at the park, in the supermarket car park. Why do we see it and ignore it so much of the time when we know that it's negatively impacting the environment? It all comes down to convenience, doesn't it?

Read More
Week 5: 8 Weeks to a Greener Life & a Bluer Sea - New 'Poo for Your 'Do

This week I want to talk about hair. Specifically, how we wash it, and how we purchase shampoo. There is so much plastic in our bathrooms, it's not even funny. Not even remotely. It's annoying as hell. It tumbles off the shelves and ledge when we bump into it. Once you squeeze ever little last drop out of the bottle, you have to get rid of it and buy another. Where does it go? Rubbish? Recycling? Do you get confused and just chuck it? "Oh well, someone else's problem now." (Please don't think like that.)

Read More
Week 4: 8 Weeks to a Greener Life & a Bluer Sea - The Importance of Delayed Gratification

When we want or need something, it's as easy as opening our browser to Amazon.com or driving to Target and feeling that rush of immediate gratification. No thought required. Just a credit card and a desire. 

This scares me. You know the feeling of emptiness that comes after an impulse buy? It's like a cloud of confusion. It's not satisfying us the way we thought it would. The thing we bought didn't solve our problems. It didn't make us happier (because only you can make you happier). We often choose what is easy instead of what is better in the long run. Maybe our brains are wired that way. Survival, man! But, it's no good.

Read More
Week 3: 8 Weeks to a Greener Life & a Bluer Sea - Eat Like You Give a F*** (One Vegan Meal)

If someone were to ask me one critical thing they could do right now to help the environment, apart from dropping single-use plastics, I would suggest to them to be more aware of the food on their plates. You know, to eat like you give a f***. Like, where the heck did your food come from? Who grew it? How did they grow it? And...how does its production impact the environment? 

Read More
Week 2: 8 Weeks to a Greener Life and a Bluer Sea - Speak Up About Single-Use Plastics

Week number 2 brings a bit of a different challenge, and one that became more and more relevant for me after I became hyper-aware of plastic waste and poor environmental practices in restaurants and other businesses.  The challenge: speak up about a possible improvement that you think one of your favorite restaurants can make in terms of its plastic use. You know those places you go to eat, the ones you adore with delicious food that you can’t get anywhere else and that give you the warm fuzzies because it’s familiar and it’s the bestest…but that also produce horrendous amounts of waste? I experienced that in Coeur d’Alene this past week at the Fish Market. My family loves this place. AMAZING fish tacos. But EVERYTHING served with single-use plastic sauce tubs, plastic cutlery, and beers on tap are even served in plastic pint cups. WHAT. WHY. GET A DISHWASHER. Give someone a job in the community and stop producing so much waste!

Read More
Week 1: 8 Weeks to a Greener Life and a Bluer Sea - Farmer's Markets

So a little while ago I made a promise to start posting some simple, easy steps you can take to living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. I'm calling this blog series 8 Weeks to a Greener Life and a Bluer Sea, and I'm excited to kick it off with one of my favorite summertime activities: farmer's market shopping! I'm going to keep these posts brief, so you can read them over your morning coffee, absorb what you want from them, and hopefully feel inspired to get out and implement these strategies in your own life.

Read More
Company Crush: Clam & Clasp

One of the most powerful driving forces in nurturing my zest for ocean conservation is connecting with like-minded, creative individuals who are working towards the same mission - but usually from a slightly different angle! I had the pleasure of connecting with Janell, the founder and creator of Clam & Clasp, and instantly fell in love with her beautiful pieces of jewelry. Each features a sustainably collected seashell and a promise to speak for the sea.

Read More
Green Mind: The Challenging Shift from a Cheapest-is-Best Mentality to a Do-It-for-the-Earth Mentality

To the millennials out there: we were raised in a different time with different priorities, and we don’t exactly have a blueprint to look to as we navigate these new and constant environmental challenges. It's a huge task, managing and instigating all of this change. But for those of us who care about the environment to any degree at all, which I truly do believe is most of us, we can start shifting our habits to live a greener lifestyle. We might have to start small; everyone's personal and financial situation is different. But when we continue to demand green alternatives and use our purchasing power to support what we believe in, we are going to keep seeing changes. So start where you can. Do what you can. And at the very least, keep up-to-date on environmental issues and talk about them with your family and friends.

Read More
Be Like the Buddha of Environmentalism - A Movement Towards Enlightenment in Conservation

I wrote a post not too long ago about the challenges of being an optimistic environmentalist. The struggle is real. Very, very real. I’m sure many of you have seen National Geographic’s latest magazine cover depicting a plastic bag looming up from the ocean like an iceberg with the title “Planet or Plastic?” This particular issue is just the start of the magazine’s multiyear plan to bring awareness to our planet’s plastic overload crisis. At first glance, it’s heart wrenching - another reminder of the doom and gloom and challenges ahead of us. But once I read the article and absorbed the painful facts, the scary stats, and the troubling photographs, I felt a little rush of excitement. Do we even know how many people are going to be exposed to this crisis as a result of this publication, people that may never even have thought about it seriously and now would? National Geographic has always been a magazine that has sparked controversial conversations, and this particular cover has been dubbed “one for the ages.” People are going to be talking. People are going to be freaked out. And that’s good.

Read More
Milford Track - Tramping in May 2018

A couple of crazy (amazing) ladies and I tackled the Milford Track in early May - a few weeks ago. It was one of the most incredible things I've ever done. We had some wet, wild, windy weather, and I wouldn't have traded it for the world. There were waterfalls cascading in every direction you looked - best not to hike with a full bladder here or you'll wee yourself. Thinking of hiking the Milford? The Great Walks season runs October 24th - April 30th and the track requires bookings. It books out MONTHS in advance, as it's crazy popular. But it DOES live up to the hype, even in the rain. In fact, I reckon the rain makes it better! The hike is about 54 km long and takes four days. There are three huts along the way that will give you the shelter you need and the amazing views you crave.

Read More
My Struggles with Minimalistic Travel - Suitcase Packing & Roadtrip Rubbish

We've most likely all been acquainted with the concept of minimalism at some point in the last decade. In a society where anything we could possibly want is available with the scroll of a finger on a trackpad, minimalism provides us with a way of combating this mine mine mine mentality and instead reducing the things in our life. It's a way for us to trim down our excess baggage and critically think about what we own. It might just start as a physical reduction of excess things, but in a very real way, downsizing can also positively impact our mental health. There are so many benefits of minimalism, and a large spectrum of extremes we can take it to, but as a self-proclaimed conservationist and travel-lover, it's a concept that I've been struggling heartily with over the past three years. In this post, I'll be focusing on how I keep a minimalistic mindset while packing for trips, and also how I try to minimize the waste I create with the food I purchase, particularly while traveling.


Read More
5 Ways to Eliminate Single-Use Plastics from Your Life

I've been really struggling and trying to be extra mindful of these plastic "conveniences" in my day-to-day life. Plastic has fundamentally changed the way we eat, travel, and live our day-to-day lives. But we lived without it not so long ago - can we reach that stage again? We don't want a plastic ocean.

Read More
Mermaid Muse of the Month: Fiona Wardle, Wildlife Photographer

Fi came to Kaikoura about four years ago. She's originally from the U.K. but moved to Oceania to research common dolphins in Auckland and humpbacks in Australia after completing her undergraduate degree in wildlife photography. As fate would have it, a friend connected Fi with Dolphin Encounter and she found herself in Kaikoura working as a dolphin swim guide and photographer. 

Read More
Life as a Seasonal Guide - What Do We Do? The Top 5 Perks/Challenges of a Seasonal Lifestyle

"Your life looks so cool, do you just travel all the time? How do you fund this? I'm so jealous!"

My life might look glamorous to those from the outside. Many people use social media to paint the best and most exciting version of themselves. I try and use it to highlight beautiful things I've seen, the positive feelings I'm having, or the people I'm meeting, and naturally skim over the lows and challenges I face internally. It's easy to overlook the day-to-day struggles when you're living in some of the most beautiful parts of the world.

Read More
2017 Wrap Up - Three Island Homes and One Big Adventure

Dear 2017,

Everyone loves a little bit of reflection at the start of a new year - it gives us time to feel good about the places we've been, cringe a bit at the mistakes we've made, and laugh because of all the lessons we've learned from them. It's been good for me to ponder over you and all of the adventures you've provided for me.

Read More