Away She Goes

Global Adventures in Social Justice and Storytelling

  • A Local on Boston Tours: What I Learned

    This past March, 300 women descended upon Boston for the Women in Travel Summit. I was heavily involved, not only speaking at the conference and planning the event, but also hosting pre-conference events as the local organizer for Wanderful’s Boston meetup chapter. I have lived in the Greater Boston Area my whole life. I’ve lived […]

  • Violence, Agency, Photojournalism and Activism

    TW/CN: This post contains several famous graphic images. As someone who works in multiple media to mobilize people around causes, I’ve had a lot to think about this year. The entire Black Lives Matter movement has been a case study in average people mobilizing the masses in order to force traditional media coverage, as well […]

  • Open Wound: Life in a Batey

    On the first day that my fellow student researchers and I returned to Mata los Indios in the Dominican Republic, our trek was pretty muddy. As we squished and squelched our way to the batey, the velcro on my trusty Merrell sandals became so clogged that it wouldn’t function, leaving me with a raw, open […]

  • Hurling in County Clare: Up the Banner!

    Our first full day in Ireland turned out to be the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, between County Clare and County Cork. As we drove west from Dublin to Galway, we kept passing cars decked out in blue and yellow flags. As we got to Clare, we started seeing homes with all manner of decorations. Since […]

  • Beers for BARCC

  • Going Local in an Irish Pub in Dingle

    We went inside and found ourselves tiny stools immediately, since it felt like everyone in the tiny Irish pub was staring. There was a tourist couple, perhaps Spanish, but other than that the place was full of locals. The band was in the middle of a song as we got our beers and hoped no one would ask us to leave. The walls were covered in posters for music, beer, marches, and politicians, mostly in Gaelic, which I took as a good sign.

  • Dune Bashing in Qatar: Getting out of Doha

    As soon as I heard the term, I know I wanted to go do it. I've been in Doha, Qatar since the start of the new year running a conference for work. As part of an effort to let attendees relax and get to know the country better, our partners organized a caravan of off-road vehicles to take us romping around the desert near the Saudi border. The ride was actually quite gentle compared to my past experience in the Egyptian Sahara, but it was still thrilling to cruise along the very edge of a dune, and bounce around the desert for a while.

  • Cuba and the US to Normalize Relations

    As myself and basically anyone else paying attention has long said, President Barack Obama is officially going to normalize relations with Cuba. This goes much farther than his previous attempts to relax restrictions and warm up relations between the two countries.  I think this is an excellent use of the lame duck portion of a […]

  • Blitzfest in Perry Park

    Inspired by Porchfest, a much-beloved music festival held on the porches of private homes throughout Somerville, Nick Canton of Wolf Blitzer held the inaugural #Blitzfest in Perry Park in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Giveaway: the Women in Travel Summit 2016

As you may know, I’m on the planning team for the Women in Travel Summit (WITS), the only travel blogging conference for and by women. It’s held March 18-20, 2016 in Southern California at the Hotel Irvine, where 500 women travelers, blogger and entrepreneurs will come together to network, meet brands, and get excited about our adventures around the world! Aside from having a schedule packed with amazing speakers, I’m proud of the strong, supportive, diverse community we’ve built around WITS. One of the perks of being on the planning team is that I have a discount for you all and I’m giving one ticket to WITS away for free! So, here’s the deal: Tweet about why you’re excited to go to WITS, tagging me (@DeliaMary) and #WITS16 on twitter Get an additional entry (up to 10 total per person) for every time you share any of the following on twitter (always tagging me and #WITS16, of course!): A reason you’re excited to go to WITS My 10% discount code (DELIAWITS) with the registration link: http://bit.ly/WITStix This tweet about the contest Get 10 additional entries by registering for WITS with my 10% discount code (DELIAWITS) before the contest deadline The deadline to enter is midnight ET on 2/15/16 If the winner has already bought their ticket, we’ll refund it.  Need to be sold on the awesomeness of WITS? Watch this great video of last year’s event, made by one of our amazing volunteers, Jemma Byrne. Good luck, happy tweeting and see you in March! Like this:Like...

A Local on Boston Tours: What I Learned

This past March, 300 women descended upon Boston for the Women in Travel Summit. I was heavily involved, not only speaking at the conference and planning the event, but also hosting pre-conference events as the local organizer for Wanderful’s Boston meetup chapter. I have lived in the Greater Boston Area my whole life. I’ve lived both south and north of the city, as well as in Brookline, the Back Bay, Cambridge, and Somerville. I went on a million Boston tours during educational field trips as a kid, and my best friend growing up was a colonial reenactor. By the time I went to high school I had already seen Paul Revere’s midnight ride, slept over at Plymouth Plantation a couple of times, smooched a walrus at the Aquarium, been behind the scenes at Fenway, and driven a duck boat. I’ve pretty much seen it all and was excited to spend the weekend socializing and learning from the presenters, but I felt like my Boston street cred was pretty thoroughly intact, and Boston tours didn’t have anything new to teach me. And yet… Time to eat for the penguins at the New England Aquarium! There’s Always Something New Ariel, who went to Emerson and therefore spent way more time by the Common than I did, was a far better tour guide for the area immediately surrounding the conference. She showed us the Edgar Allen Poe statue, which I couldn’t believe I had never heard of, until I found out it was erected in October 2014. During the press trip of Boston tours for Wanderful’s bloggers, I finally made it to the Mary...

Violence, Agency, Photojournalism and Activism

TW/CN: This post contains several famous graphic images. As someone who works in multiple media to mobilize people around causes, I’ve had a lot to think about this year. The entire Black Lives Matter movement has been a case study in average people mobilizing the masses in order to force traditional media coverage, as well as how to use a loosely-tied grassroots network to subvert and exploit media coverage in service to a cause. Most recently, though, the photo of two dead toddlers whose bodies washed up on the beach in Bodrum, Turkey, has got the wheels turning. As a photographer, one of the questions I often grapple with is those situations where I find myself wondering, do I take the picture? Of course, the photographer in me answers: take the picture, you can always decide what to do about it later. But the advocate in me wonders about the harm that can be done just in the act of photographing. There’s also the idea that once an image exists, it could be seen by someone else like an editor who would take the decision about what to do with it out of my hands. Images like the ones of the boy on the beach in Bodrum always seem to simultaneously be completely necessary and yet eat away at the photographers who take them. In this case, Nilufer Demir, the photographer who took the image said, “I wished there was no problem in their country, that they hadn’t left it and hadn’t tried to leave Turkey and that I hadn’t taken this photograph. But as I found them dead,...

Open Wound: Life in a Batey

On the first day that my fellow student researchers and I returned to Mata los Indios in the Dominican Republic, our trek was pretty muddy. As we squished and squelched our way to the batey, the velcro on my trusty Merrell sandals became so clogged that it wouldn’t function, leaving me with a raw, open blister on the inside of my right ankle. Through cement mixing, dirt sifting, and slogging across Cruz Verde in the rain, keeping it clean and dry was impossible. I tried to go barefoot when inside and to refrain from complaining, but during an even muddier return trip to Mata los Indios, it was painful and dirt-filled. Mata los Indios, a small batey in the rural province of Monte Plata, is less than a mile from the village of Cruz Verde, where we were staying, but a world away economically. It’s hard to imagine that there is something smaller or more vulnerable than a village, but in the Dominican Republic, there is: a batey. A batey is a small company town that was set up for sugar cane workers decades ago. There are hundreds of them throughout the country, near the cane fields and usually owned by either the government or the owner of the fields. There have been times in the last century when workers were imprisoned on the batey until the work was done, and there was a time when all workers suspected of being Haitian were rounded up and murdered en masse. A typical batey cement block structure. Inside it would likely be broken up into several different homes.  Most of the sugar industry left the Dominican...

Hurling in County Clare: Up the Banner!

Our first full day in Ireland turned out to be the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, between County Clare and County Cork. As we drove west from Dublin to Galway, we kept passing cars decked out in blue and yellow flags. As we got to Clare, we started seeing homes with all manner of decorations. Since we were in Clare at the appointed time, our Vagabond guide, Wendy, asked if we’d like to stop into a pub to watch the match. This is a great example of the benefit of a small, personalized tour–they can be nimble in the way a large tour never could. Chatting with strangers in pubs while getting a glimpse of every day Ireland was really our top priority, so we were happy to go with Wendy’s improvisation. Like everywhere in Ireland, people were friendly and welcoming, answering all our questions about the sport. Hurling is like a blend of field hockey and lacrosse.  15 players on as side try to get the ball, or sliotar, through the uprights, either above the crossbar for one point, or below it for a goal, which is three points. They whack the ball with a stick called a hurley that has a bit of a clubbed end, which is scooped on one side. It looks rather like a field hockey stick. Wendy had gone over the basics of play and scoring, but it was interesting to learn more about hurling as a cultural institution.  Played for over 3,000 years, hurling is one of the Gaelic sports, governed by the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association.)  All the players are amateurs (one...

Beers for BARCC

Last year, my wonderful friend Liz joined my team for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) Walk for Change. As a fundraiser, she hosted a party with donated food and drink. The premise was that guests would donate to the BARCC Walk what they would have spent on a night out. The fundraiser was one of those great nights you hope they will all be, drinking pickle-backs and dancing to awesomely bad music. Liz raised a whole bunch of dough, but we realized the only thing holding her back from raising more money was the small size of her apartment. This year, Liz and I were determined to be even more competitive in the team standings. We also smartened up and joined forces with Hillary, who had captained her own team the year before. Lucky for us, Liz started working at Aeronaut Brewery in Somerville running their community events, and Hillary is a veteran of the food service industry. All three of ushad many friends who we knew wouldn’t donate to the BARCC Walk for a variety of reasons, but who would come to a fun event and throw cash in a jar. And so, #BeersforBARCC was born. Aeronaut donated the space free of charge, and Liz, Dillon, and several other Aeronaut bar staff agreed to work the event for no pay and no tips, which is so generous it’s bonkers. While folks would have to pay for the beer due to Massachusetts state law, we wanted them to feel like they were still getting a worthwhile experience in exchange for their donations. So Hillary and Liz got...

Going Local in an Irish Pub in Dingle

We went inside and found ourselves tiny stools immediately, since it felt like everyone in the tiny Irish pub was staring. There was a tourist couple, perhaps Spanish, but other than that the place was full of locals. The band was in the middle of a song as we got our beers and hoped no one would ask us to leave. The walls were covered in posters for music, beer, marches, and politicians, mostly in Gaelic, which I took as a good sign.

Dune Bashing in Qatar: Getting out of Doha

As soon as I heard the term, I know I wanted to go do it. I’ve been in Doha, Qatar since the start of the new year running a conference for work. As part of an effort to let attendees relax and get to know the country better, our partners organized a caravan of off-road vehicles to take us romping around the desert near the Saudi border. The ride was actually quite gentle compared to my past experience in the Egyptian Sahara, but it was still thrilling to cruise along the very edge of a dune, and bounce around the desert for a while.

Cuba and the US to Normalize Relations

As myself and basically anyone else paying attention has long said, President Barack Obama is officially going to normalize relations with Cuba. This goes much farther than his previous attempts to relax restrictions and warm up relations between the two countries.  I think this is an excellent use of the lame duck portion of a second term–perhaps clean up the drone and torture programs and fix students loans and immigration on your way out and we’ll be square, Mr. President. Here are my biggest take-aways from the speech: The Pope was instrumental in this negotiation.  The Pope has always had great popularity in Cuba, and his predecessor’s visit there was seen as an acceptance of Afro-Cuban religions that riff on Catholicism.  The papacy continues its legacy of advocating for the release of political prisoners, and for greater respect of human rights. The US Special Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy will become a true US Embassy once again.  Will workers there no longer receive hazard pay?  We should expect to see an influx of official visits from American politicians, although there have been some already. I’m not surprised that the release of Alan Gross and the remaining Cuban 5 (Los Cinco Heroes) were major points in bargaining (along with an unnamed US operative), although Obama chose to refer to the 5 as agents, continuing the US government’s stance in the face of pretty compelling evidence. To learn more about the Cuban 5, check out the movie The Trial (El Proceso.) Cuba’s placement on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorists will be re-examined by State.  Relations could never fully normalize without...

Blitzfest in Perry Park

Inspired by Porchfest, a much-beloved music festival held on the porches of private homes throughout Somerville, Nick Canton of Wolf Blitzer held the inaugural #Blitzfest in Perry Park in Somerville, Massachusetts.

About Delia

Delia is an activist, writer and photographer who has been traveling the world part-time since 2006. She works in international development and financial inclusion, and has a background in study abroad, human rights, and politics.

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