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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Dresden was the first city I had been to outside of Munich since lockdowns have eased in Europe and it was a doozy 🤯😍 . The beauty of this city is unlike any other European city I’ve seen. Dresden was completely destroyed in WWII, in a firebombing killing tens of thousands of people and leaving piles of rubble at this very spot. Women, called Trümmerfrau (ruin removers) were put to work to clean some of the rubble getting paid 6 marks a day, when a loaf of bread cost 80. However, not all the rubble was removed and I have a friend who grew up in a nearby town and he recalls Dresden always having a pile of rubble in the middle. Then in 1993, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, restoration of Dresden began. While many European cities were rebuilt with haste and limited budget (Munich has a fancy facade that is just painted on to look grand) after the war, Dresden was carefully reconstructed to appear in its former glory, based on old photographs - and it is glorious indeed. Reconstruction only completed about a year or two ago and you’ll still find some scaffolding around. Wandering around the streets of Dresden was enchanting. For someone like me from Alaska, Dresden oozes European charm . We are still in the middle of the pandemic, so we rented bikes to get around, avoided crowds, kept our time in the city to a minimum, wore masks, stayed outside, rented an apartment outside the city, and took other precautions to make sure we and those around us were safe.

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.

Crossing the Austrian/Italian border by foot was an incredible experience. . After days of snow, rain, and colder conditions, we entered the valley on the border. With 80 glaciers in the high mountains waterfalls roared around us as we put one foot in front of the other. As soon as we reached the valley ridge the sun began to shine - because of course the sun would be shining in Italy. We all celebrated with a shot of schnapps and an Italian espresso before continuing on our way through Italy. . The trek we did was created to bring local sustainable tourism to some smaller towns in the region and we were greeted by many smiling faces telling us to have a good hike and encouraged us along the way to our final destination. I felt motivation to finish even when my feet told me I might not survive. . After 7 days, almost 90km, and crossing three countries it was so cool to see the geology, flora, fauna, food and language change with each passing step. It made me appreciate the challenge of slowly getting to your destinations and appreciating all the small details along the way. . ⁉️I hope you enjoy virtually hiking with me. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about multi-day hiking in Europe, or if doing something like this is on your bucket list. . Thanks for the amazing memories

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.

We took our shiny new van out for a test trip this weekend! It was amazing, as expected. . We were supposed to move back to North America this year, but that didn’t happen for several reasons (immigration bans and pandemics, you know - the usual). Honestly, I was thankful for the chance to stay in Europe for a while longer. But, one of the things I was most excited about going back to N. America was buying or building a camper van. But, then I was like, if we’re going to be in Europe for a while longer, why can’t we have one here? So, we decided to commit to a long-term lease from @roadsurfer and we’re so happy! . Camper-vaning in Europe is much different than Canada/US because as a densely populated continent, Europe has a lot more guidelines for where you can and can’t set up camp. This means people flock to campsites where they are packed in like sardines. But, we found a hidden gem of a campsite in Austria on a small family owned farm offering plenty of space, refreshing mountain air, and stunning lake views. Because it was off season, we mostly had the place to ourselves. Even though it was raining, we took time to get outdoors, celebrate some exciting life events with bubbly, and practiced working and hobbying while on the road. . But, we did cut our trip a bit short, and that flexibility is the beauty of traveling in a campervan. Saturday Merkle, our German Chancellor, urged Germans to avoid travel unless absolutely necessary. In addition the region of Austria we were in went to a code red alert (the first of its kind for Austria). So, we packed up and headed home, as it is important to listen to experts and the pleas of your government, so we can avoid stricter lock down measures in the future. Because we were in Austria for more than 48 hours we are supposed to take a COVID test at one of our free drive in testing spots in Munich and quarantine until we get negative results. We will keep using our van this winter as it's safe to do so, but always be ready to come home as needed. How are you all doing? It’s been a while since I’ve checked in. During quarantine I’m working on school, my new website and failed at baking in Germany once again. :-/

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.

Traversing through the Zillertal Valley was one of my favorite days of our 7 days Trans-Alp. . I often visit the Zillertal Valley in winter, because it's a great place to go snowboarding. So, it was no surprise that I also enjoyed visiting in the summer - blooming with wildflowers, sprinkled with plump blueberries, and panoramic views of charming villages below. Except for hikers, these areas were empty in summer, as resorts made money off a long and profitable ski season. However, lately I’m finding many resorts are embracing summer activities with 4x4 mountain go karts, high elevation playgrounds, off road scooters, mountain biking, and nature parks. I’m happy to see people outdoors enjoying summer, but as an avid snowboarder I must admit seeing these changes is another reminder of poor quality ski seasons as of late. . Leaving the ski resorts behind we entered some true quiet solitude away from the popular day hikes. It was just our small group and mist that gave us little peeks at the valley below and the eerie forest ahead. We passed a memorial to Bruno the Bear, the first bear seen in Germany in 170 before the Bavarians shot him. Admittedly Bruno was feasting on chickens and other farm animals, but also tourists flocked to get a view causing additional human and wildlife conflict. Many saw him as aggressive and 'misbehaved' Germany is a densely populated country with valuable farming regions. I hope that moving forward, solutions to protect the return of wild species and the livelihood of locals are found, especially as wolves, lynx and other larger predators make their way back to Germany.

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.

Wandering Chocobo / Susanna Shankar stands in alliance with @theblacktravelalliance who is calling travel brands and destinations to take the support of #BlackOutTuesday beyond social media and work towards a meaningful representation of Black voices in the travel industry. . Please join the movement and ask all travel companies who have released a statement of support of Black Lives Matter to #PullUpForTravel and—within the next 72 hrs—publicly provide the following information, because posting a black square isn’t enough. Employment - Number of Black people in management & on staff Conferences & Tradeshows - Black representation on speaker panels, workshops, sessions, etc. Paid Advertising/Marketing Campaigns - Black representation in TV, radio, print and digital channels including social media Press - Black representation on media/press trips Philanthropy - Charitable contributions and support (i.e. mentorship and intern programs, etc.) to Black charities and community group If you made statements and policies advocating equal opportunity, show us the proof! If you don't have stats, provide the next steps on how you plan to level the playing field. #PullUpForTravel #BlackTravelAlliance Head to the link in my bio to sign up to show your support and find more ways we can change the travel industry together.

I’m Susanna and for those that didn’t know I’m married to this wonderful gem of a human, Ganesh. . Ganesh was born in Singapore with an Indian passport, but moved to Australia as a kid and became an Aussie citizen. He’s as Australian as they come - chill, loves a good barbie, laughs when he blows a plugger, and speaks in code. As someone who has lived in and immigrated to several countries, he is no stranger to the hardships of being a foreigner, the hassles of visas, citizenship, or moving overseas. As someone who lived on the same road most of my life, I find his will to embrace the unknown inspiring. . When Ganesh and I decided to move to Europe together, it was scary, but rewarding. Germany has been incredibly kind to us, granting us permanent residency and endless opportunities for work, friendship, health, and happiness. But, we wanted to be closer to family and late last year we decided to move to Seattle Dec 2020, with a transfer within his company. His new role had the potential to make some positive changes in tech! We, naturally, began to have serious doubts about moving to the US regarding the way they are handling 2020 in general, but there are still many positives about my home country. . 😤However, immigration lawyers told us we can no longer legally move, and our move was canceled. Our decision was made for us due to a string of executive orders targeting green cards and skilled work visas. I’m dealing with emotions I can’t fully process at the moment, but they are a mix of anger, frustration (I mean, as a US citizen I can't legally move to my home country with my foreign husband WTF) but there is also some relief to be honest. . We are privileged and are thankful to stay in Germany as long as needed while we explore other options outside the US, if we want to be closer to family. Many who are seeking visas to the US do not have this privilege, there are those who are separated from family, and people at risk of being deported. . Edit: thankfully the students being deported for online school as been rescinded!

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