In the Life of Carpe Diem

“IN THE LIFE OF CARPE DIEM” (UGANDA BLOG #10, WEEK 12) Six months later and the mind is still eager to discover and learn more… If you want to live a short life, live quickly. But, if you want to live a long life, live slowly.” —Señor Rony de Guatemala “Timshel— thou mayest.” —John Steinbeck “It’s all about perspective, and it is only you that has the power to either… Read More

Latitudes Year: Reflections

This has been the fastest year of my life. I honestly can’t believe it’s coming to an end after I’ve been thinking about this year since my junior year of high school. I’m not ready for it to be over in some senses (traveling, adventure, different culture, my carpe friends and community) but in some ways I feel more prepared than ever to take on college and go forward in… Read More

Abriendo Mentes!

Hot dirt brushes along steaming pavement, dogs pant, sweaty children play, the devious sun beats relentlessly down on anything brave enough not to seek shade. I hide out in the relative coolness of the office where the remnants of air conditioning still linger from an earlier meeting. The weeks here in Potrero, Costa Rica seem to have come and gone more quickly than my initial, fleeting hope that it might… Read More

Foxes’ NGO – Mufindi

Five incredible weeks at Foxes’ NGO, and I’m still not sure exactly what label to give the organization where I’m working – besides “NGO”. It’s non-governmental, sure, but it’s a lot of other things, too. And all of them are worth writing about. What is this place? An orphanage? Yeah, kind of – though we don’t use that term, since it tends to paint a sad, Western, “institutional” picture –… Read More

“Back to School”

I hadn’t been to school in quite a while, so I figured that it was about time to head back for a little bit. 😉 And the past two weeks have certainly been one of the best “back to school” intros! The two schools at which I am both teaching and learning is found amongst the lusciously green, rolling hills of south western Uganda, in the small village of Kitanga.… Read More


Hello world and welcome to another post of the cool side of the blog. your host Valiant Val! As you know, and actually as you probably don’t know Valencio is currently in the beautiful country of Belize, where the water is warm and the sky is blue as a really… blue sky…. What did you expect. Any who back to business, Valencio is working hard and doing things right. Not… Read More

Mangos and Monkeys

Project Bona Fide. Permaculture farm on a volcano, on an island, in a lake, in the heart of the tropics. Imagine one of those early fly over scenes from Jurassic Park and you’ll get the gist of it. As I’m writing this I’m watching the silhouetted volcano fade in front of a sky that’s literally traffic cone orange. The orangeness is just ridiculous. But so is everything about this island,… Read More

Dolphins in WA!

Giddy from down unda’! It’s been six weeks since I arrived in Bunbury, Western Australia, (aka “The Dolphin City”), and I can’t believe how fast the time is passing. I’ve been lucky to be doing my FVP at the Dolphin Discovery Centre, a volunteer-based organization on the coast of Australia. Because of the warmth and safety of this one small bay, hundreds of wild bottlenose dolphins roam free. It’s the… Read More

A Friday Night in Morocco

My past month in Morocco has been a blast to say the least. Instead of giving a summary of the past four and a half weeks, I have chosen to share the events of this past Friday night. My homestay brother Taha and I entered his cousin’s house, dressed head to toe in traditional Moroccan regalia, and greeted by the traditional “Salaam Alaikum” which was followed by a handful of… Read More

Yogendra – Cali, Colombia

I flew in to Cali, Colombia, and was greeted by the 96 degree embrace of the Equatorial city. A taxi took me through the city, past the numerous monuments to revolutionaries and salsa musicians. We ascended a mountain crowned by a colossal statue of Jesus called Cristo Rey and soon arrived to the site of my volunteer placement: Yogendra EcoAshram. Yogendra is a yoga studio with extensive living accommodations for… Read More


Habari, I can’t believe it’s been a month since I stepped off the plane into Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. It felt so much different than four months prior when I landed in Delhi, but the anxiety and nerves were still present. After a fairly quick line, I had my second visa stuck into my passport, which would allow me 90 days of tourism in Tanzania. After spending the night in… Read More

Buenos Aires

Hi friends. So while most everyone is out in what seems like the middle of nowhere, I am over here chilling and living the city life in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I am constantly surrounded by beautiful architecture, so many people who are constantly stopping to window shop, and the sound of cars rushing down the streets. Let’s just say that the city life has been a major transition from the… Read More

Odds Are…

Odds are Jay wears a bra at dinner at the Murai Odds are Ben wades through a murky pond at Sheila’s farm Odds are I wear a tiger hat around Auckland Odds are Rebecca wakes up Ryan and Cheridyn in the middle of the night to say she had a nightmare Odds are Morgan sprays all the perfumes in the duty free store on herself in the Fijian airport on… Read More

Vinaka Fiji

My time in Fiji has been something out of a story book. I went into the village stay expecting to be sick the entire time. I was pleasantly surprised by the warm welcome we received and how comfortable I felt living the village life. Oh and not getting as sick as I thought was also nice. From the playful children to the strong women of the families, I learned the… Read More

Student Directed Travel

Imagine, 11 students and 2 leaders piled in a bus with all of our belongings, bouncing along with every bump of the gravel road below us. That is how we started our week long student directed travel at Vatia Beach Resort. Our suspicions of a dirt ramshackle hut were quickly destroyed by the view of white, sandy beaches, wooden swings for our lazy afternoons, and crystal clear water reflecting the… Read More


This past week was our second week living in the rural Fijian village of Nasolo. After completing our community service project of revamping their community hall, we had four days where we were able to learn more about the activities and jobs that make up their every day life and build strong connections with members of the village. This week included activities like prawn fishing, weaving, going to their private… Read More


*Hola padres, hermanos, primos, abuelos, amigos, y algún otras personas! Oh my gatos… it has already felt like some crazy hot weeks that we’ve spent together, but it has only been a few, fun-lovin days here in Masaya, Nicaragua. Already we have accomplished becoming some airport Shuttlecock Olympians, cabana whip nae-nae-ers, and jouster professionals in la Laguna de Apoyo. *ES LOCO CRAY CRAY! What us new adventurers need some time… Read More

Opening Minds, Opening Opportunites

Abriendo Mentes could not be a more appropriate name for this organization. Translated as “opening minds”, perhaps the long-term goal of this non-profit is to engrain in these small communities that the world is full of exciting things which they have not even scratched the surface of. Our main work here at Casa Brasilito (a small, newer branch of Abriendo Mentes) is working with kids by providing them with after… Read More

On What It Means to Be Alive: The Wisdom and Diversity of Humanity

What does it mean to be alive? All around this vast earth, every human and every culture asks this question. The diversity of languages, religions, traditions, stories, and artwork is an attempt at an answer. Whether traveling across the world or exploring our own backyards, tapping in to the collective wisdom is a vital part of our own journey.  Wade Davis defines the ethnosphere  as “the sum total… Read More