My Best Coffee Moments While Traveling


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Coffee is a huge part of my life! I drink at least one cup every day even when I am traveling. And, since I am keen on photo themes lately I decided to go through my photos and find all of the (well, most of) the photos I have taken of coffee photo moments during my travels. Coffee represents serenity to me. It gives me a moment or two to just relax and think, especially when I travel and I am having my morning or evening coffee alone.

In these collages I have photos of coffee from London, Bahrain, Rio, Johannesburg, New York City, Washington, DC, and Addis Ababa and Hawassa, Ethiopia. And, even though I have been to Seattle, Belgium, and Kenya I don’t have coffee photos from those trips even though the coffee was stellar.

Coffe Collage 4 Coffee Collage 1

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Where I’d Rather Be…


New York City

… in New York City!

I haven’t been to New York all year and I really, really miss Manhattan.

I think I took this photo in September of last year! That’s a long time in traveling years and too long to be away from NYC!

There was a time when I was in New York every other week just a few years ago. I was that busy! But, now as I spend most of my time traveling abroad, I am feeling that I cannot forget to travel a little north to the greatest city on Earth.

September can’t get here fast enough! 

Fingers crossed that I can get to New York and I am not on a plane with passport in hand and a new time zone to adjust to.

Under the Sea and Through Mountains


I have an obsession with tunnels! The sheer level of engineering it takes to run a four lane tunnel underneath a body of water or through a mountain easily fascinates me. So when we’re approaching a tunnel during a road trip I always fumble feverishly for my camera or phone and watch the magic happen.

Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. Runs on 1-64. Constructed 1958.

Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. Virginia. Runs on 1-64. Opened 1958.

Lincoln Tunnel. Runs on 1-495. Opened 1937.

Lincoln Tunnel. New York. Runs on 1-495. Opened 1937.

Wild Acres Tunnel. Blue Ridge Parkway. North Carolina

Wild Acres Tunnel. Blue Ridge Parkway. North Carolina. Opened 1974.

Baltimore Harbor Tunnel. Runs on 1-895. Opened 1957.

Baltimore Harbor Tunnel. Maryland. Runs on 1-895. Opened 1957.

These aren’t even the only photos I have of tunnels. These are just the ones I could find this morning. Can you tell I am  a huge admirer of tunnels?

Don’t even get me started on suspension bridges!

Delaware Memorial Bridge - 8 lanes on 1-295. Opened 1951.

Delaware Memorial Bridge – 8 lanes on 1-295. Opened 1951.

Getting Your Hands Dirty in Social Media


New York City
Last week I traveled to New York to speak on the Women and Philanthropy panel at NYU’s Heyman Center for Philanthropy. Coordinated by NYU NYU Heyman Centerprofessor, author, and journalist Marcia Stepanek and moderated by NYU professor, journalist, and President of CauseWired, Tom Watson, I was honored to share the panel with author and social media expert Allison Fine, Vanessa Valenti, founder of Feministing, and filmmaker and app developer Nancy Schwartzman. We had a lively discussion about the ways in which women use social networks and their personal, authentic voices as free agents to push agendas, make their voices heard about issues that matter to them, and spur change both online and offline. We talked about some of the bigger issues from last year like the Susan G. Komen debacle and the rise of Malala’s voice through social media.

The audience that cold, wintry night was a mix of students and those working in the nonprofit sector in some capacity. One point that was hammered home, especially by Allison and me, is that in order to reach “real” people nonprofits have to be willing to get their hands dirty a little. They must be willing to try new communication approaches and not be afraid to fail. Everyone who works in social media has been dinged up a bit by trying something new and failing miserably. Oh, yes, we all have cuts and bruises from putting ideas out on social media and they don’t resonate. It’s all a part of the new media landscape. You win some and you lose some, but you’ll never learn if you don’t try.

Social media has democratized conversations on the Web and has completely changed the power structure of online communication. Many organizations especially those that are still used to talking at and down to people  – are now least effective at talking to people. It’s not about over-thinking strategy. It’s about getting down to the basics. That is, going to where people are and talking to them whether that’s on Twitter or Instagram. In this day, walls must come down in order to reach new audiences.

After our panel – which was exhilarating beyond measure – I reminisced on how much I miss talking on panels. I used to speak at all of the major mom blogging conferences and I must say the exchange of ideas was really great. Now I look forward to speaking more about social media for social good, the digital space, and how causes and nonprofits can best utilize new media to open conversations about what they’re doing.

Photos of New York

Going to New York would, of course, be useless without walking the streets and taking a few photos. When I’m in the city I soak in as much of the Big Apple before I’m off again for home.

New York City

New York City

New York

Going Home

And then, like that, the very next day we were on our way home traveling south on 1-81 to take in the scenery. It was gorgeous after a fresh snow.

Virgina

Virginia

A Photo Montage from My Travels


Rio - Brazil - Coppacabana - June 18

From time to time I like to look back at photos from the places I’ve traveled and remember those cities fondly. This year I have a lot of travel in store and can’t wait to share with you.

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[Photos] New York City


New York is a gritty place. That’s the best way I can describe it.

I love every bit of its grit.

New York is also filled with an energy that can’t be replicated anywhere in the world. It has character and wears it well.

I had to head up the east coast for a few meetings this month. As I usually do when I travel to New York I always whisper to myself how amazing it would be to live in the hustle and bustle of the city I adore so much. And then I come home and realize how great we have it: trees, simple living (to an extent), fresh air, family, beautiful Carolina blue skies.

In a plane I’m about an hour from Manhattan and driving it’s about nine hours away. Although I love New York I think I will have to reserve my longing to live in the greatest city on the planet to my frequent visits. I can always get my Manhattan fix whenever I need to and then come home where living is far more easy.

Even though I travel a lot I have only lived in one state. Sometimes I feel like the time is ripe for a family adventure and live somewhere else. And then I come to my senses and appreciate what we have and opt not fall into the trap of thinking everything is greener on the other side. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t. Even though we would love to pack up and live elsewhere – either here or abroad – we have to wait until the time is right. Who knows, that time may never come. Now, the time is right to simply travel and visit the amazing places the world has to offer.

New York City

New York City

New York City

New York City

New York City

New York City

New York City

My Summer


We are a few days shy of October and I am still wondering where in the world did August and September go. The more busy I am the more the months flow into each other forming one fantastic blur. One minute I am hearing cicadas buzz on my runs and the next I am thinking about Halloween candy.

The summer months for my family and me were filled with a healthy dose of travel with a few mini-breaks in between. Late last month we traveled to Atlanta (one of my favorite cities) for the first time in a year and also made our way down to New Orleans, a first for all of us.

I’m sharing a few photos from our travels so I don’t completely and utterly forget everything I’ve done in the past two months.

New York for Blogher

New York: at the UN Headquarters for the World Humanitarian Day Filming of Beyoncé’s video, I Was Here.

The rainy streets of downtown Atlanta after speaking at the Blogalicious Meetup hosted by Lamar and Ronnie Tyler.

A calm night on the W Hotel Buckhead Atlanta rooftop with my husband.

New Orleans two days before Hurricane Issac. Also, just an aside: I have never been anywhere on earth hotter and more muggy than New Orleans. Wow! It was hot.

Back in Atlanta on our drive back from New Orleans at my favorite place: the Westin Peachtree. You cannot beat the view. And now that they have renovated their rooms it’s our little home away from home when we travel to Atlanta.