This blog was originally written in June 2016, just three weeks before I would leave Santiago, Chile after almost 13 months studying abroad. I am slowly making my way through old blog posts to rescue memories and stories that feel important and bring them back into my canon. Reading through my university blog, which captures memories of my time in Chile and working with Operation Wallacea in Fiji, I am struck by two things:
I have a jacaranda tree I can see from my bedroom window. For a month of spring, it shudders with color, painting the curb with purple petals with each gust of April breeze.
Jacarandas do not bloom lightly. Instead, weighted by their opulence, their branches hang ponderous over parks and plazas. Like pregnant women, they glow and groan under their burdens.
I try to watch the jacaranda every day, waiting with dread for petals to fall and reveal the monochrome branches of summer. Yet her blooms are deceptively resilient. Day after ever-warming day, the jacaranda thrusts her bright blossoms into…
In January 2020, I found myself hiking alone through the majestic forests of Chilean Patagonia in the hours before my flight back to Santiago. It hadn’t been planned as a solo trip but I decided to go anyway after my partner dropped out just six hours before our flight. It turned out to be the last real adventure I’d take before COVID shut down global travel.
It’s always easy to come up with a million reasons not to write. I’m fighting with a few of them right now. The little voices sound something like:
There are thousands of content creators already out there.
What more do I have to add to the noise?
Who even wants to read my writing?
And the kicker: I don't know how to write. And I’m too busy to learn.
Raise your hand if any of this sounds familiar. Then bring it back down so you can keep scrolling.
I used to listen to every piece of advice anyone ever gave me. I even remember wondering why my young peers made so many mistakes and broke so many rules, ignoring all the advice that was around them. After all, adults were experienced; therefore — in my young mind — they must know better.
As a result, adults tended to really like me. Fellow kids, not so much. After all, who doesn’t love someone who thinks they are right and actually listens to their hard-earned experience?
But as I grew into an adult myself, I realized three things:
I vomited for the second time in my conscious memory while crossing the Drake Passage. What a time to find out you get seasick, eh?
Composing myself, I wobbled back to the dining room to find my family calmly tucking into a fish dinner as we rolled and bobbed over seething waves. It was all I could do to grab a roll of bread and hold my head high as I leaned into the wall and shuffled back to my room to lie down.
Despite my nausea, I noticed a woman eating alone. It’s unusual to travel to Antarctica by…
My favorite scene from the show Fleabag is set in a bar. The protagonist sits alongside the recent winner of the “Women in Business” Award for a massive multinational corporation. When congratulated, the winner states:
“It’s infantilising bollocks. It’s ghettoising. It’s a subsection of success. It’s the fucking children’s table of awards.”
Through the pandemic, women have left the workforce at a rate 4x higher than men. Newspaper headlines sounded the alarm of a ‘generation’ of women’s empowerment lost in months. But did we lose anything — or did we never have it in the first place?
If we built…
Once upon a time, pre-Covid, a close environmentalist friend of mine felt guilty about taking an international long-haul flight and decided to pay to offset his emissions — meaning he would pay to have that carbon dioxide removed and stored out of the atmosphere. Googling a platform, he calculated the tons of carbon that his plane emitted during the flight and was quoted $30 to offset his emissions by subsidizing an activity that allegedly pulls carbon out of the air (like planting trees…but not necessarily). …
Like many ambitious young women, I devoured Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In in my first few months of entering the working world after college. While many women have expressed frustration that her book doesn’t address some of the structural problems holding women back in the workplace, Sandberg nonetheless doles out some nuggets of gold.
What stuck with me the most was her lesson on mentorship — specifically how women can benefit from receiving mentorship and from being a mentor, throughout their careers.
While mentorship is a trendy buzzword today, it can be difficult to understand how to actually find and cultivate…
In high school, I baked constantly. Despite, and perhaps because of, the stress of classes and homework, I found time to research wacky recipes and try them out — because it was fun. I remember baking marshmallows into cookies, whipping meringues for cupcakes, and even making a massive, five-layer chocolate bomb cake, just to compare it with the flavor of carob. To be fair, that last one was for a class, but it was certainly far and beyond what we were asked for.
I rarely bake anymore, even though I still find it fun. I just have other hobbies that…
CEO @ Friends of Wallacea // ex-ghost writer, ex-vc // harnessing the power of tech for conservation, and writing about it.