See the world, visit remote places, and make an impact. What’s not to love?

While I originally wrote this as a sample writing piece, I thought posting it might help spark some vacation goals.

While you’re busy dreaming about foreign countries or brushing up on world lit, you might lose track of the fact that you can make your vacation globally impactful. Here are a few ecotourism opportunities that can take your trip to the next level while you help save the world:

Make friends with elephants while you maintain their habitat.

On the question of how to process the choices you didn’t make.

Black and white shot of a woman in a dress on a pier, water behind her.
Black and white shot of a woman in a dress on a pier, water behind her.
Photo credit: Carr Hagerman Photography

When I was very young, my mom taught me to body surf. Anyone who has spent any time in the ocean knows the feeling of being caught beneath the waves, being drawn under and spun until you don’t know which way is up. She taught me the trick of waiting, of staying still until my body began to float upward or the sun broke through the foam — until I could find my way to the surface.

When she died, grief came in almost literal, undeniable waves –fully enveloping, inescapable. The only way to survive was to let the feeling…

But it’s past time we started.

In our current culture, talking about rape is just talking around rape. We talk about the sex trade and lost, stolen women. We talk about child brides. We talk about how to raise children to become conscientious adults, we talk about how to punish criminals. When it’s straightforward and heinous, like the Brock Turner case, there’s always that poor girl, her poor family. There’s this constant weighing of damages; a victim is irreparably harmed, forever. Her family is broken.

And here is the point in the conversation where, as we’re talking about the hypotheticals of how this woman was affected…

With just a few days between us and the madness and splendor of E3, the internet’s collective nerd scream over CD Projeckt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 is still whistling through server farms the world over. The game promises groundbreaking design, maps, and playstyle, but right now viewers are either openly frothing at the mouth or reserving judgement as we lick the old wounds still left by No Man’s Sky. More than likely, a bit of both.

Because we won’t be getting more than a trailer and descriptions of an hour of gameplay (which… really? We’re not gonna see any of that?)…

A life is never just one thing. It’s everything. My mother was everything.

This is gonna be a rambler, folks. It’s her birthday, and I’m feeling it.

I am, in so many ways, my mother. Her compulsive gift-giving, her love of gardening, her call to adventure, her love of craft (regardless of outcome), her zeal for new flavors and new territories are all bits and pieces of her that I collected over time. They are the fragments of herself she imbued within me, ceaselessly — and in some ways wrecklessly. I am her tenacity and stubborn spirit. I am her all-in, head-over-heels heart. …

Jen Cowitz

When Jen isn't flinging herself at the horizon, she's trying to treat body well and to suffer fools with just a little more patience and bigots with much less.

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