It’s common for visitors to Mexico to get sick from any number of things: bad water, contaminated food, high altitude, or whatever. In fact, it’s so common that the condition is simply known as turista, which, duh, translates to tourist. I must have dodged a few bullets during my first week here because last night I ate at a stand I’d previously patronized. Dude who … Continue reading Turista

Pass it Up

I don’t have a smartphone. Seems this simple fact is becoming more abnormal and inconvenient with the passage of time. I mean, really. My guides in the Sahara Desert had smartphones. I witnessed homeless people in Seville using smartphones. Shoot, even both of my parents have smartphones (no, this is not a joke). Technologically speaking, I’m not even a dinosaur, I’m like a freaking amoeba. … Continue reading Pass it Up

Dog in Mexico

I’ve traveled many times to Mexico, but only to the Baja peninsula. I always sought off-beat destinations: the mud ruins of a Jesuit mission from the 1700s, an island lined with rotting shipwrecks, mysterious cave paintings hidden in high mountain ranges, and deserted beaches where I listened to songs of whales while staring at winter stars. That’s my Mexico. But as the plane makes its … Continue reading Dog in Mexico

The Edge is a Gift

For some time now I’ve been asking myself why. Why did I choose to work a ten week stint as an animal caregiver at Farm Sanctuary? Even some of my best friends have looked at me all confused as if my choice contradicted, well, something. Before I arrived, I had a quick answer that rolled off my tongue—I sought intentional separation from real life where … Continue reading The Edge is a Gift

A Mile in Their Hooves

Since starting my temporary position at Farm Sanctuary on December 15th, I’ve mostly been responsible for the daily feedings of the 400+ animals. This sounds like a lot, but considering that many animals are free-fed birds, it’s actually a manageable number. I learned quickly, however, that I’d need to hustle, big time, to get everything done. It also benefits me to act like I know … Continue reading A Mile in Their Hooves

Cleaning a Chicken’s Butthole

Today, the first day of the new year, I cleaned a chicken’s asshole. Don’t think I need to say this was my first time, but it was. After gloving up, I identified the chicken needing a thorough wiping. I grabbed her by the tail and carefully held her steady with two hands before tucking her under my left arm. Then, using a handling technique taught … Continue reading Cleaning a Chicken’s Butthole

A Month in Morocco: And Then I Got High

I made it clear to Mohamed that I wanted to walk to the home-stay destination in the Black Desert and not ride a camel. Three days prior, the short ride from the chateau to the Sahara camp had been excruciating and I wasn’t about to do it again. Having ridden camels on two continents I can say with absolute certainty that my anatomy isn’t suited … Continue reading A Month in Morocco: And Then I Got High