Stowaway WINTER 2011
EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER.
How to See the Real
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE 8 Tips for Planning a Trip Q&A with a Citizen of the World Roseberry, Idaho’s Little Finland
Discovering New Zealand Dream of majestic New Zealand and get a few insider’s tips on how to experience the landscapes, people, and culture in the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Roseberry: Idaho’s Little Finland Explore one man’s life and mission to preserve the culture of his ancestors, their traditions, and their small Idaho settlement. 4 >> winter 2011
Citizen of the World Angola. Portugal. England. The United States. Ruth Baptista calls herself a “citizen of the world.” Discover her remarkable story.
Top: photo by Robert O. Stevens; FAcing page Left to right: photos by tim Rose, shi yali, diana dzubak, jialing gao, and Kelsey Holloway
Stowaway WINTER 2011
Departments 7 8
Letter from the Editor Celebrate World Holidays
Culture 12 13 14 18 19 20
Dancing with the Dansies Must-See Museum Exhibits 100,000 Crosses Traveling through Text World in a Fruit Basket Four Recipes for Rice
Getaway 24 26 28 30 32
Yurting Out Yonder Chillin’ in San Francisco Keep Austin Weird Trains and Trails in Wales Seven Wonders of Peru
Field Notes 38 40 42 44
Plans Subject to Change Body Language: Lost in Translation Photo Contest Winners Small Town, Switzerland
Insider 66 69 70 72 74 75 77
Skimp and Splurge in Mexico Carrier Pigeons, Courier Students Eight Tips for Planning a Trip Picture Perfect in Any Weather If the Shoe Fits Things to Leave Behind Running for Something More
80 Ski Utah’s Best Snow 82 Parting Shot
66 ON THE COVER
A traveler stands on the edge of New Zealand’s breathtaking Milford Sound. photo by alkalyne photography
ON THE BACK COVER photo by Robert o. Stevens www.stowawaymag.com << 5
Stowaway MANAGING EDITOR Carrie Akinaka ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITORS Chelsea Chandler Brittney Price SENIOR EDITORS Rebekah Atkin Sara Lenz ASSOCIATE EDITORS Emmaleigh Litchfield Julianne Long Nicholas Rose COPYEDITORS Melissa Miner Jennifer Tingey ART DIRECTOR Laura Thomas SENIOR DESIGNERS Diana Dzubak Kelsey Holloway Emily Underwood PHOTO EDITORS Eve German Julianne Long BUSINESS MANAGER Emmaleigh Litchfield WEB MANAGER Eve German
EDITOR IN CHIEF Marvin K. Gardner ADVISOR Chelsee Ostler
Top to bottom, left to right: Carrie, Chelsea, Brittney, Rebekah, Sara, Emmaleigh, Jules, Nick, Melissa, Jen, Laura, Diana, Kelsey, Emily, Eve, Marv, Chelsee. © 2011 Marvin K. Gardner 4045 JFSB, Brigham Young University Provo, Utah 84602 Printed by MagCloud Stowaway is produced as a group project for English Language 430R, Editing for Publication, the capstone class of the editing minor at Brigham Young University. All staff members contributed to planning, writing, editing, and designing. The views expressed in this publication are solely the views of the authors and in no way represent the views or opinions of BYU. Special thanks to Jeremy Penrod for his work in designing our website.
left: staff Photos by Candice McWhorter; opposite page: Top and Middle by Carrie Akinaka; Bottom photo by alli goodfellow
EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER.
Faces behind the Places The story of an airline pilot’s daughter includes more than seeing the world from a window seat in first-class. It is one of long lines, cancelled flights, and seats back in their upright position. It is a story of lost luggage, layovers, and life lessons. I’ve learned to run, wait, adapt, and sleep just about anywhere. But I’ve learned to enjoy the moments when things do work out, like making the same flight home to Minnesota as the boy who could call a common loon with his hands— the call I couldn’t figure out how to do myself. Luck had me sit next to him. Airport antics and eager-to-share aisle mates have been my ticket to a crash-course on life. (Fortunately, it’s been more course than crash.) Across the long stretches of a brown Wyoming or an azure Atlantic, I’ve seen façades fall and people become people. I know the joys of Melissa, a foreign-aid respondent returning from Africa for her wedding. I know the regret of Roman, a recovering alcoholic. I even know the success of the creator of frozen yogurt, whose name I could kick myself for forgetting. As you thumb through this issue of Stowaway, peruse our photographs, take note of our tips and tricks, and drool over our scenes from New Zealand—don’t forget that it’s the people that will make your traveling experiences memorable. My fondest memories of places I have been are often not actually of the places, but the people. People like the Palestinian village elder who gave my friends and me twenty wedding dresses for free. The boy from the Dominican Republic who squealed with delight when I gave him a Sammy Sosa baseball card. Or the elderly French woman who shared her bread so I could feed pigeons with her at Notre Dame. Even the punk teenager on the bus in Peru who tried to run off with my wallet. From people I’ve met, like the boy on the plane who tried to teach me how to call a loon, I’ve learned that it’s not all about the places you go—but about the people you meet. They make travel meaningful. Open your mouth, say hello, talk a while, and smile. Yes, there are many places to see, but even more people to meet. Warm regards, Carrie Akinaka MANAGING EDITOR
Celebrate World Holidays
Australia Day January 26 Sydney, Australia
Groundhog Day February 2 Pennsylvania, USA
Celebrated on February 2, Groundhog Day originated in ancient European weather lore. The holiday as we know it began as a Pennsylvania German custom, and communities in that region celebrate with food, speeches, and traditional g’spiel plays. The Pennsylvania German dialect is the only language spoken at these events. The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. 8 >> winter 2011
Full Moon Festival February 17 Korea
The Full Moon Festival (called Daeboreum in Korean) occurs at the first full moon of the new year, fifteen days after Seollal, or “Lunar New Year” when going by the lunar calendar. Koreans keep many traditions on this holiday, all in order to earn good luck in the coming year. These luckbolstering traditions include eating healthy, lighting gigantic bonfires, and cracking nuts with their teeth. Koreans also traditionally do not feed dogs at all on this day, believing that dogs who eat on this day will contract gad flies and become ill during the coming summer. In the countryside, many people will climb mountains, trying to be the first to see the moon rise in order to earn good luck all year or to have a wish granted.
ILLUSTRATION BY HOLLY V.W. MUNSON
Australia Day, the official national day of Australia, is celebrated annually on January 26. The day commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788. Ships of all kinds fill Sydney Harbour for races and displays of historic ships. In addition, Australians celebrate with outdoor concerts, community barbecues, sports competitions, festivals, and fireworks.
Love Around the World
Saint Valentine's Day Brazil
For Brazilians, the celebrations occur on June 12, called Dia dos Namorados, or the “Day of Lovers.” This day of festivals honors Saint Anthony, patron saint of matchmaking and marriage.
In Denmark, young courters write gaekkebrev, joking letters that are signed with the number of dots that are in the sender’s name.
One ancient, outlawed tradition in France was called une loterie d’amour (lottery of love). It involved single neighbors pairing off for festivities on February 14. Another tradition (also outlawed) is for women to build bonfires and burn pictures of men who hurt them over the past year.
Carnaval de Oruro
A surge in flower exports—a major part of India’s economy—is a reason to celebrate. Roughly 45 percent of exports are made between Christmas and Valentine’s Day.
March 4–7 Bolivia
The Carnaval de Oruro (or Carnival of Oruro) is Bolivia’s largest annual cultural event. The carnival is a festival of the Uru people, celebrating the ancient Andean gods Pachamama (Mother Earth) and Tio Supay (Uncle God of the Mountains). Because of Catholic rulers in the 17th century, the Uru masked their celebration of their Andean gods by transforming Pachemama into the Virgin Mary and Tio Supay into the Devil. During the carnival, marching bands compete simultaneously as a greeting to the Virgin. The carnival continues over three days and nights, with fifty groups parading the city. Over 28,000 dancers and 10,000 musicians participate in a procession that lasts twenty hours.
In Japan, Valentine’s Day is split into two holidays. On February 14, women make chocolates to give to men they are interested in; men are expected to reciprocate on March 14.
Holi Festival March 20 India
Holi Festival is a spring religious festival celebrated by Hindus in several countries throughout the world, but most notably in India. Large bonfires are lit to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Effigies of the demoness Holika are carried to the bonfires, and as soon as the fires are lit, crowds of Holi-goers throw colorful chalk and chant the names of Krishna and Rama. The festival, which can last as long as sixteen days, involves traditional foods and worship. —Eve German
The “red rain” of Valentine’s Day decorations descends on Mexico almost as soon as Christmas ends. Celebrations may begin at the end of December and run through February. — Jennifer Tingey
Candice Candids Candice Â McWhorter Â Photography
capturethephoto.blogspot.com Phone: 801.885.5430 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Get an intimate look at one of Lithuania’s most famous and humbling sites: the Hill of Crosses. Pages 14–17
Culture ARTS >> Go barn dancing, explore museums, experi-
Photo by Tim ROse
ence the Hill of Crosses, or journey to the unknown through literature. pages 12–18
EATS >> Explore the flavors of the four corners of the world with delectable rice dishes and learn about exotic fruits from all over the world from the comfort of your home. pages 19–21
Dancing with the Dansies
ne hundred college students cram into an old-fashioned barn. They are dressed in what they think is “typical” cowboy attire: belt buckles, cowboy hats, plaid shirts, and, of course, cowboy boots. They whoop and holler as they fly across the dance floor, doing polkas, waltzes, and even the Virginia reel. It’s not a typical activity for two college sororities (and their dates, of course). But their enthusiasm while dancing and their disappointment once the dance is over is enough to convince anyone that there is nothing else they would rather be doing on a Friday night. Meet the Dansies. They are the family behind the magic of that barn dance. At first glance they seem like the average American family. Brent was a contractor. Alyce was a dancer. They met in college at a country dance, and it was love. However, instead of playing sports or watching movies as a family, the family puts on barn dances. The Dancies are not exactly average—but they are American through and through. When the Dansies were first married they gave horseback riding and dance lessons. After a stint in New Zealand, they came back to the United States and decided to put on barn dances. Brent started building the barn before he even built their
1 2 >> W i nte r 2011
house. Alyce learned how to call out the steps for the dances, and they were set. Starting out, they hosted dances only on weekends, giving free admission to anyone who donated old cowboy boots. These boots now dangle from the rafters all along the ceiling, adding a rustic country décor to the barn. As their business grew, they started to host dances for weddings, company parties, and family reunions, giving people a chance to taste the Old American West. At least a dozen saddles line the barn entryway and the stage, all courtesy of their oldest son, Zane, a champion cattle roper who won each saddle in competition. Rodeo is a big part of the lives of the rest of the Dansie family too, and they demonstrate their lasso-roping skills in floorshows during each dance. They also teach participants how
to do dances like the Snowball and the Virginia reel, a dance that was popular in nineteenthcentury America and is typical in American square dances. The Dansies capture the essence of the American West with their rodeo demonstrations, the dances they teach throughout the evening, and the music provided solely by their family. The Dansies put on these shows not only because it’s a good business for them; they also do it because it keeps them together as a family and because they believe in sharing the culture of the Old West. “Every young man should have a cowboy hat,” says Alyce. “That is America.” For this barn-dancing, rodeocompeting family, it is about giving each participant a taste of our American heritage.
π www.thebarninherriman.com —Laura Thomas
Photography by Laura Thomas
Experiencing American heritage in boots and a cowboy hat
Must-See Museum Exhibits
M arch 6, 2008–M ay 31, 2011 T hroughout 2011
Fakes, Forgeries, and Mysteries
Wings of Freedom Tour
October 23, 2010–September 6, 2011
N ovember 21, 2010–A pril 10, 2011
Illustration by Karen Sorenson
In addition to permanent collections, most museums have special temporary exhibits that showcase one particular subject. These can be anything from a display about the U.S. Postal System during World War II to blown and sculpted glass. You have to pay attention though, because these special exhibits are sometimes open for as short as a few months. Here are some current exhibits that you won’t want to miss.
Detroit, MI π www.dia.org
The Detroit Institute of Arts has created an exhibit featuring about fifty paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, and other works of art from all ages and cultures that have had some question as to who the artist is. These works, pulled from their collection, fall into three different categories: works whose attribution has changed, works that are forgeries, and works whose integrity has yet to be determined. (Currently the Detroit Institute of Arts has works attributed to Monet and Van Gogh that may be forgeries.) Help the museum decide on the true artist and bring the art to life by doing your own investigation in the hands-on lab. Admission to the exhibit is $12 and includes both museum entry and an audio tour via cell phone.
Washington, DC π www.postalmuseum.si.edu
During World War II, employees at the U.S. Postal Service sought a better way to send letters to soldiers overseas. Knowing that letters from home made a huge impact on the well-being and morale of soldiers, they figured out how to ensure that as many letters as possible made it to the front. In 1942, they imitated a British model and began to microfilm letters so that they could be transported overseas in larger quantities, taking up less space. After arriving in Europe, the mail was transferred back to paper for easier reading. Visit the exhibit at the United States Postal Museum to learn more about the important role that mail played in the war and to see the actual microfilm reels. Admission to this museum is free.
Nationwide π www.collingsfoundation.org
The Collings Foundation, founded in 1979, has three World War II planes that travel the country. These airplanes are exhibited at air shows, and people are given opportunities to tour the historic planes. The B-17, B-24, and P-51 are some of the last planes of their kind that are still flying—sixty years after the war’s end. These tours are made extra special by the frequent attendance of veterans who flew the planes. You can listen to their stories. Tours of the planes cost $12 for adults.
Tacoma, WA π www.museumofglass.org
American artist Beth Lipman and Scandinavian artist Ingalena Klenell have joined forces to create an exhibit featuring kilnformed, blown, and sculpted glass. The installations of glass engage the visitor in unique and unexpected ways as glass is used as a curtain, as a showcase for objects, and as a venue for light. Three vignettes—Memento, Landscape, and Artifacts— encourage viewers to see life in a different way and to reevaluate their connection with nature and memory through the use of modern technology, lighting, and various objects. Admission is $12 at the Museum of Glass, but don’t forget to ask about the student discount. —Emily Underwood www.stowawaymag.com << 13
Wandering through Centuries of Devotion in Lithuania by Nicholas Rose
Crosses cover the hill entirelyâ€”they crowd each other so tightly, it would be impossible to walk through them. A thin cloud blankets the sky, and all is quiet and tranquil. I think of Lithuanians first placing crosses on the hill during the nineteenth century to memorialize those who died in battle, their bodies never found. Many people continue to come to the hill to leave behind a cross or to remember loved ones who have long since passed away. As visitors continue to add their own crosses to the hill, the site expands and thickensâ€”it is as alive and vibrant as the countryâ€™s Catholic heritage.
I don’t have a cross to add, but I come wanting to see the site with my own eyes. Approaching the stairway carved into the hill, I notice the largest crosses first—most of which are wood, but many are metal. Most are simple and unassuming, but many are elaborate and intricate. To my right I find a giant sculpture of Jesus Christ standing on a pedestal, from which hang dozens of small crosses. His arms are outstretched, beckoning visitors to gaze into the vast sea of crosses and ponder their meaning—their religious significance and their testament of faith. At first the stairway leads straight upward. I take my time walking up the hill and let my eyes adjust to the world of crosses. There are literally piles of them in some areas. Hundreds of little ones are nailed across larger ones, and hundreds more hang on rosaries. There are thousands of rosary beads, their array of colors filling in gaps, covering walls of tiny crosses behind them. The stairway turns, and I begin to grasp just how large this hill really is. From far away it didn’t look so imposing, but once I am amongst the mass of crosses, it is easy to get lost within it for hours.
It is as alive and vibrant as the country’s Catholic heritage.
16 >> winter 2011
I find bright finely carved crucifixes, crosses of simple metal poles, dozens of crooked crosses leaning into one another, others carved of dark glossy stone, and thin crosses stretching toward the hazy sky. I find a portrait of Christ praying; it is slid between crosses, standing upright on the ground. There are sharp, jagged crosses as well as old, weary ones, weathered and worn. Hundreds of little crosses have names carved into them, in remembrance either of the dead or of the living who desire blessings. I find an effigy of Mary kneeling, and there are pictures of her somber face intermingled with the crosses—some in wooden frames, others in circular golden ones. Wherever I turn, there are hundreds of new crosses to gaze into. I see crucifixes far too large for the tiny metal figures of Christ nailed to the front. A stone cross accompanied by a silent winged angel catches my eye. I find aged wooden crosses with birdhouses attached to them, either below Christ or framed around him. Beside them are stylized white crosses with circles framing the back, or with lines representing rays of light emanating from Christ. From every cross, dozens of smaller ones are hanging, and often even smaller ones are hanging from those. Despite the claustrophobic aura the hill emanates, the crosses stand tranquil and still. The visitors maintain the solemn peace of the site. I am free to take as long as I wish walking up the stairway carved into the hill, and I slowly find the scene increasingly dreamlike. There is an aura of
PHOTOgraphy BY TIM ROSE
Since the nineteenth century, Lithuanians have come to the Hill of Crosses to add their own crosses to this ever-growing memorial.
sadness behind the crosses and the dying figures of Christ, but I feel an array of emotions much stronger—hope, trust, commitment, love. Though I don’t know the individual stories behind each cross, I can tell that a great deal of thought and care has been put into this hill, which stands as a symbol of the country’s unity. At the top of the hill I find many more crosses as well as a life-size painted statue of Jesus Christ, who holds up a cross to his side. He is wearing a white robe with a red sheet draped across his shoulder, his right arm lifted up toward the sky. The expression on his face is tired and weary—yet certain. He looks out to the world, somber and alive. Across the cross he holds are words inscribed in Latin: “In Hoc Signo Vinces!” “With this as your standard, you shall have victory!” The words continue to inspire thousands of Lithuanians as well as visitors from all across the world.
To learn more about the Hill of Crosses, such as the history of the site and information on how to get there yourself, visit the Stowaway website:
π http://stowawaymag.com/culture/hill-of-crosses/ This statue of Christ promises victory to those who make the cross their standard.
Personal crosses pile deep, testifying of the hope, trust, commitment, and love of the travelers who have visited this hallowed hill. www.stowawaymag.com << 17
Traveling through Text
cottish writer Andrew Lang once said, “You can cover a great deal of country in books.” It’s true—and cheaper than the actual thing. But why toss the literature as soon as you have the dollars to travel? It could deprive you of a heightened experience. Instead, try reading a book set in the country you’ll be visiting. You can discover new depths in the culture by encountering food, famous sites, and foreign chatter as you travel in person, but literature also has much to tell you. Hear that country’s voice as you travel, and add a rare color and dimension to your experience by reading novels born in these places.
At a loss as to where to start? Pass the time on those plane rides, train rides, and car rides without ever forgetting the country you’ve come so far to visit with some of these suggestions. If you’re traveling to . . .
Try Victor Hugo’s expansive Les Misérables, if it will fit in your suitcase. The size may be intimidating at first, but it is definitely well worth the read.
Read The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway. Go to a bullfight and wander through the streets of San Sebastián.
The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, captures the stories of four brothers as they struggle with questions of guilt, problems of Russian social stratification, and the dilemma between religious mysticism and severe intellectualism.
Try The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck, which outlines the simple events of Wang Lung’s life against a subtle historical backdrop of a rapidly changing nation.
Read Out of Africa, by Isak Dinesen. This book draws a string of vivid sketches of Kikuyu life that can easily be read in short blocks of time between destinations.
Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera chronicles a lifelong love story in haunting poetic language, emblematic of a country lost in mystical isolation. —Emmaleigh Litchfield
Find yourself in the Alps 1 8 >> W i nte r 2010
Left: photo courtesy of William Hoiles; RIght: Photos Courtesy of straymuse, Kate Fisher and Alaina cherup
The World in a Fruit Basket
’m not exactly an expert on anything—I’m not a world-renowned traveler, a famous writer, or a gourmet chef. But I do know what it means to be a broke student with wanderlust. I’ve always had big dreams of traveling and photographing the world, but lately I’ve learned to satisfy my thirst for new cultures by getting a taste of other cultures—literally—through the fruits they eat. As it turns out, you really can fit the world in a fruit basket. Here is some of what I’ve learned.
Pomegranates have been around for a very, very long time; they were embroidered on the robes of priests in Biblical times, were used as decoration during the Elizabethan Era, and are currently prized for the syrup (made from pomegranate juice) used in Indian cuisine. To pick a good pomegranate you need to know your seasons. The United States cultivates its own crop, but these fruits aren’t available until about January. Outside of the States, the fruits can be ready for export as early as September. When picking a pomegranate, choose a fruit that feels firm and isn’t too dented. To open up the fruit, slice off the ends and then quarter the rest, just like you would with an orange.
Do a quick internet search, and you’ll soon find that there are almost as many varieties of mangos as there are people. Mangos are one of the most popular tropical fruits found in your grocery store and are used in everything from traditional Thai
desserts to spicy Mexican salsa. To tell if a mango is ripe, feel the end opposite the stem—if it has just a little give to it, then it’s ripe. The easiest way to cut a mango is to stand the whole fruit on end. Then cut through the fruit on either side of the stem, leaving about an inch in the middle; this is where the seed is. Dice the remaining fruit (while it is still in the skin); then turn the fruit inside out by pressing up on the outside of the skin. The fruit can now be easily sliced off.
Açaí is one of the newest rages—you can find the juice in most health food stores. The original fruit looks something like a blueberry and grows on palm trees in Central and South America. While it is currently being touted as a superantioxidant (antioxidants help prevent or repair damage done to the body), it can also give you a little taste of Brazil, where it is enjoyed with granola and other fruits. Unfortunately, the whole fruit is nigh impossible to
export, so you can get only the pulp (frozen or freeze-dried) in the United States. To have the best açaí experience, look for an unfiltered juice; the pulp is good for you and will give you a better idea of the true taste of açaí. Double-check the ingredient label and pass up any juices that use lots of fillers.
Figs and Dates
Figs and dates play huge roles in Middle Eastern cultures, especially around the time of Ramadan, a ritual fast observed by followers of Islam. The morning meal, called Suhoor, occurs before sunrise and may include dates and yogurt. Observers then fast until sunset, when the Iftar, or the evening meal, is eaten to break the fast. Figs and dates are both major parts of this meal. While some markets are beginning to provide these fruits as they ripen, they are most easily found in dried form. Try a bowl of plain yogurt topped with dates or figs and a little honey to get a taste of these fruits.
www.stowawaymag.com << 19
The 4 Corners of the Kitchen
Khao Niaow Ma Muang
Rice is just one of those foods. You can find it in the cuisine of almost every continent, from Asia to Africa to North America. But just about everyone has a different—and delicious—way of preparing it. Get to know some of your fellow rice connoisseurs by trying these international recipes.
Khao Niaow Ma Muang (Sweet Sticky Rice)
Origin: Senegal and Gambia
This recipe is an adaptation of a dish called Jollof rice, which originated in Africa. This basic recipe can be altered in many ways; try adding vegetables like bell peppers or peas and meats like beef to find a combination you like.
This simple dessert is delicious when served with fresh mango, and chilled pineapple also makes for a great topping. To be truly authentic, prepare this dish in a bamboo basket.
1 cup long grain rice ¼ pound bacon or ham, chopped ½ cup onion, chopped ½ cup tomatoes, chopped 2 cups chicken stock 1 teaspoon salt
Directions: In a large skillet, fry bacon or ham. Remove the meat. Sauté onion in the remaining fat. Reduce heat to medium. Add rice and stir until thoroughly coated. Add tomatoes, salt, and chicken stock; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until rice is tender. Add the bacon or ham, stir until warmed thoroughly, and serve. Yield: 4 servings
20 >> winter 2011
Ingredients: 1½ cups uncooked short-grain white rice 1 cup water 2½ cups coconut milk ¾ cup white sugar ½ teaspoon salt 2 mangos, peeled and sliced Sesame seeds or chocolate pudding powder (optional)
Directions: Combine 1½ cups rice, 1 cup coconut milk, and 1 cup water in a saucepan; bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until water is absorbed, roughly 15 to 20 minutes. While the rice cooks, mix together 1½ cups coconut milk, ¾ cup sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and set aside. Stir the cooked rice into the coconut milk mixture while it is still hot; cover. Allow to cool for 1 hour, and do not uncover. Place the sticky rice on a serving dish. Arrange the mango slices on top of the rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or chocolate pudding powder if desired. Yield: 4 servings
Photography by Jennifer Tingey
Andouille Jambalaya Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya
Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls)
A combination of French, Spanish, and even German culture results in the unique Cajun dishes like this one, enjoyed by so many.
These rice balls are commonly used in Japanese lunchboxes called bento. Try different fillings to find your own favorite. Steamed pork and pickled plums are favorites in Japan.
2 tablespoons oil, divided 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning 10 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced into rounds (another type of smoked sausage can be substituted) 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into one-inch pieces 1 onion, diced 1 small green bell pepper, diced 2 stalks celery, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 (16 ounce) can crushed Italian tomatoes ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco) 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1¼ cups white rice, uncooked 2½ cups chicken broth
Directions: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Season the sausage and chicken pieces with Cajun seasoning. Sauté sausage until lightly browned. Remove and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and sauté chicken pieces until lightly browned on all sides. Remove and set aside. In the same skillet, sauté onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic until tender. Stir in crushed tomatoes and season with red pepper, black pepper, salt, hot pepper sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in chicken and sausage. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Yield: 6 servings
4 cups uncooked short-grain white rice 5½ cups water ¼ teaspoon salt 1 can tuna or salmon, deboned and drained 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 2 sheets of dried seaweed, cut into half-inch strips 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
Directions: Rinse the rice in a mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Combine washed rice and 4½ cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; cover. Simmer rice until the water is absorbed, roughly 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let rice rest for 15 minutes to allow the rice to continue to steam and become tender. Allow cooked rice to cool. While rice is cooking, combine tuna (or salmon) and mayonnaise in a separate bowl. This will become the filling for the rice balls. Alternate fillings include pickled plum, beef, pork, chicken, or turkey. Combine 1 cup water with salt in a small bowl. Use this water to wet hands before handling the rice; this will keep rice from sticking to hands as it is handled. Divide cooked rice into eight equal portions. Use one portion of rice for each rice ball. To create individual rice balls, put rice in a small bowl and create a dimple in the rice. Fill with tuna mixture or other filling. Cover with the remaining portion of rice and press lightly to enclose the filling inside the rice ball. Gently press rice into a triangle or a ball shape. Wrap a strip of dried seaweed around rice ball. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Repeat with remaining rice. Yield: 8 servings —Jennifer Tingey
www.stowawaymag.com << 21
The Original Green Cleaner
Getaway FOR A WEEKEND >> Camp in a rustic—yet luxurious— yurt or sightsee in chilly San Francisco. pages 24–26
FOR A WEEK >> Rock out at music festivals in Austin, Texas, or explore castles in Wales. pages 28–31
photo by Annie lewis
FOR A WHILE >> Explore wonders of Peru. pages 32-34
Enjoy the natural romance of Wales by experiencing the small town of Betws y Coed in Snowdonia National Park. Page 30 STOWAWAYM AG .COM << 23
away for a weekend
Yurting Out Yonder America’s best-kept camping secret
or over 2,500 years, Mongolians have built yurts, transportable tent-like structures made of wood lattice and heavy felt, to protect themselves from the icy blasts of their native steppes. Today in America, yurts are a wonderful, yet little-known, camping amenity provided at many of the country’s state and national parks. Yurts are constructed of a sturdy wood frame covered with a weatherproof fabric that can protect inhabitants from rain, heavy snow, and temperatures as low as -40ºF. Most American yurts are around 24 feet in diameter and 14 feet high. Unlike their Mongolian inspirations, these modern yurts are not transportable but are permanent structures, meant to provide protection and comfort for those enjoying the outdoors. Enthusiasts—and yes, there are yurt enthusiasts out there—love the unique round shape of the buildings and swear that staying in one provides a very refreshing, outof-the-ordinary experience. Yurts often come fully furnished with cooking appliances, beds, tables and chairs, and bathroom facilities nearby. Many outdoor buffs say that the best yurt experiences are the secluded ones. During snowy winter months, yurts provide excellent stopping
locations for extended snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trips. So instead of staying in a crowded hotel next to a ski resort or limiting yourself to a snow trek of only a few hours, stay in a yurt this winter. Find your own snowy wonderland where you can ski, snowshoe, sled, have snowball fights, and build snow caves without disturbing the neighbors, and with the comfort of a warm bed and hot food nearby. Here are some yurt providers in the western United States. If you don’t see something here that strikes your yurting fancy or isn’t close enough to home, check out the web or contact the park ranger office of the national or state park nearest you. They will let you know if they have yurting amenities available.
Wyoming: Rendezvous Backcountry Tours π www.skithetetons.com 877-754-4887
Location: Grand Teton National Forest, south of Yellowstone National Park Description: Three mountain yurts and one family-size yurt on the valley floor are available. All yurts bunk eight people and have working kitchens and private sheltered latrine areas. Mountain yurts are four miles into the mountains, between 1800- and 2200-foot elevation gain, requiring three to five hours of easy to moderately strenuous skiing. However, it is well worth the hike to reach any of these yurts surrounded by pristine pine forests and gorgeous mountain vistas.
619-846-7258 Location: Manti-La Sal National Forest, south of Moab Description: This lovely secluded yurt is available for rental year-round. It has beautiful, unobstructed views of the La Sal, the Telluride, and the Durango mountain ranges and is surrounded by a lovely desert sage forest. It accommodates four to six people and includes a complete kitchen and covered bathroom. Access is by graded road; all-wheel or four-wheel drive and chains are recommended in the winter.
Yurts can offer a mountain retreat experience unlike any other.
Photography by Robert O. Stevens
Utah: Yurtcation π www.yurtcation.com
your basecamp for
near Moab, UT
You think a yurt is just another cabin? Think again.
Montana: Bell Lake Yurt π www.skimba.com/bell-lake-yurt.php 406-995-3880
Location: Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, west of Bozeman and south of Helena Description: Don’t miss out on this yurt with its instant access to secluded mountain ski trails and crystal-clear night skies. This yurt is at 8,500 feet, so a fairly challenging hike or ski is necessary to reach it. An orientation guide is required on your first visit to the yurt, and guided ski trips are available. The yurt is equipped with both a wood and a propane stove. A pit toilet is available. Cots are available for up to six visitors.
Oregon: Douglas County Parks π www.co.douglas.or.us/parks/yurts.asp 541-957-7001
Location: Whistler’s Bend Park in the Umpqua National Forest, west of Roseburg in western Oregon Description: These two yurts, located in a campground, come equipped with fire rings and picnic tables but no indoor cooking amenities. Flush toilets and hot showers are nearby. The yurts offer an easily accessible getaway with a great view of the North Umpqua River.
Colorado: Ute Lodge π www.utelodge.com 970-878-4669
Location: White River National Forest, northwest corner of Colorado Description: This yurt sleeps six and includes an indoor coalburning stove and an outhouse. The trail to reach the yurt is an intermediate ski with an 800-foot elevation gain. This yurt is easily accessible and is in the heart of prime elk and deer habitat, a great location for animal watchers or those interested in hunting. —Diana Dzubak
Rustic yurt rental from as low as $45/night! Minutes from world class rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, backcountry skiing, kayaking, and canyoneering. 45 minutes south of Moab and 15 minutes north of Monticello For details and reservations visit www.yurtcation.com
away for a weekend
Happy as a Clam in San Fran
Eat clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl while sitting outside. Enjoy the light breeze and your view of the bay. (About $8)
Located on Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf offers fun activities for people of all ages. There are street performers, magicians, shopping, an aquarium, and seals at the end of the dock. Make sure you walk the length of the pier, taking in all that it has to offer. (Free sans shopping)
Ghirardelli Square is a steep walk from Fisherman’s Wharf, but then again what isn’t in San Francisco? And don’t worry—the walk will help with the innumerable chocolaty calories you’ll
26 >> winter 2011
consume there. Venture around the outside of the square and collect free samples at all the entrances. How many treats can you score? Make sure you grab an ice cream cone before you head out! (About $5 a cone)
The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. —Mark Twain
The idyllic red trolley cars are the mascots of San Francisco. Watch out, though—the trolleys aren’t exactly luxury vehicles, and the benches aren’t ideal if you’re sitting next to someone you don’t know. As you travel on the steep hills, the trolley can put you in a stranger’s lap if you don’t hold on tight to the hand rail. There are plenty of things to hold your attention for a weekend getaway in San Francisco; just make sure you take note of the unique San Francisco weather and pack accordingly. Never forget a light sweater, and enjoy your time experiencing the classics of San Francisco. —Chelsea Chandler
The Beau Brummels
Although they were never as popular as the Fab Four, this Beatles-esque group is still pretty rockin’. The music of these underrated San Francisco natives has captured the classic sound of the ’60s since their breakthrough into the Bay Area rock scene in 1965. Their hits, oldies like “Laugh, Laugh” and “Just A Little,” are worth looking up. π www.beaubrummels.com —Rebekah Atkin
Illustration by simini blocker
or your next winter vacation, forget Hawaii— and don’t leave the lower 48. Instead, take a “summer” getaway to San Francisco. San Francisco’s winter weather is unique: It’s warmer than it is in the summer. We’re talking coastal city here, so it’s breezy and chilly all year round. But if you’re looking for a warmer option for a winter getaway, San Francisco is the place. Once you’ve left the snow or frigid temperatures of home for San Francisco, get ready to enjoy your stay. Here are four sites any visitor to San Francisco must see:
Ready to travel? Don’t let classes stop you from studying abroad, going home, or taking that long overdue road trip with your friends. With BYU Independent Study, you get the freedom to travel while earning credits you need to graduate. Who says that you can’t be successful in school and have fun? Sign up for courses at any time, with up to a full year to complete them. Set your own deadlines and create your own schedule. You can even look at the syllabus before you enroll so you know exactly what you’ll be doing. Don’t let a couple of credits hold you back from freedom.
away for a week
eep Austin Weird” is an unofficial slogan for Austin, Texas—and the locals take it very seriously. The city prides itself on its eclectic, creative atmosphere that fosters small businesses and supports artists, musicians, music festivals, and pretty much anything independent. A feature of Austin that catches the interest of some visitors immediately is its landscape. It is a green city in the middle of the beige badlands of Texas. Politically, Austin is a blue city in a land of red. At night, millions of bats spill out in spindly black columns from underneath the Congress Bridge, thoroughly freaking out anyone in their path. No matter how weird you may think this city is, there’s something here for you. Austin has some of the nation’s best film and music festivals, known for their acclaim and accessibility. And because the festivals value enthusiasts rather than
celebrities, the average Joes and JoAnnes have lots of opportunities for great experiences. Various festivals go on all year long and are extremely affordable for the average young adult. Of the many music festivals, Austin City Limits (ACL) and South by Southwest (SXSW) are among the best. Read on to find more about why you should come and be a part of these festivals yourself. You’ll have no excuse for not having a blast.
AUSTIN CITY LIMITS (ACL)
ACL happens every fall in Austin’s Zilker Park. In 2011, the shows will run September 16–18. This festival features over 125 bands on several stages and includes everything from local bluegrass acts to more mainstream bands like Radiohead. Along with other music festivals around the country, such as Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Coachella, ACL has come to be considered one of the premier rock festivals in the United
The Swedish group Movits! performs at last year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. 28 >> winter 2011
States. Plan early in order to get the best prices on tickets. You can snag some three-day passes for as low as $165, but only if you act early. Prices go up as the tickets on the lower price levels sell out. You can also buy single-day passes at lower prices. To make sure you get the very best price and the most helpful updates, sign up for the Austin City Limits email list. The Charm: The venue is right next to Austin’s most beautiful natural springs, so you can cool off after the heat of an Austin afternoon. Another plus? Downtown Austin is also where most of the big bands play at after-parties in eclectic mixes. In one aftershow, a band known as CSS (a Brazilian New Rave band) opened for Gnarls Barkley (which describes itself as “electric industrial Euro soul”) at a Red River barbecue restaurant, which made for an unforgettable experience found nowhere else! Austin City Limits is also environmentally conscious—they support a program called “Rock and Recycle,” keep everything carbon neutral, and encourage all attendees to travel green. The proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Austin Parks Foundation. In short, this is one festival you can feel good about attending. Survival Tips: Check the weather and plan accordingly. Central Texas weather during the fall is anyone’s guess. Austin always seems to be in a summer drought, but when fall hits early, it really hits. You might find yourself shivering in the rain or fainting from heat stroke if you don’t plan carefully. For example, in 2009, it rained and rained. Zilker Park had just been resurfaced for the festival, and all the new topsoil quickly turned into a foot of mud. “It’s Woodstock!” happy, nonlocal attendees cried, as they wallowed and frolicked in the mud, posting their faux-Woodstock pictures as Facebook profile pictures. Local attendees refrained from playing in the mud, as Zilker Park had just been revamped in eco-friendly “Dillo dirt,” which is a folksy way of saying “recycled human feces.” The point is, be careful. You should also take a minute to check out what items are forbidden at the festival. You shouldn’t plan on packing in hard-sided coolers or tons of water bottles. Instead, opt for a soft-sided cooler and use the free water stations located throughout the park. For more information about dates, events, tickets, and prices, visit Austin City Limit’s website.
Photo CourtesY of Ann Larie Valentine
Keep Austin WEIRD
SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST (SXSW)
SXSW is actually three differnt independent festivals with different start and end dates. In 2011, events run March 11–20. The festival includes film and music exhibitions as well as the new interactive trade show, which features innovations in technology. All are centered at the Austin Convention Center in downtown Austin. In 2011, one of the keynote speakers will be Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS shoes. In order to get the best prices on tickets, act fast. The longer you wait, the more you’ll have to pay for your entry badge. The specific festivals that you can gain entry to depend on the type of badge you purchase. Film badges are some of the least expensive, but if you have a little extra money to burn, consider opting for a Platinum Badge, which will get you into all of the events. The Charm: SXSW is one of the largest festivals in the United States and is famous for being one of the most egalitarian. In traditional Austin attitude, there are no official VIP rooms or red velvet ropes—the industry fancy-pants have to mingle with all the regular folks, which is a far cry from the Sundance or Tribeca festivals. In addition, it’s
relatively easy to get your film or band accepted for the festival— just as long as you make a good presentation. There are at least 80 music stages, most located in downtown Austin. For the film festival, you will find eight different movie screens ready for you to feast your eyes on, and you can explore the interactive festival exhibits at the Convention Center and at the Hilton and Courtyard hotels. Survival Tips: Get a festival admission badge early and plan to use the bus. You should also plan on wearing a pair of comfy walking shoes, since you’ll be doing plenty of trekking. Make sure you plan ahead, because all the good showings, especially the midnight ones, tend to sell out, and you won’t be getting into the hot venues without a badge. For example, the Alamo Drafthouse
is a restaurant/theater set up cabaret style and is the best and most comfortable place to watch a movie, especially if you stick around for the Q&A with the filmmakers after. There are festivals and events here almost every week, often sponsored and attended by the filmmakers and actors themselves. There is no way you’re going to find parking at every venue, so just use the festival buses, which are frequent and plentiful. Try making a plan of attack to maximize your experience because it is easy to get distracted when you’re surrounded by so much activity. For more information about the line-ups, dates, tickets, and prices for these festivals and tickets, visit SXSW’s website.
π www.sxsw.com —Bridgette Tuckfield
Ever wanted to earn credit for living abroad? Ever wanted to learn the history of the English language? Or about the different dialects of English?
Join us for
This program travels all around the UK, spending time in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England, and a month in London. Three classes are offered—students must register for two: ELang 223 Introduction to Language Study, ELang 324 History of the English Language, and ELang 468 Varieties of English.
E n g l i s h L a n g u a g e i n B r i t a i n
S t u d y A b r o a d — S u m m e r 2 0 1 1
For more information visit www.kennedy.byu.edu/isp or contact Dr. Dee Gardner 801.422.1219 or Dr. Neil Anderson 801.422.5353.
The deadline to apply is Sunday 30 January 2011.
away for a week
Trains and Trails in
ext time you plan a trip across “the pond,” why not visit Wales? Not the giant swimming mammals that consume plankton, but the green, mountainous country attached to the western border of England. Don’t judge the country on what the English call it: “Wales” means “foreigner” or “stranger.” Embrace the way the Welsh identify themselves: the people of Wales call their country Cymru, which comes from a Brythonic word meaning “fellow countryman.” This name illustrates the hospitality of the Welsh. As you discover breathtaking vistas and friendly people, you will find that Wales is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a break from the hustle and bustle of Europe. Wales is very easy to get to—and you’ll quickly find that you won’t want to leave. Trains from London run to the west side of Snowdonia National Park in just about six hours, and you can usually travel for less than $20. Be prepared with a coat though; winter temperatures in Wales tend to hover in the 30s and 40s.
The mining of slate, a metamorphic rock often used for roofing shingles, began in Northern Wales in the late eighteenth century and continues today. The Llechwedd Slate mine opened in 1849 and is still in operation. There are tours of the deep caverns the miners dug to reach the slate, a tramway that takes you to the workshop where daily demonstrations of slate splitting take place, and a Victorian Village that depicts life at the height of slate mining in Wales. A $20 fee will gain you admission to the park and all its attractions, but there are cheaper tickets if you don’t want to do everything.
Great Little Trains of Wales
Caernarfon Castle is filled with secret passages and rooms for the wandering adventurer. 30 >> winter 2011
These narrow gauge steam railways will remind you of the early days of railroads. Originally, these trains were used to transport slate from quarry to port. Today you can relax in these old-fashioned trains and absorb the breathtaking scenery while dreaming of life in the Victorian era. There is even a railway that climbs to the summit of Snowdon— the highest peak in Wales—which may be more pleasant than hiking the mountain in the winter. Each railway sets its own prices; tickets range from about $12 to $30.
left: photo by Emily Underwood; right: photo by Diana Dzubak
Llechwedd Slate Caverns
Dinner and a Movie For those of you who don’t have the time or bucks to get away for a weekend, a week, or a while, why not escape for an evening? Try a foreign dinner and movie combo to both appease and whet your appetite for all things international. Max Manus (2008) depicts the life of one of Norway’s greatest war heroes, a Resistance fighter in World War II who represented hope to a nation whose government quickly fell before the Nazis. Before you sit down for your movie, make Norwegian rice porridge, a traditional Saturday dish (kind of like macaroni and cheese in the United States). Ingredients: ⅔ cups round grain rice (pearl) or special porridge rice 1 ⅔ cups of water 4 cups of milk or rice milk 1 teaspoon salt a sprinkle of sugar, cinnamon, and butter
This coal-burning train takes travelers to the top of Snowdon.
Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia is Wales’s largest national park and home to only 26,000 people. There are many small sheepherding villages and woolen mills in the park, all quaint and picturesque. Snowdonia is filled with outdoor activities of every kind—it has some of the most alluring waterfalls you will ever see—and walking through the park is one of the best ways to enjoy its beauty and landscapes. There are six paths up to the summit of Snowdon and many other walks throughout the park. While you are walking, you’ll see sheep dotting the countryside; Wales raises more sheep than any other country in Europe.
Caernarfon castle is the “fairest in the land.” It was designed to reflect not only the ideal of Welsh myth and legend but also to remember the power of Rome and the walls of Constantinople. Edward II, traditionally thought to have been born at Caernarfon, became Prince of Wales in 1301. Since then, the eldest son of the monarch has held the title. More recently, this castle was made famous when Prince Charles was invested as Prince of Wales there in 1969. Not only does Caernarfon set the precedent for dream castles, but for the $7 admission fee, it also becomes a fantastic place to play hide-and-seek. Its secret passageways and hidden rooms make exploring quite the adventure. —Emily Underwood
Directions: Boil rice in the water for 10 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Add milk and continue boiling over a low heat while stirring. Cook until the porridge is thick and the rice grains are tender. Serve with butter and a sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon. Yield: 4 servings
π www.grouprecipes.com/40830/norwegian-rice-porridge.html —Emmaleigh Litchfield
Brigyn Brothers Ynyr and Eurig Roberts from Snowdonia, Wales, form the band Brigyn. With influences as varied as Simon & Garfunkel and twentieth-century classical composers, their folksy blend of rhythm and orchestration, coupled with their Welsh lyrics, transport listeners to the beautiful snowcapped mountains of northern Wales. Their songs, like “Yr Arth a’r Lloer” (The Bear and the Moon), are typically in Welsh. But in 2010, they released their first Englishlanguage single, “One-Way Streets.”
π www.brigyn.com —Rebekah Atkin
PERU 7 away for a while
Highest, Lowest, Rarest, and Best-Kept Secrets
From culture to conquistas, rockclimbing to reggaeton, llamas to piranhas, Peru has something for everyone. Due to its diversity, accessibility, and above all, affordability, many are familiar with the attractions this country has to offer. But what about the unknown, the awe-inspiring, the mysterious, and the wonderful? Peru has that too. Welcome to your lesson on South America’s best-kept secrets.
32 >> winter 2011
Huayna Picchu, Sacred Valley
The city of Machu Picchu, which literally sits on top of a mountain, was built by the Incas in AD 1400, abandoned during the Spanish conquest a century later, and rediscovered in 1911 by American historian Hiram Bingham when locals showed him the folklore city in the clouds. Recently the city has had an influx of millions of tourists each year, coming to see its grandeur. But don’t become one in the crowd. Climbing Huayna Picchu, the peak behind the ancient city, is the most exclusive and exhilarating hike for visitors itching for a new view of this New World Wonder. The number of hikers is regulated, so show up as early as 4 a.m. at the Machu Picchu ticket gates to be one of the first 400 people in line. The summit provides amazing vistas, particularly at sunrise. For many, this hike up Huayna is the highlight of their visit to Machu Picchu. You can even receive a special passport stamp for visiting.
left: photo by MARTIN ST-AMANT; Right: photos by JIALING GAO (above), PROCSILAS MOSCAS(left below), and reto luescher (right below)
Few visitors to Machu Picchu know about the hike up Huayna Picchu, the mountain behind the city.
Native tribes still reside in the Amazon.
Nazca Lines, Ica
The Nazca Lines, found in south central Peru, are like the inexplicable Midwest crop circles, inspiring the questions: who made them and why? The area of these geometric shapes equates to 310 square miles. For centuries they were largely forgotten until airplane pilots began to notice the strange caricatures etched into the ground. There are nearly 800 lines and 300 figures, 70 of which depict plants and animals. See a curvaceous monkey spanning nearly 300 feet, a condor with a 430-foot wingspan, and an enormous hummingbird, spider, and a humanesque figure called “the astronaut” for its bulbous-like head. Some experts hypothesize that these figures are part of an elaborate astronomical calendar created with rope by the Nazca culture. Others argue that the lines are walkways for a fertility cult, a running track for giants, or landing sites for extraterrestrials. Take your pick. However they were formed, they are worth seeing for yourself. Form your own opinion as you visit the observation tower or book a flight. But remember, walking on the Nazca Lines is forbidden. Large figures created in the desert of Peru were made by extraterrestrials, or so some think.
Amazon River Basin, Iquitos
Peru has various degrees of jungle scattered throughout the highlands and lowlands, but the best area is at its heart: Iquitos. This sassy, savvy, and at times manic metropolis is the largest city in the world that is unreachable by road. You have to either fly in by plane or come in by boat. But it’s worth it. Buy a cheap day- or week-long jungle excursion tour while in the city instead of booking it online, which could cost five times as much. These tours take you on a speedboat into the depths of the Amazon River Basin to a remote bungalow site on the shore, where your potential activities are many. You can take midnight hikes through mud and mosquitoes to see freshly caught tarantulas and crocodiles. Or you can fish for piranha, watch for rare pink-bellied dolphins, and visit the native tribes in the forest. Shooting a native dart gun or joining in drumbeat dances is always fun.
Gocta Waterfall, Chachapoyas
The third largest waterfall in the world at 2,530 feet, the Gocta was discovered only five years ago. Of course the locals knew about the towering two-tiered waterfall, but it wasn’t until 2006 when German engineer Stefan Zienmandorff stumbled across the falls that it was brought to the attention of the Peruvian government. Incredibly, five years later the site is still virtually undiscovered by tourists. Peruvians, some Europeans, and a Wall Street Journal reporter have been among the few visitors to make the fivehour hike to see the falls. According to local legend, the waterfall is home to a beautiful blonde mermaid, who keeps a golden bowl guarded by a giant serpent. Hike through the northern virgin jungle; enjoy the scenery rich with toucans, hummingbirds, and monkeys; and end with a refreshing dip in the waterfall’s pool. No siren sightings yet.
The Gocta Waterfall is the third largest in the world, yet it was discovered only five years ago. www.stowawaymag.com << 33
Misti Volcano, Arequipa
One of Peru’s most mysterious active volcanoes sits nonchalantly at the edge of the country’s second largest city, Arequipa. At 19,101 feet, El Misti is the lone guardian towering over the white-rock city. Because its last major explosion was in 1985, you might approach the giant with stories of Pompeii and Vesuvius in your mind. Nevertheless, many hikers, climbers, explorers, and city folk have enjoyed exploring this wonder—and you can too. El Misti offers several permit-free hiking and rock climbing routes. The volcano takes two to three days to climb. You should do the hike with an accredited tour guide in Arequipa to avoid robberies. (As you are selecting a guide, ask to see the little black book that identifies trained guides.) The volcano base is only ten miles from the city center, so getting there and back is no problem. Getting up and down is the hard part.
Andean condors are among the rarest endangered birds of prey, but they can still be seen in the wild in Peru.
Colca Canyon, Cabanaconde
For years a controversy raged over whether or not this canyon, found 100 miles outside of Arequipa in southern Peru, was the deepest canyon in the world. (At 10,469 feet, it’s twice as deep as the Grand Canyon.) Colca remains a must-see as it is home to pre-Incan terraces still used today and outcropped nests of the rare wild Andean condor. The endangered birds can be seen at the Cruz del Condor lookout spot. For $2, you can watch the condors glide effortlessly on the canyon thermals, at times swooping over watchers’ heads. The condors are best seen in the early morning and late afternoon when they are hunting. 34 >> winter 2011
Some native cultures of Peru live on floating islands.
Lake Titicaca, Puno
Lake Titicaca is the highest lake in the world, South America’s largest lake, and the world’s largest lake above 6,561 feet. But it’s more than statistics that make this lake unique. It’s the crisp, clear air, the luminescent sun dancing on the water, and the inhabitants of the reed islands living as they have for centuries. The lake, which borders Peru and Bolivia, is most readily accessed from the port in Puno, Peru. Boats leave the port for the reed islands multiple times a day. The Floating Islands of the Uros people are the most popular places to visit. While they are surprisingly commercialized, there is still nothing like them. Everything is built from buoyant totora reeds that are found on the lake shores— boats, homes, and crafts are all woven with these reeds and a touch of Uro culture. Floor reeds are replenished daily, leaving the ground spongy.
Few places offer the diversity in scenery that Peru does. From ancient cities to waterfalls, volcanoes to canyons, floating islands and more, Peru will leave you awestruck and inspired at Mother Nature’s handiwork. Even if you can go to just one of these locations, experience what Peru has to offer—the new, the old, and the wonders many travelers haven’t discovered yet.
photos by Gustavo Madico (above) and Eric Kilby (below)
El Misti is an active volcanoes that you can hike.
For more information: 801.285.7922 www.sxhu.org
Peru ad here
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individuals and couples to provide the children under our care with the important skills and stepping stones to gain selfsufficiency. Internships are located in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia and include room and board. Time for tourism is flexible, but the main purpose of an internship is to work closely with the children and community members ascend out of poverty. Internship Requirements: Ă‰4FMGNPUJWBUFE GMFYJCMF NVTUMPWFDIJMESFOBOEIBWFBTUSPOH work ethic Ă‰.JOJNVNBHFGPSJOUFSOTJT Ă‰-FOHUIPG*OUFSOTIJQXFFLNJOJNVNMPOHFSJOUFSOTIJQT are encouraged Ă‰#BTJD4QBOJTIQSFGFSSFE
Ă‰3FTVNF MFUUFSPGSFDPNNFOEBUJPOGSPNUFBDIFSPSFNQMPZFS and personal interview with member of the Southern Cross &YFDVUJWF#PBSE Ă‰$PNQMFUFBOETFOEJOBO*OUFSOTIJQ"QQMJDBUJPO JODMVEJOHDPEF of conduct and liability waiver) Ă‰.VTUQSPWJEFQSPPGPGDPNQMFUFQIZTJDBMFYBNXJUIJOUIF previous year Ă‰QSPDFTTJOHGFF BOEBNPOUIMZDPOUSJCVUJPOUP cover operational costs, room and board Ă‰*OUFSOTBSFSFTQPOTJCMFGPSQBZJOHBMMUSBWFMBOEUPVSJTN expenses, including international and domestic airfare Ă‰4VCNJUXFFLMZCMPHFOUSJFTUP4PVUIFSO$SPTTXIJMFPOUIF internship. * Expeditions are $1650 excluding airfare. For special group considerations and expeditions please contact Cameron at: Cameron@sxhu.org
For more information: 801.285.7922 www.sxhu.org
36 >> W i nte r 2010
Field Notes TALES FROM THE TRIP >> Experience misadventures through Europe with our Stowaway readers. pages 38–39
INSIGHTS >> Don’t get lost in translation; learn about body language from around the globe. pages 40
PHOTO CONTEST >> Visit Ghana, Italy, and Thailand through the photos taken by our contest winners. pages 42–43
OFF THE BEATEN PATH >> Bigger isn’t always better,
photo by Emily Underwood
especially in rural Switzerland. pages 44–46
This quaint cabin in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, is surrounded by winter snow—even in April. Find out more about exploring Switzerland’s small towns. page 44 Website URL will g o here << 3 7
tales from the trip
Adventures plans subject to change
In April 2009, Lyndsay and a friend were just finishing a six-week backpacking trip across Europe between trimesters at Oxford. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for a pair of American exchange students. But when they arrived at their final destination of Krakow, Poland, they saw a strange scene: people were spilling into the streets or glued to their televisions. After watching the clips themselves on an outdoor TV, they realized that the Polish president and
much of his staff had died in a plane accident. Not the most auspicious time for a traveler to arrive. It got worse, though. As Lyndsay was checking her email, she found out through a fellow American that a volcano had erupted in Iceland, more than 1,800 miles away. And fearing that the volcanic ash would interfere with a plane’s engine, Europe had declared all flights
A Polish woman adds her flowers to the memorial for the deceased Polish president. 38 >> winter 2011
grounded for one week. Her friend was stuck in France, which meant that Lyndsay was stuck too. Anyone could imagine the stress of such a situation. Lyndsay recalls with a wry smile, “Maybe it was the weather, or the fact that we were stranded, or that the president had just died—or that we were visiting Auschwitz, but it was a very sobering trip.” Not only that, neither she nor her friend had the money to stay an additional week. In a moment of both desperation and inspiration, Lyndsay found Plan B in the form of a bussing company. After figuring out how to change the website to English (“It took me about 45 minutes,” Lyndsay laughs), the backpackers learned more about the potential transportation. A bus would take them from Warsaw to London in 33 hours. They were surprised to
ILLUSTRATION BY KELSEY HOLLOWAY (above) and PHOTO BY LYNDSAY STEINMETZ (below)
Lyndsay Steinmetz has studied at Oxford, been in Rome during Holy Week, and taken a 33-hour bus ride from Warsaw, Poland, to London, England. No, the bus ride was not on her bucket list. It wasn’t the cheapest way to travel either. That bus ride could only be described as Lyndsay’s desperate attempt to paddle upstream—while fleeing from a volcano.
deceased president to get to the bus station, which learn that many of the bus’s was what Lyndsay imagined Ellis Island to be like. customers were Polish emi“There were hundreds of people crowded on one grants who “commuted” to platform with their kids and belongings, waving London for work regularly. their tickets in the air,” Lyndsay explains. While not sure they wanted to Lyndsay and her friend got on an antiquated make the trip even once, Lindsay bus with broken seats, no and her friend Maybe it was the weather, AC, and a bus driver who knew it was or the fact that we were liked to off-road—literan opportunity that they stranded, or that the presi- ally—to avoid traffic. One couldn’t afford dent had just died—or that of the best moments of to miss. we were visiting Auschwitz, the trip, Lyndsay says, was driving through a Getting to but it was a very sobering trip. meadow where someone Warsaw from was tilling the land. “I Krakow was would have given anything to have his perspective an adventure in itself, Lyndand see this massive bus drive out of the woods,” say explains, including V.I.P. she says. They did return to a real road eventually delays, communication issues and arrived at the coast of France. with locals, and the forging of After taking a ferry to Dover, the bus dropped train passes that had expired Lyndsay and her friend off in London, where they two days before. Once the pair took another bus to Oxford. “I lived about four arrived in Warsaw, they had to minutes walking distance from the bus stop,” wrestle against the masses of Lyndsay says. “But after being awake for 39 hours people awaiting the burial of the
More Tales from the Trip Stowaway’s readers know that when travelers go out their front doors to explore, dream, and discover, they’re not doing it in Disney World—they’re in the real world. Here are some stories of those (mis)adventures.
A Threat to Security I had flown to England to spend the summer with my brother and was planning on working a part-time job with his friend. When I went through customs, I was asked how long I was staying. I replied three months. The customs lady looked at me suspiciously and said, “What are you doing here?” “Visiting my brother,” I said. “For three months?” she shot back with a look that showed zero confidence in what I was saying. “Well . . . my brother has a parttime job set up for me,” I cautiously said back. I was then pegged with a million rapid-fire questions that revealed I did not have a work visa and was not “just visiting” my brother. After six hours of having my bags searched and confiscated, being interrogated, finger-printed, and placed in a holding room, Britain’s security told me they were using my return ticket to send me home that day. Not only was I not going to see my brother, I was going to have to brave two trans-Atlantic flights in 24 hours. After having a good cry for a few minutes, I saw my situation for what it was. What 22-year-old American girl gets deported from England?! At that point, I literally started laughing. That story has become one of my favorites to tell. What could have been a disaster of a situation, and in a lot of ways it was, ended up being one of the coolest experiences of my life. —Gretchen Schwartz
straight, that four-minute walk to my dorm felt like an hour.” Was it just a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad experience? Parts of it, yes. But Lyndsay now sees it both as a gem of a story and a valuable lesson. “Even though we had traveled extensively, we had always been tourists,” she says. “But being on that bus was a full-immersion experience. We were the only Americans, and only one other person spoke a little English. I thought a lot about the people who make that trip all the time. It was definitely a growing experience.” But she still quips: “I’d like to point out that while Europe’s airspace was closed, Iceland’s airports remained open.” —Emmaleigh Litchfield
Taking a Leap in the Dark A group of six other girls and I were on our way back from Austria to our host university. We decided to stop overnight in Lisieux, France, to see the beatification of Louis and Zelie Martin. Lisieux is a little town, and there aren’t many places to stay, so of course, a group of random pilgrims showing up at the last minute looking for lodging wasn’t going to find a place to stay anywhere. We wandered the streets in the dark. After literally hours of this, unsure and cold, we walked back to the train station thinking that maybe we could just spend the night there. The train station was locked, but there we met up with three other friends also hoping to secure lodging for the night. One girl had sat next to a French priest on the train, and since her French is impeccable, she had fallen into conversation with him. He must have been moved by our stranded situation, because he called up his friend who lived in a big country house about 20 minutes outside of Lisieux and asked him if he could spare any room for us. Not only did the man respond kindly to the inquiry, but he came and picked us all up from the station. He even had eleven beds. There were eleven of us. Amazing, right? We tried to pay him, but he wouldn’t accept. We spent the night in that lovely house, warm and snug in real beds. Then he drove us back into town to the basilica for the beatification the next morning. It was such a defining experience for me, teaching me so much about trust and the kindness of strangers! —Kelsey Newman Have more interesting tales from the trip? Submit them to email@example.com, and you could be published in our next issue!
Don’t Get Lost in Translation
Mariano Berkenwald from B uenos Aires, Argentina, points out that Argentines use their chin to direct attention to something. Pointing with your fingers is considered rude, he says. There’s also a special gesture for saying something is expensive: rubbing your thumb against your other four fingers while holding your hand close to your face.
Our insiders share their tips and tricks to make your body language blend in with the locals’ and to avoid making a major faux-pas.
The “peace sign” (making a V with your fingers, palm away from your body) means something else entirely in India. Vishal Gajjar from Nadiad in Gujarat, India, explains that such a hand gesture means you need to, um, “use the facilities.” So does making a fist and raising your pinky finger. “And that is something really used amongst kids, teenagers, youngsters, and even adults,” notes Vishal.
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Flaka Ismaili from Gjilan, Kosovo, tells us that when a man hands something to a woman, he uses his right hand while placing his left hand over his stomach. Men also bow as a sign of respect, she says.
ILLUSTRATION BY KAREN SORENSON
Chris Mann from East Grinstead, England, shares the following story about the “backwards peace sign” (making a V with your fingers, your palm towards your body): “In England, it is like sticking up your middle finger. During medieval times, the French would cut off archers’ two fingers, which were used for pulling back the string on a bow. The French would then use this gesture to provoke the English, basically saying, ‘We have your fingers.’ If an American were to use it in England as the peace sign, he would probably get punched.”
aren’t Sweden Swedes particularly social with strangers in public places, says Sarah Peterson from Västerhaninge, Sweden. She tells us that if you “get on a bus and you sit down next to somebody even though there are many empty seats available, you would be considered a little strange. Sometimes the other person might even try to move farther away from you.”
It’s best to use two hands when passing something to someone in Korea, reports Eun Si Re Song, from Suncheon, South Korea. It’s acceptable to pass something with one hand only if the receiving person is younger than you, but never when the receiver is older than you.
Your parents made a better life for someone else. Now itâ€™s your turn.
Life is calling. How far will you go?
Photo Contest Winners
st place Water Girl
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Chris Owen, 25 Surfside, TX
“This photo was taken in Katapor, one of Ghana’s many tiny villages listed as underprivileged. I took this while working there with Empower Playgrounds, a nonprofit organization that installs energy-generating merry-go-rounds that provide light so children who live near the equator can study during the long nights. Here a young girl walks with large bowls on her head, soon to be filled with life-giving water for her family.”
nd place The Island Dantzel Cenatiempo, 23 Lake Stevens, WA
“In February 2009 we visited an island located off the coast of Naples. This picture was shot in Barano, the village where my husband’s ancestors grew up. I was looking out over the Mediterranean when I caught sight of this van. Barano’s narrow streets are hundreds of years old and many people ride Vespas, so a vehicle of this size has to be kept out of the way. Parking it on the roof is an example of true Italian resourcefulness.”
rd place The Next Generation Veronica Olson, 20 Salt Lake City, UT
“This photo was taken at the Tiger Temple near Bangkok, Thailand. Soon after this Buddhist monastery was founded, it gained a reputation as an animal sanctuary, and in 1999 the first orphaned tiger cub arrived. The Abbot, who now provides a home for dozens of tigers, believes it is his duty to show compassion to all living creatures, and the tigers are hand-reared to be tame and accustomed to humans. These young monks are in training to become the next generation of tiger caretakers.”
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off the beaten path
This blissful spot lies in the Swiss Alps, where adventurers can hear bleating sheep and the bells ringing around their necks.
Small Town, Switzerland
photo by SARA LENZ
A couple of summers ago, I took a ten-day trip to Europe with my best friend, Jess Ward. We went to Paris, Berlin, and London. We looked at paintings by Monet, walked along the Berlin Wall, and traversed our way through London’s subway system. But it turned out that some of the best days we had in Europe were on our two-day stopover in a remote village in Switzerland, one that we had learned about through my family friend who had talked about the place for years. And so off we went. We arrived in Innertkirchen, a small city in the middle of Switzerland, after spending six days in London and Paris. The only directions we had to the little house where we would stay were to go across the railroad tracks, turn right at the first street, and then go past a cemetery to the white cottage across a field. I’ll admit, it took us a bit by surprise how small the town was. When we arrived at 6 p.m., all the shops looked closed and there was not a person in sight. The street we walked on was more like a path. And the cemetery was smaller than my parents’ backyard, though it did have the most beautifully engraved wooden crosses I had ever seen, and there were flowers blooming in front of each gravestone. The house lay across an expansive field with the greenest grass standing at least knee-deep. German-style houses dotted the mountaintop just above our own little cottage, and tall evergreen trees could be seen in every direction. I remember thinking how different this place felt compared to the skyscraper-packed cities and peoplefilled parks we had just come from. It seemed like Jess and I were experiencing real life and not just hopping from one tourist site to another. In fact, unlike in the other cities where we had stopped, we really had no plans of what exactly we wanted to see in Innertkirchen. But of course, our first trip had to be up those luscious, green mountains that pictures really hadn’t done justice. So the next day we started walking toward them to see what we would find.
Jess and I found a park tucked away on a path with a swing hooked onto what appeared to be a small zip line. We tried the swing out a few times and watched a mother push her two-year-old son on it while chatting with him in German. We walked farther and saw a waterfall that began about midway up the mountain and fell gracefully down a curvy, rocky path. We also found a drinking fountain; I was a little skeptical of it at first since it looked like the water came straight from the Alps. We hadn’t been able to get any free water since arriving in Europe, so after watching a few locals drink from it, we decided it was safe enough. Wow, was it cold and refreshing! Then we found the things that would take us to the top of these spacious mountains and show us how this trip had all been worth it: bright red gondolas. When we got above the treetops, we could see a valley with a brilliant turquoise lake, the layout of the small towns underneath us, and paragliders teetering just above our heads. Even the sky seemed bluer from up there. To say it was picturesque is definitely an understatement. When we got to the top, we wandered around the trails. We saw and heard bells ringing around the necks of bleating sheep, making me want to sing a song from the Sound of Music. (Actually, Jess and I did belt out “the hills are alive” when no one was around.) We breathed in the cool, fresh mountain air and got lost looking at the blueness of the sky and the white, puffy clouds perched over the endless green mountains. www.stowawaymag.com << 45
photo by EMILY UNDERWOOD
The stark beauty of the mountains, lake, and sky were surreal. And up there, zig-zagging through the trails and sometimes off the trails, we saw something we would never had been able to see in a big city. We saw the country for what it was on our own without a map or a group of people or a tour guide. We were so glad we had decided to go to a place we had not heard much about and experience something we will never forget. We would have never been able to get lost in the beautiful green Alps, see a lake whose turquoise color looked unreal, or hear Swiss farmers call to their bleating sheep had we not stepped off the beaten path. Before you discount the small towns on your next trip to China, Canada, or even Colorado, think again. The trip to a small town may be the best time you have on your journey.
Small towns in the Swiss Alps can provide respite escape from the big cities.
Find yourself in the Alps
Features COVER STORY >> Discover New Zealand and become part of the Land of the Long White Cloud. Pages 48–53
FEATURE >> Explore a small settlement in Idaho. Pages 56–59
Profile >> Meet Ruth Baptista, a citizen of the world.
photo by eve german
A traveler takes a break during an early morning bike ride around the Miramar Peninsula in Wellington, New Zealand to soak in the view of Scorching Bay at sunrise. Page 48
Discovering the Land of the Long White Cloud by Eve German
I’ve rarely uttered the name “New Zealand” without those two little words eliciting from my listener a yearning groan followed by “Oh, I wanna go there!” From the southern mountain range aptly named “The Remarkables,” to the northern Bay of Islands and Bay of Plenty, New Zealand is quite possibly one of the world’s most desirable travel destinations. Every year loads of travelers, at long last, saddle up and venture to enchanting New Zealand. And yet, after so much time longing to make the trip, they often miss the very best that this little pair of islands has to offer.
A view of Milford Sound, located on the western coast of the south island; previous page: a southern view of Mount Taranaki on the north island photo Courtesy of Frederico Stevanin
Now, I don’t know everything, and I haven’t seen it all. And one thing I definitely learned from my own year and a half in the Land of the Long White Cloud is that New Zealand means something a little different to everyone. So more than prescribing a point-by-point TripTik, I want to share the mindsets and travel objectives that were most beneficial to me and that brought me some of my most treasured New Zealand days. And with that, here are a few of my own navigational stars to guide you on your way through these islands and bring that New Zealand gleam into your eyes as you plan your journey to what is rightly referred to as “God’s Own Country.”
Travel the Old-Fashioned Way: By Road or Rail Typically when we think road trip, we think California, Vegas, or Chicago. Very few who plan a New Zealand trip think to themselves, “You know, maybe we should road trip around New Zealand.” But believe me when I say this is a wonderful way to go. If you’re concerned about your lack of familiarity with the geography, don’t worry. There are entire guide books devoted to helping you find the perfect route. Even a quick Google search for New Zealand road trips will help you find great routes. A road trip gives you the optimal freedom to go where you want to go, stop where you want to stop, and detour to where you want to detour. Make at least one leg of your trip a road trip.
The greatest mindset that you can take with you is this: with New Zealand, the very best things are in the “in-betweens.” The best of New Zealand is not in the cities or tourist attractions. As you travel from place to place, recognize that this, the gloriously green in between, is what you came to see. Between every city, village, and hole-in-thewall are the most beautiful and varied landscapes you may have ever seen in your life. Take your time. Don’t rush. Look around you because it’s in the getting there, in the moving from place to place, that you really see New Zealand. Remember that you are not merely en route to somewhere else—this is it! Plan plenty of time for your inbetweens and soak it up. 50 >> winter 2011
A shot taken from the Interisland Ferry on a trip across the Cook Strait
photography by eve german except as noted
It’s All in the In-Between
A fierce (but oh so desirable) competitor with the road trip option is the train route. Some of the most beautiful landscapes I saw during my time in New Zealand were framed by a train window. Train routes can get you into the more rural, more rugged, and therefore more breathtaking parts of New Zealand—places a car just can’t get you to. The train ride from the top of the south island at Picton to Christchurch halfway down the east coast is beyond words, even for an English major like me. You can find routes and schedules for all the scenic train routes at π http://railnewzealand.com. You can’t go wrong with any of these memorable routes. Speaking from experience, I’d say that these wheeled journeys through the Paradise of the Pacific may stay in your memory deeper and clearer than any other thing you do on your entire trip.
Travel South to North
Zealand are in the corner store shops (called dairies) and little fishand-chips shops. You won’t find authentic New Zealand fare and spirit in fine dining establishments and certainly not in McDonald’s! Plus, the hometown shops are unrivaled for low prices and filling portions. A little-known New Zealand fact is that this little country has one of the world’s highest immigrant populations per capita. This means New Zealand boasts some of the most authentic foreign cuisine. Most of these little gems are quiet little corner shops or dimly lit restaurants, but hidden inside are foreign delectable delights. The best Indian, Turkish, Greek, and Polynesian food I’ve ever had was in New Zealand. Don’t miss the chance to savor flavors from many foreign lands during your time on the small islands of New Zealand.
Go to a Rugby Game Going to New Zealand and not going to a rugby game is like going to Rome and not seeing the Colosseum. Seriously. A simple internet search on rugby schedules will help you find tickets before you go. The tickets are cheap and the games are awesome. Too few people make this a part of their New Zealand experience. Don’t be among these sadly uninformed. Get a little rugby in your life.
Of all the tips I could give you, this one may be the most valuable. The international airport hub for New Zealand is located in Auckland, at the very northern tip of New Zealand. As a result, most tourists start north and travel south. Don’t make this mistake! Tourists who travel north to south are just getting to the good stuff as they get farther and farther south. But at this terminal point, their trip time is short and they’re left wishing they had planned more time for the unrivaled south island. So here’s the secret: the farther south you go in New Zealand, the more jaw-dropping beauty you’ll see. As you move south, it’s less populated and more rugged—and therefore more gorgeous. The great mountain ranges, fjords, sounds, glaciers, and plains of New Zealand are proudly—yet quietly—held by the south island. So start with the best! Book a cheap flight from Auckland at the very north, to Invercargill, Dunedin, or Queenstown at the very south. Like I said, I won’t prescribe specific destinations. I wouldn’t deprive you of the thrill of researching them and choosing them for yourself. I merely hope to point you in the right direction.
Forget Fancy: Kiwis Are Simple New Zealanders, who proudly call themselves Kiwis after their national bird, are all about doing things easier, better, cheaper. They call it the Kiwican-do attitude. They don’t splurge, they don’t contract out work they can do themselves, and they don’t spend more when they could spend less. It’s all about sensibility. Keep this desire for simplicity in mind as you look for places to eat. The best places to taste New
Sheep graze on the top of Te Mata Peak in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
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Don’t Miss the Maori
photo Courtesy of Tilman Piesk
It’s not all about trying to avoid being a typical New Zealand tourist, and Maori culture demonstrations are some of the best tourist attractions that New Zealand has to offer. The Maori music, dance, lifestyle, language, and art are unique, beautiful, deeply symbolic, and very moving. If you’ll do a little research, these types of tours of Maori villages and meeting places (marae) or dance performances are easy to find. You’ll have better luck with this farther north, where the Maori culture is a bit more concentrated. (See the opposite page for a cultural note on a beautiful aspect of Maori culture.)
The Experience of a Real Winter Wonderland
Jet lag can hit pretty hard after you’ve spent hours on a plane and crossed several time zones. But with adequate preparation and a few simple tips from Thomas Van Dusen, a seasoned commercial airline pilot, you can be refreshed and ready to see the sights in no time. Rest well before you leave. Forget the late-night bon voyage party the night prior to your departure. Start catching extra Z’s a day or two before you leave, and you’ll be much less frazzled after landing. Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid caffeinated and carbonated drinks—instead chose water and lots of it. Sugary or caffeinated drinks will only dehydrate you and keep you awake. Sleep on the plane. Even though he’s not sleeping while flying, Captain Van Dusen recommends that passengers rest on the flight. All those hours of sleep in store will go a long way once you land. Don’t go to bed until the locals do. “It may be your bedtime while the locals are eating breakfast, but do not take a nap—no matter how tempting it is,” says Van Dusen. Your body needs to adjust, and the quickest way to conquer jet lag is to push through any fatigue until the sun finally sets. Then sleep to your heart’s content, he says. —Sarah Shumway and Carrie Akinaka
Last but Not Least Once you are finally there, once all the planning and fretting, considering and decision-making are over, soak in every moment of your time there. Don’t worry about whether you’re getting the most out of your trip or about what places you might be missing. Be confident in the plan you have made. Then take some unplanned detours along your way. Explore and discover. The fact is that this country’s splendor will speak for itself. You won’t have to go searching for it. For it will surely find you.
Flight of the Conchords This Grammy-winning duo is irresistibly unconventional. The Kiwi comedic folk band, made up of Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, creates such ridiculously hilarious music that they are featured in their very own TV show. They use their wit to combine everyday observations with clever acoustics for a truly unique sound. Some of their best work includes “I’m Not Crying,” “Jenny,” and “Issues.”
π www.flightoftheconchords.co.nz —Rebekah Atkin
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photography by eve german except as noted
Preventing Jet Lag
Don’t be afraid to visit New Zealand during its winter season. It’ll be a bit chillier, but when you come from your hot American summer, the chill will be a relief. Airfare is also less expensive because the peak tourist season is in our winter, when New Zealand enjoys summer. Besides, New Zealand’s winter is the rainy season, so the country is in its best, greenest, and most breathtaking splendor. But don’t go during August! August is the worst, coldest, and wettest part of winter. The best winter month is June; things aren’t too cold and wet yet, but the green will be greening.
Photos, clockwise from top left: View of the Ohawe coastline near Mt. Taranaki; the author, sharing a hongi (see note below) with a dear friend; Littleton Harbor; the city of Picton; phone booth on the Miramar peninsula in Wellington
Cultural note: If you can, try to experience one of the most beautiful parts of Maori culture—their traditional greeting and farewell, called a hongi (above). It is done as noses are pressed together and both participants deeply inhale, symbolically breathing in one another’s breath of life. Through the exchange of this physical greeting, one is no longer considered a manuhiri (visitor) but rather tangata whenua, one of the people of the land.
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Roseberry Idaho's little Finland by Diana Dzubak
The road to the old Roseberry Finnish Lutheran Church winds through fields first ploughed by some of Frank Eldâ€™s Finnish ancestors.
Photography by Robert O. Stevens, except as noted
our first impression of Frank Eld would probably underestimate him. He’s middleaged and has graying hair, and his beard reaches his chest. He usually wears suspenders with a flannel shirt and is almost always wearing a hat. He looks like any other country farmer. But if you catch a glimpse of his blue eyes behind those spectacles, twinkling just a bit, you may think twice about who this man really is. My family spent one Christmas in Frank’s beloved Long Valley in west-central Idaho, renting a friend’s cabin. I was entranced by the winter wonderland that surrounded me. But even more than being drawn to the snow, I loved the people—people like Frank and Kathy Eld. Both Frank and his wife are lifetime residents of the valley and have given the better part of their lives to preserving the history of the valley they love. For the past forty years, Frank has been in the business of preserving the Finnish history of the area—and at the same time going back to his own Finnish roots. During the 1800s, the oppressive control of the Russian Empire led thousands of Finns to flee their homeland. Many found their way to Valley County in Idaho and settled in the booming town of Roseberry. These Finns loved the mountains, snow, and long winters that reminded them of their distant home. When the railroad moved a few miles west in 1914, Roseberry became a ghost town. Buildings were moved or left to crumble, until all that remained of the “largest town in Valley County” was the old Roseberry General Store, which stayed open until the 1940s. In 1970, Frank Eld bought the general store and began restoring this once-vibrant mountain town with its rich Finnish influences. His methods of restoration are flawless: he locates and purchases a building that once formed part of Roseberry’s city center, methodically numbers each piece of the building with chalk so he knows where it belongs, gently takes the structure apart, and reconstructs the building near the general store. He even makes wooden nails with period tools to stitch the barns and houses back together again in their new location. There are now about twenty buildings in the restored Roseberry town, and Frank has plans to relocate several more in the near future. A few minutes away from Roseberry, down an undulating country road, is the old Finnish cemetery, where several of Frank’s relatives are buried. About a decade ago, he heard about the Finnish tradition of placing lanterns on the headstones of ancestors on Christmas Eve. Frank and his wife decided to start the tradition again, and it has now become a community event during the week before Christmas.
Flytrap Antiques is house in just one of the many historic buildings of Roseberry that Frank has restored.
The night I joined in the lantern lighting tradition, it was bitter cold, but the sky was clear. The back of Frank’s truck was filled with tea light candles and small metal lanterns. We each took a lantern and went out into the dark of the cemetery, trudging through the shin-deep snow. I placed my lantern reverently on a low headstone. It was too dark to read the name, but I hoped that the tiny bit of warmth would find its way into the icy ground below. All across the cemetery, people were placing lanterns in deep footprints they had made in the snow, dotting the ground with little yellow glows. Frank lit some candles on a small pine tree near the entrance, using antique candleholders and tenderly guarding the small flames from the wind. We all gathered around the tree to listen to him explain the traditions of old. Every now and then he would turn and look over the lighted cemetery with eyes that twinkled and flickered behind his glasses. “It is beautiful,” he said. www.stowawaymag.com << 57
Pancake and Christmas House The smells of crackling bacon and warm maple syrup slink through the air. The sky is a perfect shade of icy blue, like the inside of a ceramic bowl. The anticipation of a great day of skiing gives you the jitters, but even more tangible is the anticipation of a great meal at the Pancake House. You take a deep breath and inhale an aroma that clearly announces, “Breakfast is served.” One of the best-loved and longest-standing attractions in McCall, the Pancake and Christmas House—known to locals as simply the Pancake House—is almost legendary. The restaurant originally opened in the fifties as a small drive-in, but its popularity demanded that it expand into a fullsize restaurant. Even still, patrons would stand in line for hours waiting to get in the door. Finally, in 2002, owners George and Bonnie Bertram decided it was time to upgrade, and they had a custom-designed, log-cabin–style building constructed to house their restaurant. Within three days of opening at the new location, there was yet another waiting list—and everybody was eager to get in the door. Famous for its delicious plate-sized pancakes and cinnamon rolls, the Pancake House serves breakfast all day long and sells Christmas decorations any time of year. The Pancake House is located just off Highway 55 at 209 North 3rd Street. From the south, enter McCall and drive past the stoplight at Deinhard Street. The Pancake House is on the east. —Diana Dzubak
The Pancake House in McCall offers plate-sized pancakes and cinnamon rolls you won’t want to miss, as well as a festive atmosphere during the holiday season.
We sang “Finlandia”—a favorite patriotic song. We were strangers standing together in the snow. But in those moments of honoring people most of us had never met, we didn’t feel like strangers anymore. After the lantern lighting, Frank and his wife invited everyone to gather at the Arling House for food and company. Frank’s grandfather built the house at the turn of the century for a pair of eccentric old spinsters, and Frank purchased and restored it in 1995, turning it into his own home. It was the perfect place for an old-fashioned Christmas party. Throughout the night, I sifted through crowds of friendly strangers, listening to snatches of their conversations and snacking on the mounds of Finnish treats, rum cake, and lutefisk soup. My parents chatted with Frank and his wife about their historic house, and friends and neighbors answered my questions about their lives there in Long Valley. For a time, I felt like I was a lifelong resident of Long Valley too. Back in Roseberry, Frank closes the G eneral Store to the public for much of the winter. Roseberry then becomes something of the ghost town it was in years past. Mounds of snow line the streets and frost the roofs of the church, the
museum, the row of small houses, and the barns out in the fields. It is a quaint and lovely sight— but it’s also a little melancholic to think that for so many years the town was silent, without the warm bustle and excitement of the tourists to liven it up every year. During the Christmas holiday, the store is open, and for a few weeks, life returns to the town. If you’re lucky, you might spot Frank dressed up as Santa Claus, sitting by the old wood stove in the back of the store—a perfect picture of Christmas spirit. If you are in the area during other parts of the winter, consider giving Frank a call; he just might be willing to invite you over to his home and show you around the town that has become his life’s work. He and his wife will certainly offer warm friendship that will belie the cold and ice outside. But even more than Christmas spirit, Frank epitomizes the spirit of Long Valley—his warmth, his good-natured love of work, and his reverence for the grandfathers and grandmothers who made his life possible in that beautiful mountain valley. These values, seemingly lost in our world of longdistance cyber chatter, are given new life every time I revisit his store and he invites me to warm myself by the stove with a cup of hot cider.
Burgdorf Hot Springs The aged wooden door creaks closed behind you as you scamper down the gravel path. It seems foolish to make this dash through the crisp, pinescented air while wearing just a bathing suit and flip flops, especially when traces of snow still linger around the edges of your quaintly lopsided cabin. The sun throws its last glints of twilight above the mountain meadow, catching a curl of steam rising above the rooftops. You tighten your towel around your shoulders and scurry on. At the end of the path, you reach what was once a flourishing mountain resort built around the natural hot springs that Frederick Burgdorf discovered in 1870. But because it is beyond the reach of easy freeway travel—Burgdorf is reachable only by snowmobile for some of the winter months—the once-bustling resort has become a tranquil rustic escape. Cozy cabins, some over 130 years old, are still available to rent for $30 a night per adult, with an additional $5 per child. You ease into the pool of clear water, heated by Mother Nature to a toasty 104º F, and watch the stars twinkle to life until the sky is a mass of constellations you’ve never seen among the city lights. As you lean back against the logs that line the pool and listen to the ethereal call of elk in the meadow, you realize that this kind of luxury, hidden in the Payette National Forest, is a gem that definitely merits leaving the freeways behind. To reach Burgdorf from McCall, leave downtown traveling west on Highway 55. At mile marker 145, turn right onto Warren Wagon Road. Drive 29 miles, until the pavement ends, then turn left on Forest Service Road 246. Burgdorf is two miles from the pavement’s end. If you’re interested in a soak but aren’t staying the night, admission to the pool is $5 for adults and $3 for children. —Kelsey Holloway
Burgdorf’s pristine mountain seclusion is something you won’t want to pass up, whether visiting in the summer or winter.
Photo by Chris welcker
When he isn’t relocating buildings, Frank spends most of his time in and around the General Store, telling visitors about the historic building and its period wares.
Ruth Baptista “citizen of the world”
Ruth Baptista, currently a master’s student at Brigham Young University, has lived and traveled all over the world.
60 >> winter 2011
Ruth Baptista considers herself a citizen of the world. She was born in Angola, moved to Portugal when she was two, spent time in England, and now lives in the United States. While growing up, she attended a boarding school that took her to various parts of the world; living in Europe also allowed her to travel to many different countries. But living in and visiting various countries are not the only reasons she feels like a world citizen. “I see myself as every citizen of the world,” Ruth told me while we were sitting in her apartment in Provo, Utah. “I consider myself any man or woman in the world because the difference between me and the next person could be a matter of time, choices, or luck.”
left: photo by amy fisler; right: photo by Laura Thomas
by Sara Lenz
Ruth says her upbringing led her to have this outlook on life—an outlook that helps her feel for other people and try to put herself in others’ shoes. She has a sister who is half-black/halfIndian and a first cousin with blond, curly hair and blue eyes. Her parents are Angolan. “I don’t see the color of the person,” Ruth explained. “I am aware of people’s background, genetics, etc., but I don’t define people by where they’re from or what they look like.” She has used this outlook on life when exploring Italy, France, Thailand, and even San Francisco. I visited with the 27-year-old at her home to see what such a world view could offer travelers in both experience and attitude.
What have you learned from living in so many different countries?
The biggest thing I have learned is we are all different, but we are all the same. I’ve seen people doing the same good things in all the nations where I have lived. You know, as human beings, we like to say we are different because we are different colors, we grew up in different places, we have different personalities, and we have different stories—and that is correct. But in the end we are really the same. We just see things differently, through different lenses. I’ve learned to not take people for granted and to try to see them through their own eyes. For instance, if I am with a family from India, I won’t have a problem eating curry with my hand because that is customary in most places in India.
What was it like growing up in Sintra , Portugal?
I grew up near the coast, so between June and October I spent my time at the beach. The lifestyle in Portugal was slow paced. I lived in an apartment complex in the city that was full of kids. Our neighbors were our second families, and people were very involved in other people’s lives. We were outside a lot. We played with cousins and friends. We played at the beach and climbed trees. Life was just different than it would have been if I had grown up elsewhere. The family dynamic is also there—kind of like in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. If I needed some money to buy something and my dad wasn’t there, my uncle would give it to me. I also grew up with a lot of my cousins. The family relations are very strong and food is a celebration. You don’t eat just to satisfy hunger; you eat to celebrate food. Everyone there grew up with homemade meals. I don’t think my mom owns a microwave to this day.
Ruth grew up in Sintra, Portugal, where this castle is located. As she grew up, she spent much of her time playing up outside with other children. www.stowawaymag.com << 61
Ruth lived in London for several years going to school. This is a photo of the famous Big Ben Clock Tower in London.
What do you think about American culture?
What are some of your most embarrassing moments traveling abroad?
I love it. I am here because I want to be, because I enjoy it. Is everything perfect? No. Is everything perfect in Portugal? No. I think the United States has a unique culture. There is no other nation in the world that has the culture of the United States. You formed a nation of people who came here to be free, which is touching and moving. I sometimes think I would like to move to the East Coast, except I don’t like the cold. I wish California and New York could merge together.
What would you tell people to do before traveling to a different country?
Google where you are going, please. Make Google your best friend and drop your preconceptions. If you go to a different country, leave America behind—meaning if you go to Paris, don’t ask for Ranch dressing. And this I say to everyone. It’s the idea that when you’re in Rome, be Roman. Being different should not be the reason for annoyance. If you are going abroad, be your best self, but embrace the culture. Also, when you travel, you should know where the country is and what language they speak. 62 >> winter 2011
When I traveled to Thailand a few years ago, I saw these gorgeous linen trousers that were about two sizes too small for me. I was trying in my broken Thai to ask about buying the trousers, and the lady said to me, “No, madam. Madam too fat.” I was laughing and thinking, “Did she just call me madam and fat in the same sentence?” I bought the trousers anyway. I didn’t take it the wrong way. In Thailand it is common for people to tell you what they think, to be blunt. The concept of being politically correct is a bit foreign to them because they believe it is better to be honest. In Thailand, a huge amount of products have bleach in them. So the shopkeepers would chase after me and say, “Madam too dark, madam too dark,” and would want to rub suntan lotion on me. If you are a traveler, you have to look at moments like this and think, “Brilliant.” This was a cultural moment, and I let them rub the lotion on my hands.
What is the hardest thing about living in so many places?
You run out of money fast. But the hardest thing is starting all over again. I lived most of my life in Portugal but spent the last ten to twelve years between London and the United States. And the hardest part sometimes is the beginning, making new friends and getting into the culture. It takes time to feel like you can say you belong to a place and to feel comfortable there. But the process of that journey is amazing and very rewarding in the long run. For instance, Southern Europeans talk fast and at the same time,
photos by Laura thomas (left) and rachel finley (right); opposite page: photo by jacob lee
The Portuguese flag flaps in the wind on top of this Moorish Castle in Sintra. Most of Ruth’s family lives in this city.
Escape for a while . . .
While growing up in Europe, Ruth had many opportunities to visit other countries, including this ruin in Sicily, Italy.
and they interrupt each other in the process. But in London, my friend was like, “Seriously!” because I kept interrupting him. I had to train myself not to interrupt people if the cultures so demand, and now I am a richer person because of that. I bridged the customs of both nations, and that makes a better individual.
Where is your favorite place to travel?
Oh, everywhere. I am a European brat, but a few years ago I traveled to Thailand and it’s so beautiful. But if I had a ticket right now to go anywhere, I would travel to Turkey or Croatia. Turkey just because I love art, and Turkey has so many beautiful things to see. I am also fascinated with Croatia. My friends went on a honeymoon there and I saw pictures of it. Also, I love food, and supposedly Croatian food is delicious.
Which country that you have lived in or traveled to would you recommend people visit?
For those who love snorkeling, it is the fifth best place to snorkel in the world. You will also see a melting pot of cultures. You will see the beauty of a nation you aren’t used to. If you are not afraid of trying new food, Thailand is great in that respect as well. You see everything there; it’s just nature. I went canoeing with monkeys.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? In Europe. Portugal would be my first choice. I would love to live in Switzerland as well. Switzerland is gorgeous, and I would love to work for the International Red Cross. But I guess I will end up living wherever is best for me. I am a chameleon and can adapt well.
Family Reunions Church Groups Hot Dates Covered Wagon Rides Horseback Riding ATV Trails 3 Miles from Twin Lakes Camping Indoor Accomodations Dutch Oven Meals
I want to say Portugal, France, or Italy, but from this nation’s perspective, I would say go to Thailand. It is out of the ordinary. I’ve never seen such a beautiful nation. It’s paradise; it really is.
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Insider TIPS & TRICKS >> Get the most for your money in Mexico and plan the perfect trip. pages 66–68, 70, 72
JUST THE TICKET >> Travel as a courier and see the world for less. pages 69
Gadgets & GEAR >> Search for the right travel shoes and
PHOTO BY ROBERT O. STEVENS
then decide which things to pack and which to leave behind. pages 74–75
Get exclusive pointers on how to take stunning photography in winter weather. page 72
Skimp & Splurge
Whether you want to dive in crystal blue waters, explore ancient ruins, feast on local flavors, or simply lounge on the beach and tan, Mexico’s Riviera Maya has much to offer. And when airfare to Cancun’s international airport is typically half the cost of a ticket to Hawaii, it’s easy to make this tropical vacation fit a tighter budget— if you know where to skimp and where to splurge. Located on the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, this lush strip of land along the Caribbean is the home of world-renowned scuba spots, ancient Mayan ruins, numerous hotels and resorts, and miles of white sandy beaches and bright blue surf.
How to Make the Most of Your Dinero in Mexico’s
Riviera Maya by Kelsey Holloway
Rainbows over Cozumel
Ruins of Tulum
Sunset over the Caribbean
Avoid all-inclusive hotels
Though having all your meals included with your nightly rate seems like a great deal, you’re actually getting less for your money. All-inclusive rates cover the cost of alcohol, whether you drink or not. Why pay for all of your neighbor’s piña coladas when you could stay at a resort like the five-star La Amada (above, far right) for a fraction of the price?
Go for an inexpensive rental car
The phrase “tin can” might be the first thing to come to mind when you see the tiny budget rentals, but you’ll fit in with the local drivers, spend less on gas, and navigate the narrow roadways much more easily by foregoing the big SUV.
Exchange money before you go or arrange for a wire transfer
Many places in Mexico don’t accept US credit cards, and you’ll get slammed with fees if you try to exchange money while in Mexico. Your local bank in the States can easily—and often without extra fees—arrange for a transfer to an international bank
Splurge... Buy a guidebook
A good guidebook will help plan your trip around what’s important to you and help you make the most of your time. Get your guidebook before your trip; most of the books you’ll find in Mexico are in Spanish—not helpful if you no hablas.
Hire a personal guide for a day
photography by Kelsey holloway
Wandering around ancient ruins is fun, but a tour guide will help you understand the significance of the ancient symbols and art while pointing out many things you might miss. Many places don’t permit tourists to climb the ruins, but a guide can help you find those that still let you explore, like the rural Ek Balam. Extra Bonus: Licensed tour guides can often get you a better admission rate to the popular ruins like Chichen Itza (opposite page).
Discover scuba diving
In Mexico, you can learn to scuba dive on a “resort certification.” Translation: less time and less money. Getting certified in the United States can easily cost you over $600, but a brief instruction session and an hour dive on some of the world’s best reefs will set you back only about $80 in Cozumel. Breathing underwater may sound scary, but most swimmers find scuba diving easier than snorkeling. Your dive master stays by your side throughout your dive, so you can enjoy cruising the reefs with lobsters, sea turtles, and more tropical fish than you’d see in your dentist’s aquarium, all without worrying about a mishap.
La Amada Resort in Cancun
in Mexico, such as IBC. Since most hotels and condos have safes in each room, you don’t even have to worry about security for your stash of pesos.
Ask the locals
The ritzy restaurant recommended by your hotel’s concierge is sure to please American pallets while only slightly stretching your wallet. But the best meal I’ve had in Mexico was at La Misión, a local parilla (grill) that the hotel gardener said I couldn’t miss. It took a bit of extra time and exploring to find this local hotspot, but the tacos al pastor (spiced grilled pork tacos) with fresh pineapple and handmade tortillas made braving the local avenues worth it. And because each taco cost only about 40¢, my wallet was left as full as my stomach. Ask bellhops, shopkeepers, or taxi drivers about their favorite beaches and restaurants, and don’t hesitate to carry a map. Street signs in a foreign language can be confusing, so having your new local friends circle the locations of their favorite places on the map will save you a lot of time wandering.
Don’t Miss These Mayan Adventures... Exploring Tulum
This coastal ruin (see previous page, top left) is beautifully preserved. Though smaller than Chichen Itza, the breathtaking sea-cliff location of these ancient ruins makes Tulum worth the trip beyond Cancun’s city limits.
Swimming in a cenote
These hidden pools (left) are often fifty or more feet below the jungle floor. Getting to the water requires a bit of clambering, but plunging into one of these natural wonders (ancient sinkholes that centuries of rainfall have filled with fresh water) is a refreshing experience you won’t forget.
Day tripping to the Island of Cozumel
An hour-long bus ride from downtown Cancun and a short ferry across the Caribbean inlet will take you to Cozumel, a small island rich in Mexican culture and brimming with islander warmth—and that’s warm personalities, not just temperatures. Cozumel boasts some of the world’s lushest tropical reefs, and downtown offers a variety of shopping without the crush and rush of Hotel Row in Cancun (see photos on previous page).
Freshwater cenote the Riviera Maya
You may not find remnants of the Maya’s legendary gold, but Mexico’s Riviera Maya is certainly a treasure. And if you know where to skimp and where to splurge, you can have the tropical adventure of a lifetime without breaking the bank.
Insuring Life’s Travels
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Carrier Pigeons, Courier Students Travel around the world on a budget
left: photo by kelsey holloway; right: photography courtesy of tim olsen
hen you first meet Tim Olsen, he seems like your average neighbor. He dresses in buttonup shirts and jeans, leaves early in the morning for school, comes back home around dinnertime, and mows the lawn on Saturdays. It is only when you enter Tim’s home that you realize there is something really different about him. Looking at Tim’s map-covered walls, you’d assume he was a geography major. You’d be wrong. He majored in information systems and is currently pursuing a PhD in process innovation. But Tim has an obsession with traveling and has been all over the world, from South America to Southeast Asia. With ever-mounting student debts and ever-present living expenses, how does this student satisfy his itch for exploration while avoiding financial ruin? Short answer: courier flights. Tim and other students across the United States affordably travel around the globe by acting as “couriers.” A courier carries important documents on a flight for a courier company in exchange for a reduced-price plane ticket. Many companies will use couriers so that documents requiring urgent delivery do not get held up in customs. Couriers themselves benefit by getting anywhere from 30 to 85 percent off the price of plane
tickets to and from distant locations they previously had only dreamed of visiting. In 2004, Tim and two of his siblings flew to and from Singapore for $450 each—including tax. The next year they did it for $100 each. So how did Tim and other students become couriers? Generally, potential couriers (adults with a valid passport) can contact courier companies, such as Jupiter Air, directly and offer their services. The company will then provide them with information about available assignments. Typically when a courier accepts an assignment, he or she will pay for the plane ticket at the time of booking. The courier then picks up the ticket at the airport on the day of departure. The documents are checked onto the airplane and delivered to an awaiting client at the other end of the flight. Tim explains, “Basically, you meet the agent at a certain location in the airport, you give him or her a cashier’s check if you haven’t already paid for the ticket, he or she gives you the tickets, and you are off.” Depending on the specific assignment, couriers may stay at their travel destination anywhere from a few days to a full month. On one of Tim’s trips to Singapore he had time to take “detours” to Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, and Hong Kong before returning to Los Angeles.
While courier flights can be a great way for penny-pinching students to expand their campuses and satisfy their hunger for travel, courier flights are not for everyone. Often, courier flights are last-minute, requiring the couriers to pick up and leave with only a few days’—or even a few hours’—notice. Courier company documents also cut into personal luggage space, so courier travel is only for those who can pack light. Since courier companies send only one courier per flight, courier travel is ideal only for those who can travel without a partner. Or you can do it as Tim and his siblings did—they each flew out on a different day and then met up in Hong Kong. In today’s economy when many college-age adults find it difficult to even travel home for Christmas, much less explore the hidden beauties of Southeast Asia, courier flights can enable students like Tim to get a great education while traveling the world. —Melissa Miner
Tim Olsen floats downriver in Chang Mai, Thailand. Tim and his siblings were able to travel to Southeast Asia for under $500 each by acting as couriers. www.stowawaymag.com << 69
8 tips & tricks
Tips for Planning a Trip Be your own travel agent
Sometimes the hardest part about traveling is planning it. Maybe the trip never gets beyond that “we should go there” stage, or you end up lounging in a hotel room at your destination trying to come up with things to do, watching your precious time go down the drain. Here are eight tips for acting as a travel agent for yourself or your group to get the most out of that trip of a lifetime.
To get the best deals on accommodation and transport, start planning at least six months ahead for an inter national trip or three months for a stateside trip.
Make a daily schedule with a list of things to do each day. Include other important information, such as how to get there and how long it will take. Make sure you don’t cram too many things into one day. Take time to just enjoy being where you are—but have a couple of extra ideas in case you run out of things to do. Give everyone in your group a copy of the itinerary so they know what to expect.
Plan for the best—and the worst.
Make your fellow travelers (or yourself) commit early on so they won’t throw your plans through a loop later.
Put together an itinerary.
Hopefully your trip will go smoothly, but remember that life happens and Murphy’s Law reigns. Think of things that could go wrong and make a plan. What if you miss a connection? What if you get a flat tire? Consider external circumstances. Don’t plan a crazy first day if you’ll be suffering from jet lag, and remember to account for bad traffic or delayed planes and trains. If you’re going to a foreign country where they speak another language, create a basic phrasebook for yourself and your travel companions in case you get separated.
Know your expectations.
What do you and your fellow travelers expect from this trip? Find out what they want to see and do.
Use the internet.
The internet can tell you practically anything you need to know. Check out reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor.com to make sure your hotel doesn’t have bedbugs. Surf the web for ideas of things to do, see, and eat. Take a look at city websites to iron out plans for traveling on buses, trains, and subways. You can even use Street View on Google Maps to see if your hotel is in a posh neighborhood or trashy area.
70 >> winter 2011
Don’t go in blind.
If you and your travel buddies don’t know anything about the place you’re taking them, you probably won’t appreciate the trip. Before the trip, send out emails or make a blog with interesting historical facts and cultural tidbits about your destinations—in other words, why you picked it. For example, Gamla Uppsala in Sweden doesn’t seem like much of a place to visit until you realize those strange-looking hills are actually Viking burial mounds.
Relax and have fun!
Enjoy the trip and don’t forget that while an itinerary is immensely helpful, sometimes the best and most memorable adventures are unplanned. Don’t be afraid to break away from the plan if a fortuitous opportunity arises! —Julianne Long
Shoes say a lot about your sense of fun. At Stowaway magazine, we don’t just talk about what you saw. We want to know about the beaten path in Peru you randomly ran through simply because it looked “cool,” or the muddy field in New Zealand that was too dirty to resist. Shoes say a lot about where you’ve been and where you’re going. So . . . if your shoes could talk, what would they say about you?
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Call for submissions Stowaway
www.stowawaymag.com WWW.STOWAWAYMAG.COM << 71
tips & tricks
Picture Perfect in Inclement Weather After months of planning, you’ve finally made it to your dream destination —and what happens? A storm rolls in, and rain or fog or snow are getting in the way of all those great photos you were going to take. Now how are you going to get any photos? Here are a few suggestions on how to get a great photo in spite of the weather.
Dealing with Fog
Fog can add drama to a photograph in the way it obscures and reveals objects. Because the fog’s movements can change the look and feel of the picture in just a few moments, take lots of shots (that’s the beauty of digital photography—no wasted film!) and remember to be patient. The perfect photo might materialize if you just wait long enough. An issue with photographing snow is trying to capture falling snow. The enchantment of snowfall is the fact that it is moving, and since movement is difficult to catch with a still photograph, falling snow doesn’t show up well. Using a fast shutter speed may allow you to freeze the snowflakes in midair, but they might look like dust specks. Using a slow shutter speed so the movement of the snowflakes shows up can make the picture look like it is covered in white scratches. While it is snowing, take a few shots with various shutter speeds and do the best you can with landscapes. But look for other interesting shots, such as the details of an intact snowflake on a surface or the way snow mounds on top of objects.
Getting the Light Right in Snow
Crispy snowflakes capture the light of a setting sun in the Sawtooth Mountains of eastern Idaho.
72 >> winter 2011
The reflectivity of snow causes several huge problems for your camera—washed out highlights and dark shadows are two of the biggest. The fixes for photographing sunny snow all lie in manipulating your camera’s ISO settings (sensitivity to light), aperture size (how much of the film is exposed to the light), and shutter speeds or f-stops (how long the film is exposed to the light).
left: photo by Robert O. Stevens; right: photo by Diana Dzubak
Capturing Falling Snow
l ’amore In Italy its simply...
This bridge over Deception Pass, on Whidby Island in northwestern Washington, looms mysteriously out of the fog.
To reduce the glare of bright light, make the aperture smaller and the shutter speed faster, letting in less light. To bring details out of the shadows, open the aperture wider and use a slower f-stop, letting in more light and therefore allowing the camera to pick up details in dark areas. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to get the best of both worlds without digital photo editing, so you will have to choose which effect you want more.
Reading the Manual
While you’re at it, go ahead and pull out that chunky user’s manual or go to the internet to find out how to take advantage of all the features your camera came equipped with. Remember: just because you haven’t used a setting on your camera doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
Protecting your Camera
Another thing to remember when working with inclement weather: protect your camera from the elements. Getting water inside a camera in any way is a virtual death sentence for your camera, and it can be dangerous. Putting the camera in a Ziploc bag is surprisingly effective, as long as you hold the plastic tight against the lens while photographing. The next time you’re caught in a rainstorm or find fog billowing up around your perfect photo subject, remember that you can weather this one out. Go ahead and get snapping, and see if your perfect winter snapshot is waiting right before your eyes.
—Diana Dzubak www.Stowawaymag.com << 73
gadgets & gear
If the Shoe Fits . . .
D o nad oro C n Kee
o you remember your first day of college or your first day on the job? Going from class to class or task to task? Do you remember those lucky sneakers that barely had any sole left or those great heels that looked fabulous with your new outfit? Chances are you also remember the painful blisters and aching feet that gave a whole new meaning to the phrase “killer shoes.” Well, you don’t want to re-create that blistering experience when trekking past the Pyramids of Giza—or to let sore feet keep you from going the extra mile along the Oregon Trail. Like all serious travelers, you know you’re going to be doing a lot of walking. And you really do get what you pay for when it comes to footwear. So whether you are hiking in the Alps or wandering through museums, you won’t regret investing in some good shoes. We’ve done the research so you can jump into your travels with both feet and not have to worry about sacrificing style—or coming home with scars as souvenirs.
The Casual Traveler Keen® Coronado ($60)
• Patented toe protection and cork insole with arch support • Natural canvas with an oldschool feel so you can take your style on the road
rM o n t e C ri s t o
Sanuk® Vagabond ($55) • Breathable hybrid of a shoe and a sandal for ultimate comfort and style • Great for traveling—easily slip on and off and are made of flexible, lightweight canvas
The Summer Sightseer • Pebbled leather straps, cork midsole, and padded insole • Rubber grip outsole and adjustable strap for a safe, comfortable fit
E u r o s e p J i ll i e t
• Water resistant with a durable, non-slip outsole—great traction on wet and dry surfaces • Anti-microbial technology keeps them clean no matter what you take them through
The Business Trip Eurostep® Jillie ($60)
B a s s A lba n y
Bass® Albany ($60) • Versatile style—looks great with jeans, slacks, and suits • Soft leather upper and cushioned insole for comfort; textured rubber sole for traction
• Easy slip-on Mary Jane style • Lightweight yet durable fullgrain leather and rubber outsole
All of these shoes receive great wearer reviews for comfort and durability. But remember, whenever you get new shoes it’s a good idea to break them in. Camille Flanders, a 19-year-old student from Broomfield, Colorado, didn’t break in her new sneakers before touring Washington DC in them. She has always regretted having to pass up the opportunity to see the Jefferson Memorial because her sore feet wouldn’t allow her to walk the distance from the National Mall: “I felt like I had blisters the size of the Capitol dome,” she said, “and I’m still sad they kept me from seeing all the sights.”
π www.zappos.com π www.famousfootwear.com —Rebekah Atkin
74 >> winter 2011
left: Photography by Rebekah Atkin; right: Illustration by simini blocker
Naturalizer® Monte Cristo ($45) Teva® Monsone ($50) Te va M o n s o n e
What you leave behind matters more than what you take with you
Lighten Your Load
ust 45 square inches. Doesn’t sound like much, and truthfully it isn’t. But if “packing light” meant living out of a 45-square-inch suitcase for six weeks, then I guess it would have to be enough. The anticipation of my first trip outside the United States had me in stitches of excitement and nerves. Daydreams about what the rolling hills, the castles, and the people of the United Kingdom would be like swept me away from many a boring class lecture in the months before I left. But one thought would always bring me back to my hard desk chair with a thunk: could I possibly live happily out of a 45-square-inch suitcase—the size of a dresser drawer—for six weeks? People always recommend packing light for trips, offering pragmatic points like “less luggage is easier to carry” or “it’s less to risk losing.” But what about all that stuff I like to use in my day-to-day existence? What about the hair products, that extra pair of sneakers, my music collection, my movies, and constant internet access? I am quite attached to my possessions and sometimes feel naked without them. Not only that, I seem to have a phobia of being unprepared, whether it be for a bloody nose, a great photo opportunity, or simple boredom. Combine these two characteristics, and you have a girl who tried to cram her entire 18 years worth of stuff into the back of a Subaru when she went to college. Not exactly what you’d call light packing. I wanted to push myself a little more for this trip, so I cut my usual list of just-in-casies to only the absolutely-every-daysies. I decided that it would be worth it to leave behind most of my
technology and most of my preoccupation with my appearance; I decided that I would, for a time, trim down my ever-expanding palette of hobbies and interests. I took with me a camera, a small laptop for storing my 1,364 photographs, two novels, my iPod, a pen, and my journal. Not surprisingly, packing light did make it easier to move around, it made me less worried about losing things, and it proved all those other pragmatic points made by anonymous web advisors to be true. But it also added to my travel experience in a way I had not anticipated—I found myself living a simpler, cleaner life. Instead of living among and through my things, I was living among the people I was with and through the places I was seeing. It was absolutely refreshing and exhilarating, like relishing a simple piece of fine chocolate after glutting oneself on candy bars filled with distracting nuts, creams, caramels, and rice crunchies. Every morning I would shower, dress in one of four outfits, and pull my hair back—and I was ready for another day of adventure. I found time to write my thoughts in my journal and catch my inspirations on film. I enjoyed the occasional escape through my books or my music. But most of the time I simply enjoyed my surroundings. I breathed the air, I touched the walls and trees, I listened to the people on the train, and I watched the sunlight on the fields. I would not have enjoyed simple living had I been preoccupied with my stuff. Disengaging from my possessions allowed me to disengage from my western American lifestyle and engage instead in these new Welsh and English lifestyles that I was exploring. Since that experience, I have a very different opinion on packing. It is no longer a chore of cramming as much as I can into as small a space as I can. Packing is an opportunity to step outside my everyday surroundings, leave behind my ordinary attachments, and experience a different life— explore a different me. Next time you are packing for a vacation, stop and think not only about what you want to take with you, but also what you would like to leave behind. Traveling offers a unique opportunity to step away from your day-to-day distractions and rediscover that life is not the things you carry in your pocket—or in your suitcase—but the things you carry in your heart. —Diana Dzubak www.stowawaymag.com << 75
Your daily work will be anything but a chore.
Life is calling. How far will you go?
“Today I Run for Something More” Training for a Marathon in Ireland
Photo by Sara Moulton
Kristin Hatch, like many others, has always wanted to run a marathon. It has been part of her bucket list since she returned from serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2008. She wanted the chance to prove to herself that she could aim high, persevere, and see it through—a chance to prove that she wouldn’t give up. So you can imagine the shock when her doctor told her she couldn’t run because of arthritis in her knee. Yet, true to her character, she did it anyway. On October 21, 2010, Kristin journeyed to Ireland to run a life-changing race. She ran the “friendly” Adidas Dublin Marathon, a race that requires each participant to run for something more. Ten thousand runners from around the world raced for different causes, charity groups, and non-profit organizations. Kristin ran with Team in Training, a unique organization that trains people to fundraise and compete to beat cancer. Each member of her local chapter, the Desert Mountain States, raised a minimum of $4800 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They were also encouraged to run on behalf of someone who has or has had cancer. Kristin chose to run for her co-worker, 19-yearold Seth Cannon Spencer. She says, “Because of him, my life has changed. His perspective on life is
contagious. He is contagiously happy.” Just before leaving for the race, she asked him if there was anything he wanted her to think about when she hit “runner’s walls” or when the race got tough. He shared that when he had cancer he would think “OK, what am I supposed to learn from this?” And then he would try to learn it as quickly as possible. So while Kristin was running, she thought about what she was supposed to learn from her and Seth’s experience. She thought of him and of the difficult race he has had to run. Seth was first diagnosed with leukemia in February 2006. After his diagnosis, he went through eight grueling months of chemotherapy before his cancer went into remission. In December 2007, he had three subsequent months of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. But after the www.STOWAWAY MAG.C OM << 77
“I would wake up in the morning and think that today I don’t really feel like running, and then I would think about how Seth wakes up and says, ‘Today I don’t feel like having cancer.’ Seth doesn’t have that option.”
Seth is now using his contagious perspective on life as he serves a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 78 >> winter 2011
transplant, the marrow started to attack his body, a painful phenomenon called Graft versus Host disorder. Despite the difficult moments, Seth feels that cancer has been a tremendous blessing in his life. He says, “A few things I have been able to notice is that it has made me more dedicated and focused on the things I am involved in. It has helped me to better see the love my family has for me, and it has helped me to be more grateful for the things I have.” He is also extremely grateful for Kristin and adds, “I hope that the effort she is going through will help to make an impact in the lives of others who have a situation similar to mine. I know cancer is not a fun experience, and I feel honored that Kristin is willing to make an effort to help others who have a similar situation.” Training for the marathon was not easy. Like most college students, Kristin was going to school, working, and going on dates. There were days she wanted to give up; she says, “I would wake up in the morning and think that today I don’t really feel like running, and then I would think about how Seth wakes up and says, ‘Today I don’t feel like having cancer.’ Seth doesn’t have that option.” The race itself wasn’t easy either, but it was her favorite part. Throngs of cheering people from all around the world lined most
Picturesque park just outside of Dublin.
Left: Photography Courtesy of Kristin Hatch; Right: Photo courtesy of Seth Spencer
Traveling the Ireland countryside after running the marathon.
of the 26.2 miles. They yelled and encouraged as each runner passed. Kristin carried not only her own name on her jersey, but Seth’s as well. As she passed, people she had never met would yell “Go Kristin! Go Seth! You can do this!” The sense of accomplishment, ability, and support was amazing. Kristin reports, “I learned about human nature and about those willing to give to help, to open their hearts in a tough situation. I didn’t realize my support system was so huge.” This is a journey Kristin will look back on during tough moments in life. “I can look back now and see what I’ve done and know I can do it. Or at least I’ll know who to turn to. It’s not all about me. Caring for other people gets you through so many other things and takes you to a much greater height.” To see how Kristin did on the marathon or to read about all of her amazing experiences, visit her blog at
π www.pages.teamintraining.org/dm/dublin10/khatch5riz. To find out more about Team in Training or to become involved, visit their website at
π www.teamintraining.org —Brittney Price
A yellow door in Ireland. We couldn’t resist knocking!
Find yourself in the Alps
Powder Mountain 56 miles from Salt Lake City
adult: $825 young adult: $575 k-12: $200 k-12 honor roll: $180
Salt Lake city
Ski U park city heber
adult: $59 child: $32 night: $15
25% beginner 40% intermediate 35% advanced
Runs: 135 π www.powdermountain.com
Solitude 30 miles from Salt Lake City
senior: $359 nordic center: $195
senior: $45 adult: $68 beginner: $49 junior: $42
20% beginner 50% intermediate 30% advanced
Runs: 21 π www.skisolitude.com
Snowbird 28 miles from Salt Lake City
adult midweek: $699 college: $569
27% beginner 38% intermediate 35% advanced
Runs: 85 π www.snowbird.com
80 >> winter 2011
Photo courtesy of Roy Shuldberg
Best places, best prices, best snow on Earth.
reatest Snow On Earth.” Many every license plates in Utah scream this slogan. Thousands of people flock to the picturesque Rockies in the Wasatch front during the winter. In order to help you plan your weekend (or weeklong) getaway to ski or snowboard in Utah, we’ve compiled a comparison of resorts.
Canyons 29 miles from Salt Lake City
Pick one weekday (Monday-Thursday) and ski that day all season long for $279. Add additional weekdays for $89 more per day; add Fridays for $139; add Saturday for $379; and add Sundays for $229.
adult: $68 1/2 day adult: $56 beginner: $49
10% beginner 44% intermediate 46% advanced
Runs: 182 π www.thecanyons.com
Brighton 35 miles from Salt Lake City
young adult/student: $599
Runs: 66 π www.brightonresort.com
Alta 25 miles from Salt Lake City
Sundance 60 miles from Salt Lake City
adult midweek: $259 college midweek: $239
adult: $45 adult twilight: $20 child: $22 child twilight: $16
20% begginer 40% intermediate 40% advanced
Runs: 41+ π www.sundanceresort.com
adult: $725 adult midweek: $599 college: $599
adult: $69 adult p.m. (1:00-4:30 p.m.): $58 beginner: $36
25% beginner 40% intermediate 35% advanced
Runs: 116+ π www.alta.com
—Rebekah Atkin and Laura Thomas
www.stowawaymag.com << 81
Parting Shot Photo by Kristin Hatch
This tranquil hillside was once the site of a vicious battle between two Irish kings: Catholic king James the II and Protestant king William of Orange. The two fought over religion and the English, Scottish, and Irish thrones, both leading their armies across this field in July of 1690. William came out triumphant and his victory is celebrated every July 12 in Ireland. Today, the site has been rededicated as a place of peace.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” —Mark Twain
Geese make tracks in the snow across a bridge in Boise, Idaho’s Kathryn Albertson Park.
Published on Jan 3, 2011
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