Finding My Voice – and My Tribe

Finding My Voice – and My Tribe

Food + Feminism. Photo by the brilliant Alex Chapman. I started travel blogging the way most people do: to keep in touch with friends and family, and to let my mom know I was safe. But I have always been a political person, someone with a strong sense of justice, tons of opinions, and an allergy to keeping my mind shut. I like when disparate things connect, whether it means seeing Gilbert & Sullivan references alongside homages to Busta Rhymes and Ja Rule in Hamilton, or seeing the lessons of Amnesty International and Comparative Politics play out in tourism. So it should come as no surprise that I have brought my academic and activist background to my blog, just like I bring it everywhere else. For the first few years, though, that made travel blogging a very lonely place. To most travelers and travel bloggers, I’m a downer who won’t just let them enjoy their cultural appropriation and unchecked globalism in peace. On the other hand, travel blogging has always felt like the most frivolous thing I do, and at times I have held back from the more serious, academic writing many of my friends engaged in, because I was afraid of submitting pieces that wouldn’t be good enough. Since I graduated Northeastern in 2012, I’ve watched the general public bend closer to awareness and justice. I rarely have to explain what street harassment is anymore, and I’m continually surprised to see sexual violence, racial justice, reproductive rights, and other important social issues discussed by non-activists at parties and in my news feed. It seems while I had my head down...
Philadelphia in Photos

Philadelphia in Photos

A great opportunity called BlogHouse brought me back to the City of Brotherly Love, a decade after my first visit with Science Team in middle school. Lately I’ve been focusing on travel within North America, to new cities as well as returning to those I’ve always wanted to see again. At Sherry Ott‘s instruction, we set out to shoot the city in a unique way. I haven’t been doing as much street shooting lately, since candid portraits and photo essays have been dominating what little time I have for photography these days. It was good to get out there and flex the muscles; I hope you see not only a city you recognize, but a few surprises as well! Hiding from the heat outside the Liberty Bell.   This year, Visit Philly is focused on the many modern aspects Philly’s historic district, like Second Story Brewing. I only wish I had more time to check out all the other breweries. Philadelphia has a real growing craft beer scene!           Philadelphia does an amazing job translating its historical significance into fun experiences for all ages. This includes the “Once Upon a Nation” storytelling initiative, where docents at benches scattered throughout the historic district share engaging slices of Philadelphia history, often incorporating audience participation. Kids can even collect stickers at each bench, completing an American flag.       Historic Philly is just as lovely as I remember it, right down to the “busy body” on the window on the left, which was a clever way to see who was knocking at your door without being seen.  ...

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! Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens...
A Local on Boston Tours: What I Learned

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

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,...

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