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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🌑Happy Solstice and Yuletide everyone! . ❄️Growing up in Alaska winter solstice was a day filled with promise and hope. Up until that point darkness creeps up consuming the daylight little by little until you think that there is no light left to give. But then you reach the turning point and little by little the light comes back into the day. I always liked the darkness bundled up in my cozy Alaskan childhood house with the family or going skiing or sledding with trail lights to light the way. But, I know a lot of people struggle with the darkness even I sometimes lose energy, motivation, and seasonal sadness can set in. . 🕯️Living here in Germany, the nights are long and the days are dark, but there is something about how Europe handles that darkness that makes things a bit easier. If you’ve ever heard of the German word gemütlichkeit or the Danish word hygge. They are words to describe how cultures come together to create good cozy feelings even in the face of darkness. It’s about mindfully indulging. Creating intimacy with yourself or loved ones. It's about finding pleasure in things that are here and now. Being as comfortable as possible with big blankets, mood lighting, warm drinks, and aromas that make you happy. Creating routines that you enjoy, a simple slow cup of coffee in the morning without a rush. Finding the balance in work, pleasure, comfort and duty. It’s about finding comfort in being yourself and things that bring your joy rather than giving in to trends. Disconnect from social media and connect with yourself and loved ones. Bundling up to go on long walks in the winter only to come home and draw a long hot bath and read a good book. Slow. Simple. Meaningful. Comfort. Pleasure. Self Love. . 🧦Today on the longest day of the year embody these words that describe a feeling of comfort, cozy, and good tidings. I hope you all find light on the darkest day - here in the northern hemisphere. For those in the south enjoy your summer solstice. . 🎄How do you embody hygge or gemütlichkeit? #wintersolstice

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.

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. :-/

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 interested in responsible, sustainable, or regenerative travel? . Perhaps you’re interested in learning more or continuing your journey to be a more mindful traveler? Then click my link in bio to register for a free panel discussion this Sunday hosted by @traversejourneys. I’m one of the panelists and I’ll be touching on responsible travel in Alaska among other things! I’ll be joined by Wes Esponsa, who is passionate about working with locals to build sustainable travel in Chile and the Patagonia region and Malcolm O'Neill, who fosters connections with outdoors through eco excursions. . It should be a great discussion, so make sure you register to join us via Zoom. We’re all in different time zones, so hopefully most of you will be able to catch it, and if not, if you register for the event you’ll have access to a replay. Can’t wait to *see you all there! . ⁉️If you have any questions related to the topic leave them below, so we can look at answering them.

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.

🎉♻️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!

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.

Since I moved to Germany I’ve been so thankful for the opportunity to slow down and enjoy a healthy work life balance. When I first left Alaska I ended up in Vegas. I was working a good paying job with decent benefits, but I felt like I was paying with my soul. I worked a minimum of 50 hours a week, including 10 hour shifts on Christmas, and like 15 hour shifts on New Years. I was made to feel guilty any time I wanted to cash in on my 2 weeks vacation. The two precious days I had off I spent exhausted. . Here in Bavaria we have 13 public holidays and most things are closed on Sunday, Sure it can be a pain in the ass if you forgot to buy coffee, but you just get by with what you have and take comfort in the idea that people are enjoying a day off focusing on themselves, their hobbies, spending time with family/pets, or just sleeping. Some companies even shut down their servers after work to prevent employees from working odd hours. Ganesh usually gets 6 weeks vacation. He hardly took any this year, so as of yesterday he is taking the entire month of December off for a staycation. I’m still working a bit, but we are both trying to focus on hobbies, relaxing, and our mental health. I think everyone should have the chance to take off holidays that are meaningful to them and not feel guilt or shame and honestly it is kind of nice to have an excuse to lay low on Sunday. . This year is going to be different though as many people won’t be working during the holidays, but at a personal cost to their income and livelihood. We’re usually pretty minimalist when it comes to gift giving, but this year we’re trying to find meaningful gifts that support small businesses, sustainable and ethical companies (including how they are treating their employees during the pandemic), making donations, and useful long-lasting gifts that support hobbies and personal growth. This year, IF you are engaging in gift giving (which no one should ever feel pressured to spend money beyond their means) it matters HOW you spend your money now more than ever. . 🎉What are some ways you are trying to create a meaningful holiday - even if it's just focusing on mental health?

🕯️Ganesh and I made an advent calendar this year. We each wrote 25 things we loved about each other, things we were thankful for, things we enjoyed about the year, things we are looking forward to in our future, things we are proud of in ourselves, and silly little mental ramblings. Every day we pull out the note from the other person, along with a piece of chocolate and read it out loud and then discuss it over coffee. I don’t think I realized how much both of us needed the positive affirmation boost. It’s the end of the year and the weight of everything seems to be looming, but starting our day on a positive note has made all the difference this December.. . 🎄We picked up a tree sourced from a local Bavarian farm this week and one of my favorite things about living in Europe is we just up and carried the tree home. We do most things here by foot or bike - grocery shopping, commuting, errands, and even hauling our tree through the neighborhood and bringing it up the stairs to our apartment. We have our van, but we’re really only using that for van trips and sometimes it's nice to just take what you can carry and nothing more.

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