Susanna Shankar

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I was born and raised in small-town Alaska in the midst of glaciers and mountains. I realized one day after traveling that I was too big for my small town and set off to explore the world. I landed in Munich, which is now my home base. I'm a vocal advocate for the planet and focus on sustainable and responsible traveling. When I am not outside, you can find me in a burrito blanket drinking whiskey and playing video games. My blog is a sustainable outdoor adventure blog that hits pause for nerdy city breaks.

Location Munich Germany
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💸In my last post, I talked about tourism leakage. (The discussion was amazing - thank you to everyone who commented!) . 🛳️One of the things I touched on but didn’t go into too much detail about was the idea of seasonal labor. In areas where tourism has peak seasons many tour operators, businesses, hotels, and restaurants capitalize on this and run at max capacity for 4 months out of the year. At the end of the season, many tourism-related businesses close up shop or work minimal hours. Many locals may not find these jobs appealing as they often want reliable steady year-round work. The individuals that take the jobs often have the mindset to save money and spend little locally before they leave. Seasonal labor is often essential, but so is supporting stable year round jobs. 💣This type of boom and bust cycle happens in Alaska. I worked for a locally-owned tour company that only employed a handful of people year-round and I was one of a few local Alaskans who lived in the state year-round.  ❄️One of the most powerful ways to slow this import and export leakage is to visit places off-season. Yes, you’re likely to notice some businesses and excursions are closed, but the ones that are open are employing year-round Alaskans in stable jobs.  🍺My favorite brewery in Alaska is in the small town of Talkeetna. They thrive on the income from the summer tourism season but stretch every penny to keep their taproom and restaurant open year-round. In doing so, they provide 50 year-round jobs in a town of 800. Every person that heads all the way out to Talkeetna in the winter and stops by the brewery and stays overnight in one of the quaint historic hotels helps these locals keep their job a little longer.   🗨️What is your favorite place to visit off-season? I always recommend people visit Alaska off-season. I also love Munich in the quiet winters.  🗣️What is the best thing about your hometown off-season?

20 Amazing Things to do on a Long Car Ride

Because we’re about to hardcore swan dive into, count em, 20 of the most amazing things to do on a long car ride – activities that you never really considered before and that will help you transform your road trip into the journey of a lifetime. So, get creative and, like I said earlier, write a blog post about the trip, record daily activities in a travel journal, take photos, vlog it up and record some road trip videos, or buy a souvenir from cool places that you stop at along the way. No matter what though, make sure it’s a fun and engaging way to share your memories with others and you look for fun things to do on a long car ride. Because during my road trip from New York to California, I’ve seen the World’s Largest Ball of Twine, The World’s Largest Kalidescope, and the World’s Largest Donut.

🐝Sustainable Travel in Munich - Save this post for when it’s safe to visit Munich. 🥨Munich is known for beer and pretzels. I think Munich is better known for its sprawling urban parks, green initiatives, urban rewilding projects, bike friendly culture, and outdoor lifestyle. This makes Munich a perfect destination for a sustainable urban city break.  🌸Visit off-season: Munich has so much to offer in spring, autumn, and the dead of winter.  🐌Stay Longer: Most people just pop into Munich for a day on their way to another city. Spend at least 3 days exploring the historic charm, alternative side, and take a day trip to the mountains.  ♻️Reduce Your Waste: Munich has a pfand system, meaning beer gardens don’t use single use plastics. Beyond that, most bottles you get from a supermarket can be returned as part of a circular economy.  🌳Green Spaces: The city just completed an urban rewilding project to restore the Isar river to a wild natural state bringing back biodiversity, flood protection, and clean water. The English Garden is one of the largest urban parks in the world.  🚉Green Transportation: Walk or bike the city for a carbon free stay. Public transportation is energy efficient if you choose to hop on a bus. 🍺Culture & History: Munich has cultural events happening year round from May Day celebrations to folk festivals. Visit the Jewish museum. 🖐🏿Local & Diverse Businesses: Look for the Kauf Lokal sign to support local small businesses. Don’t forget to try the West African, Vietnamese, and Afghani food - it's amazing in Munich! 🛏️Eco Accommodation: Interested in a vegan hotel built completely out of wood that makes a strong stance against racism and homophobia with words and actions? Or how about hotel with a bee farm on the roof using 100% renewable? Munich has that! 🥦Vegan Food: Want to try authentic Bavarian schnitzel, but you’re vegetarian? - you’re in luck! 🗨️What is one way you want to visit Munich more sustainably on your next visit? Visit my link in bio for a whole post!

A Local's Guide to Sustainable Travel in Seward, Alaska

This guide to Seward with lots of local recommendations for things to do will ensure you’re visiting this small community sustainably, responsibly, supporting local businesses all while experiencing just like the locals. It’s local businesses, businesses with environmental commitments, ecotours, and eco-accommodation, enjoying nature with minimal impact, learning about the ecosystems, farm to table dining, and local experiences. I recommend booking a hiking trip with guides through Exit Glacier Guides, which is an Alaska owned company and has been doing business employing local Alaskans for more than 15 years! Visiting Seward with this sustainable travel guide and my local travel tips will ensure you experience the best of Seward, Kenai Fjords National Park while supporting local businesses and providing environmental awareness.

🎫Are you curious about tourism leakage? 💸Tourism Leakage is when the money you spend on travel "leaks" out of the local economy. According to the UN, on average, for every $100 spent in a developing country, $95 leaks out of the country. If I spent $100 on holiday, $95 of that might go toward an international airline, a foreign-owned hotel chain, and imported products. ➡️There are two types of tourism leakage - Import and Export. 💰Import leakage happens when destinations spend money importing foreign goods, labor, or services. This takes away from the profitable bottom line of hotels, restaurants, and other tourism services AND locals lose out on revenue and business. We can help avoid leakage import by supporting and asking for local products - look for local food and beverages, amenities, and products. Some import leakage is caused by tourists demanding the “comforts of home” as they travel. Embrace what makes the destination unique. Travel off-season to support local year-round employment. 🛳️Export leakage happens when large foreign-owned tourism corporations build lavish tourist facilities that may outcompete with a local company. Profits from multinational hotels/cruises are exported out of the country. We can help prevent export leakage by avoiding foreign-owned all-inclusive resorts which often result in an 80% leakage. Utilize local guides, small tour groups that hire locals, or plan your itinerary that hinges on locally-operated impactful tourism. We can't 💯 prevent leakage, but we can be aware it exists and strive to do as much as we can to slow the leak. 🗨️Leave a comment with an example of import or export leakage in your home city, state, or country, and how travelers can help slow the leakage - so we can all learn to be more responsible travelers when we visit.  🗣️In the comments, let me know some ways that try to slow tourism leakage as you travel (or ways you plan to in the future). 🤝 Feel free to share to your stories! ➡️Head over to my link in bio for a full post on tourism leakage.

What is Tailwind and How Can I Use it to Skyrocket My Pinterest Traffic?

However, this task is important because when you’re scheduling the same pin to multiple boards, you want to make sure that your pinning behavior doesn’t look super spammy or that you’re not inundating a group board with tons of pins at the same time. a member of and see exactly how many pins you’ve submitted to the tribe versus how many pins you’ve repinned from others (To see this, just hover above your name in the list of members section in the Tribe and you’ll see what you’ve submitted vs. what you’ve reshared). From here, select the Tribes you want to add this pin to (just check the box of each Tribe you want to submit to) and click the “Add to Tribe” button to confirm. * Use the Tribe Preview Button: Click on this button before you join a Tailwind Tribe to assess the quality of the pins in the Tribe and to see information in the Tribe Overview section on the number of reshares vs the number of repins from the Tribe.

🌲Hi, I’m Sooz, and I’m a self proclaimed tree hugger. So much so, that when I was in kindergarten I started a club called the Little Tree Club. Our mission was to protect little baby trees from being trampled on during outdoor play time. I rescued a damaged tree one day and brought it home. I planted it in my backyard to honor my guinea pig that passed away and nurtured it into a nice big adult tree. My mom was not too happy about this because what started as a little tree quickly grew into a massive pine tree and took over her yard and garden. The squirrels and birds love it though, and she loves bird watching, so we cool now. 🦉I walked to school growing up and I had to walk through a little forested area. I remember sometimes encountering the occasional moose - that’s a legit reason to be late to school, if you ask me. I loved that little slice of forest. My sister, friends and I used to spend hours playing make believe, hide and seek and observing bugs, plants, fungi, and birds.  🌳The older I get my love for trees only grows stronger. They still provide me with a place to play and enjoy nature, but I also understand my dependence on their ability to sequester carbon, create oxygen, prevent erosion, keep stream ecosystems cool and healthy, and host the hundreds of species that depend on them. 🌴Do you visit different forests when you travel - what's been you're favorite? I love seeing different forests are around the world - from the Tongass forest in SE Alaska, to the remnants of the Hercynian Forest in Germany, the redwoods in the US, the Daintree tropical forest in Australia, to the Tropical forests in Panama - they’re all amazing! 🌱Have you hugged a tree today?

23 Amazing Gifts for People Who Work from Home

Not only can it easily fit beneath your desk, enabling you to exercise while you’re working from home, but it also has an easy to read, LCD display screen that tells you exactly how long you’ve been pedalling, the distance you’ve traveled, the number of calories you’ve burned, and more. So, if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to transform your sitting desk into an ultra-modern standing work station, then this VIVO stand up desk converter Plus, this package actually comes with gift wrapping and personalized message options, making it feel a bit more personalized and like you actually put some thought into this gift. That’s why, if you’re looking for the perfect gift for people who work from home, then look no further than this awesome, Basic Concepts, Under Desk Footrest for just $23.95.

🎉♻️I’m so excited to announce that Curiosity Saves Travel is live! ➡️ Head over to or the link in my bio for new posts and a fresh new look. . 🌿Launching Curiosity Saves Travel feels like a dream come true, to be honest. It has been something at the tip of my fingers for nearly two years, but I hesitated on taking the leap. The pandemic, the crash of the travel industry, and going back to school propelled me forward, and I knew it was time to make the change. My former name, Wandering Chocobo, was an homage to my geeky video game obsessed self. I planned to travel the world to see the geeky haunts and nerdy digs around the world. (I’m still that person that openly admits to spending most of the quarantine completing every quest in the entire Xenoblade series). But, the more I traveled, the more I connected with nature in new ways. I enjoyed learning about how different cultures viewed the environment, learning about cool animals around the world, seeing beautiful ecosystems, meeting friendly locals, and learning about sustainability from my aunt in India. So, as my travel transformed over the last few years, I’m proud to transform my travel blog. . 🌍In the coming months and years, I hope to grow my site to be a reliable and practical resource for sustainable and impactful travel. The negative environmental impacts of tourism often dominate the conservation, overshadowing the regenerative and positive force that I know travel can be. It is up to us, as travelers, to open ourselves to curious exploration and make simple changes. In doing so, we can ensure both our destinations and ourselves are better than when we arrived. . 🌈Thanks for being on this journey with me for the last few years. I look forward to the next chapter. . 🌞I’m looking for guest posters - so please reach out to me if you want to join my small, but growing, list of contributors. . ❄️Let me know what you think of the new website in the comments. I’m so excited to share the rebrand!

🦏Every new natural area you travel to comes with its own set of guidelines to protect you, nature, and local residents. @ecokats has some created local do’s and don’ts for visiting National Parks in India. We can certainly follow some universal guidelines, but it’s important to do research so you know what the appropriate behavior is while visiting different natural places as you engage in ecotourism. 🦁She also created a guide to some of India’s most amazing biodiversity including the one-horned rhino, snow leopards, Asiatic elephants, lions, leopards, and more! India is often featured for its grand architecture and delicious food, but with over 100 National Parks it is a hotspot for biodiversity. Who is ready to book a future trip to India for a safari with local guides? I know I am! 🧐So, how do you find the unique guidelines for natural protection as you travel to engage in sustainable ecotourism? Reach out to the National Park visitor center, google it and check government websites, check tribal or Indigenous websites and resources, and use local experts like @ecokats as a resource.  ➡️Head to the link in bio and click ecotourism to read Ketki’s guest posts for some inspiration to see nature in India. And make sure you follow her for sustainable travel with a focus in India. ⁉️🗣️What are some unique local guidelines for natural areas in your region and why do they exist? Let us know in the comments. Here in Germany, certain regions are off-limits during spring or winter, as threatened birds are nesting or experiencing food scarcity.

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