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Contribute to a Biodiversity Database When You Travel: Adventure in Portugal

Any trip that involves squatting next to a body of water for an extended period of time is a good trip in my book. 😂 No, I wasn’t digging a cat hole next to a river (you know that’s not Leave no Trace)! I was scooping up water to press through a teeny tiny filter next to a creek in Mondim de Basto, Portugal. Why? Uh, for science, that’s why! Because I was on a trip with Exodus Travels that led a small group of journalists from Porto to the Douro Valley to Mondim de Basto to hike, stay in ancient estates transformed into hotels, eat at locally owned restaurants, explore picturesque wineries built into steep, terraced hillsides, and do science. Namely, collecting water in a bag, forcing it through a super fine filter, and shipping that filter off to a lab somewhere, all in the name of studying biodiversity. Yep, at the risk of sounding like a complete nerd, I was geeking out about participating in a different aspect of sustainable travel: using my exploratory endeavors for scientific and ecological good. And you could be, too! Here’s how (and why citizen science matters when it comes to sustainable travel).

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Turkey Itinerary: Istanbul and Cappadocia [7 Days

After more than 2 years of no international travel, I was nervous and more than a little excited to hop on a plane and head halfway around the world to spend a week in Turkey (now known as Türkiye thanks to a recent UN decision). I craved the culture shock and change of scenery that can only be experienced by flying to a country so far from my own, and so very different. So when I got the chance, I jumped at it. Listen, I was so excited to go I didn’t think twice about leaving Josh at home. So I got myself a visa, hopped on a flight, and took off to discover this wild and wonderful place that straddles east and west, Europe and Asia. Wanna know what it was like? Maybe what you should do on your own week in Turkey? Read (or watch) on!

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