Read Next

State of the Island 2016

On Tynan

I'm going to start writing a little wrap-up about the island every year, partly because I want to chronicle it for my own reading later, but also because there's been a lot of general interest in the island.

If you're late to the party, nine friends and I bought an inexpensive island off the coast of Halifax in 2013. It was untouched forest when we bought it, but we have now built trails as well as structures, the only significant one being a 30' diameter yurt.

This year we got two trips in. The first was a massive trip with twelve different people coming and going, averaging eight to ten at any given time. Five of the owners came on that trip as well as seven guests.

Having so many people here at once was a feat in and of itself. I think the maximum we'd had before was four. But this is the first year that the yurt was up, as we finished it at the tail end of the preceding summer, so we had plenty of space for everyone.

Thinking, Traveling, Thanking.

On Chocolate Milk in a Wine Glass

In my short 19 years on this lovely planet, I've lived in the US. I've traveled to the Cayman Islands, England, Spain, France (and Monaco), Italy (and the Vatican City), Canada, and Ecuador (the Galapagos included).

I love traveling. Since I was a little girl, I've dreamed of traveling to China, and I still intend on making it there someday. But in little travel I have done, I noticed two things: 1) how different everything seemed and 2) how familiar everything seemed. Both of things things were very important to travel and to putting me in the mindset that I often fall into while traveling.

We're all people. We all live on the same planet. We all breathe the same air. We all care about similar things. But there were some things that I knew I could never experience, never feel. Ever.

In Ecuador, the group I was traveling with visited as many schools as we could and donated as much as possible to the schools. I always left the schools sobbing, without fail. It was a tremendous experience. There was one encounter in particular in the school we visited in the Amazon region of Ecuador.

We drove up to the village on our big coach bus and the girls all gathered in a cluster just outside the door. They each held bunches of flowers in their hands and as each one of us stepped off the bus, they'd exclaim in unison "Hola" and one of the girls would push a flower into your palm. It was a very warm and joyful welcome. We got situated off the bus, introduced ourselves to the kids, and then we got our boots on because we were going to plant trees. Each of the kids were instructed to choose one of us by taking our hand in theirs and wait patiently beside us until everyone had found a partner. They then led us up the rather steep hillside to an area with a bunch of markers in the ground. This marked the hole where we would plant our tree.

Rendering New Theme...