Independence Day feels like a perfect time to launch my new blog, as it celebrates all that is wonderful and diverse about America.
Once upon a time, or maybe just a year ago, I had a blog about my aquatic adventures, The Salty Scientist. It was about my journey as a Fund For Teachers Fellow, evaluating ocean acidification in the Keys and Australia. It started as part of my duty of publicizing the nonprofits funding my expedition, while sharing my scientific findings with my students. What it evolved to was a connection to my friends and family, sharing my knowledge, and finding like-minded strangers that were just as passionate about the ocean as I was.
I moved from Palm Harbor to West Palm Beach last August after my fellowship. I continued my blog when I returned to school as a teacher, but as I made the transition to corporate America in December, my blog fizzled out. Since I was not interacting with the ocean all day as a Chemistry and Marine Science teacher, writing about it was not at the forefront of my mind. I thought about starting The Salty Scientist up again, as a few of my friends and family members said they loved reading about my adventures. But to be honest, my life wasn’t as glorious sitting in a cubicle as it was trekking the East Coast of Australia.
I have gotten sad from time to time that I am no longer a teacher. I would not have a summer off again to go explore a different environment. I could not spend my mornings underwater and my afternoons soaking up the sun while evaluating my water data. My Florida Keys and Australian science expeditions had seemed to come to an end.
I settled into my job and South Florida life, and found myself surrounded by so many cultures. My group of friends and colleagues ranged many different ethnicities. I became fascinated with their cultures, asking them what growing up was like for them, how to say “the bad words” in their language, and trying their favorite foreign candies and foods.
With wanderlust grabbing a hold of my heart, I decided to start backpacking my backyard. I began seeking out unique experiences in my new home in South Florida. I spent my dinners at Turkish restaurants and Brazilian backyard barbecues, and filled my days with snorkeling Jupiter and biking the Hollywood Broadwalk (if you don’t know how to yell in Spanish, it can be hazardous). I brought these experiences home to my journal and also to my kitchen, creating ethnic recipes trying to emulate my new favorite dishes (and discovering Sofrito can go in almost anything). I want to share my “global local” journey in a blog.
I have found SoFlo to be an amazing place. It’s hot, bipolar, colorful and spicy. I fell in love with the place where all the misfits have found their home, including me. I am looking forward to writing about my experiences, recipes, personal accounts and am making a commitment to this forum.
I hope to spark interest in others to explore other cultures in their hometowns. I invite everyone to share their journeys with me, or join me for a local expedition.