Holy moly, what a whirlwind month it has been!
Here's what you missed in my absence from TGL:
* Trish and B said goodbye to San Francisco. I have an unfinished essay about this pending -- I promise to share it, soon! It's all the feels.
* Trish and B moved into their (sweet!) new apartment in Columbus, for B's fantastic dietetics internship at OSU. (Come visit?)
* Trish and B soaked up some real summer with family in New Jersey. Loved every moment of this; the heat, the walks, the friends, the summer nights that can't be beat.
* Trish and B traveled to Ecuador and THE GALAPAGOS on a small ship cruise (~ 40 guests) and had an absolute magical, incredible, heart- filling time surrounded by the sea, the sun, animals, and happy faces.
This trip has been on my "maybe someday..." bucket list for years, and I am still pinching myself that it happened FOR REALS.
I had almost 500 photos on my schmancy camera alone (not counting the other hundreds on our iPhones) upon returning home, so it took a bit of time to weed through. I wanted to share a handful of favorites here, per tradition of my travels. I genuinely hope the images inspire you to love on nature just a little extra today.
What left me most in awe (other than being in close proximity to a variety of beautiful animal species) were the intense conservation efforts the islands put forth. By limiting the amount of tourists each year, as well as the kinds of ships permitted (with guidelines on how they must function), hiring locals, and dedicating numerous hours to studying habitats, they are ensuring that these precious lands can be enjoyed for generations to come. There is so much evidence on these islands of how climate change is not only real, but dangerous to the future of the species who call it home. It absolutely boggles my mind how people deny this truth, as well as the value in these kinds of conservation efforts. Human beings can be so awesome, and also stink to high heaven. We ruin everything!
But I digress.
The naturalist guides on board our ship were so full of interesting knowledge. As I told Dennis, the lead guide, "I have never cared about birds in my life, until I met you! Your enthusiasm has convinced me that birds are cool, Dennis. That is impressive."
Apparently, the process of becoming a naturalist there is no freaking joke, either. After several months of study, you take an exam, on which you must score a 100% ....100%!!!....to pass. No exceptions. And, you can only take the exam once. ONCE! After that, your naturalist dreams are essentially brought to fruition or crushed forever. I do not think I could take that kinda pressure!
I hope you enjoy this (very out of order) collection of photos. Below you'll find sea lions + fur seals, blue footed AND red footed boobies (insert obvious yet necessary joke), penguins, tortoises, dolphins, pilot whales, iguanas, marine iguanas, and sea turtles. The sea turtle pics are just from a screenshot taken of a GoPro video, but please believe me when I tell you we were surrounded by them one afternoon during a snorkeling adventure. It was magic. I am especially pumped about the one with me floating above in my full wetsuit gear :)
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send me a note or comment below!
I love this earth so much.
Do Good, Be Well,