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I recently traveled to Peru for a work trip with AdventureSmith Explorations and only had time for two small sketches. For photos from the journey, view my Instagram feeds: the personal/llama-filled @lis_k and the professional @adventure_smith, which features a fuller look at my wanderings in the Lares and Salkantay regions, Sacred Valley, Cusco and Machu Picchu. Huayna Picchu is sketched above while I waited in line for the gates to open; below is a view of Humantay Glacier, an acclimatization hike I took on the Salkantay trek. My full expert review is also now published on this trip – read my trip report.

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I’m back at AdventureSmith Explorations after some travels, now subbing in for their Content Manager while she’s on maternity leave. From social media posts (like the one above) to building new trip web pages to updating rates for the coming travel season, I’ve been busy! One of my coworkers is a hobby mixologist and his amazing craft cocktails inspired a new series on the AdventureSmith blog that I launched: Sunset Sippers, a craft cocktail paired with one of our small ship cruises. Chris essentially makes one of his drinks, and we brainstorm our ideal small ship deck and destination to sip it on!

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Trip building is one of my biggest tasks as the company grows and provides custom travel services for more and more small ship cruises around the world. One of the most recent trips and ships I built, Preservation Inlet Discovery, travels in New Zealand’s Fiordland region.

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Here is a picture of most of the team on a small ship cruise aboard the Tahoe Gal in our hometown. While we don’t sell trips on Lake Tahoe (no overnight accommodation allowed here), we can still benefit from some on-water experience.

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Browse the AdventureSmith blog to see more of my current posts.

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It’s been a fun dance the past few weeks juggling some serious travel (I’ve been as far north on the South Island as Totaranui and as far south as Te Anau) with my freelance editorial work. I accidentally hiked 24 miles in a day on the Kepler Track out of Te Anau in the midst of a proofreading deadline for GoldieBlox’s toy sets (parts from the GoldieBlox and the Builder’s Survival Kit pictured above)—and still hit my deadline! The trail was just so fun I kept going up and up, but eventually had to hike down all those miles. I’ve uploaded files from a sheep station, resized images at backpacker hostel kitchen tables, and pulled quite a few 6am wake-up calls to squeeze it all in. But I’m loving the flexibility of my work and how it is allowing me to visit such a special place like New Zealand. And one fun ironic thing is that I’m currently working on building up AdventureSmith’s New Zealand small ship cruise offerings, so I have been able to visit the places I’m writing about: Fjordland, Waiheke and Bay of Islands region, and today I head to Queen Charlotte Sound, where another of the company’s cruises sails.

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Yesterday I completed a Center for Basque Studies proofreading project on a book about Basque exploration in the Pacific Ocean by William Douglass. Such a great read, especially with me living in California and having spent time in many of the places detailed: Monterey Bay (reached in the mid 1500s), Morro Bay (late 1500s), and the San Francisco Bay (late 1700s). It’s amazing to read of the hardships and accomplishments of the crews, and at the same time sad to know the price the native populations paid for this European gain.

A few fun facts from the book: The Victoria of Ferdinand Magellan’s historic expedition was the first vessel to circumnavigate the globe. It was constructed in the Basque town of Zarauz in 1515 and completed the journey sailing into Sanlúcar de Barrameda, just north of Cádiz, Spain, in September of 1522 with just 18 survivors on board—Magellan not one of them, having died pursuing pagan conversion on Cebu Island in the Philippines. The Basque Juan Sebastian Elcano (Elkano) captained the vessel that historic day, though Magellan had already sailed to the Philippines there years prior so he technically completed his famed circumnavigation.

1589 Pacific Ocean map courtesy of the National Library of New Zealand.

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I completed copyediting another memoir, Snorkeling in the Soup, which is the companion book to Alan North’s Of Love and Stone. This tale follows the author on his rock climbing and cultural travels in British Columbia, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Yosemite. It tells of theft, struggle, triumph, injury, fire, friendship, love, divorce, and lots and lots and lots of street food. The author plans to self-publish, so I’ll keep you posted on the book’s release.

Nong Sam River photo by Carrie Kellenberger/flickr.

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The most recent proofreading project I completed for GoldieBlox is now available to buy! GoldieBlox and the Parade Float book/toy set teaches girls engineering principles (wheel and axle in this case) and builds confidence in problem-solving. I proofread the box cover as well as the companion book. Though she’s not pictured on the cover, be on the lookout for adorably evil Katinka, a mini dolphin ballerina.

And speaking of floats… did you see the GoldieBlox parade float at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? You can watch a video of it pre-parade here. So proud of this company and the play they promote!

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It’s always an honor to edit a memoir, especially one as well written Alan North’s manuscript, currently titled Of Love and Stone. Alan (a published author with his Urban Adventure Handbook, Ten Speed Press) has a natural writer’s voice and weaves a narrative taking us from present-day (his return to rock climb full-time in Yosemite) to past (recollections of his relationship and moments that lead up to his divorce). It was pitched to me by a friend as Eat Pray Love for men. Definitely lots of grit, and inspiring to read about the mental aspects of rock climbing. Keep your eye out for this one!