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A Walk in the Wilderness

I’m going to step back in time for a moment. About three weeks back, to the time that I was in Hobart, Tasmania, folding a strange man’s laundry.

Is this weird? This is weird, I thought to myself, but in a good way. Susan Munroe, professional houseguest; maybe I should put that on my resume. […]

Quiet in Melbourne

I haven’t had a real conversation with anyone in days now, not since leaving Salt Lake City in the wee hours of the last day of last year. Tiptoeing down an icy driveway into the waiting airport transfer, shivering in my summer-in-the-southern-hemisphere jacket, I slipped out of the city in a contemplative quiet that has […]

With a stomach full of mate

Yerba mate (MAH-tay): the bitter herb of southern Chile and Argentina is packed into a dried gourd, leather pouch, or tin cup, steeped in hot water, and drunk out of a metal straw. It’s the drink of the gauchos (Patagonian cowboys), shared around the fire or across the kitchen table. It’s a tradition and symbol […]

Filipino BBQ

While in Canada last month, Jeni and I were invited to a barbeque at her roommate Mia’s parents’ house. “We have to go, Susan. This isn’t any old backyard barbeque. This is a Filipino barbeque!”

It was cold and rainy outside, but warmth and festivity bloomed through the front door as we entered. I took […]

camping with grizzly bears is scarier than hitchhiking

There I was, leaning against the wall of the Grant Village Campground bathroom, mechanically shoveling warm oatmeal into my mouth, absently re-reading the campground recycling guidelines for the thirty-seventh time. Rain hammered on the roof and dripped noisily off the gutters onto the pavement outside. The bathroom was the only place where I could cook […]

kelli, meet new zealand

“Kelli and Susan drove down state highway 47, looking out the windows at volcanoes and eating chocolates while listening to Flogging Molly,” Kelli narrated.

“Fear and Loathing has nothing on us!” I returned.

“Except hallucinogenics.”

It’s a whole new phase of my NZ experience – Kelli Time! It’s strange to me: here I am, back […]

returning to civilization after a long tramp in the bush

Today I have spoken more words than I have uttered in the last month. My throat is dry, my tongue and mouth are tired, but I am out of my head – I have rejoined humanity and am relearning the finer points of human communication. I’m on the North Island: this bustling metropolis of an […]

a month later…

…I find my way out of the rain forest! Has it really been a month? Can I blame the delay in updates on my freezer-burned brain? Apologies, faithful readers. Writing, as of late, has felt more like work than play, and after six months as an Antarctic galley slave, I’m all about play. This is […]

home sweet boat

Several songs come to mind at this point… “…just spent six months in a leaky boat” “…we all live in a yellow submarine” My boat isn’t a submarine (though it is painted yellow), and whether it’s leaky or not I can’t say, as it’s in permanent dry dock on top of a hill, but it’s […]