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Santa Barbara, Ca

I'm a full-time rambler and contract designer with as many skill sets in my quiver as there are plane tickets in my passbook. I've worked in ornamental iron, jigsaw puzzle design, bookmaking, glass engraving, and a variety of other mediums. I'm currently living out of a backpack as I trek my way around the world.


Joshywashington's Beluga Adventure in Manitoba, Canada

Zak Erving

via Matador Network

I've long been drawn to blown-out open space and empty landscapes, so convincing me to visit deserts or plains should never be too difficult. So when Josh Johnson (alias Joshywashington), my editor and the faculty head at MatadorU, released this video on snorkeling with beluga whales in the prairie province of Manitoba, I was drawn in like a moth to a bug zapper.

A few notable moments:

  • 1:00—Travel Media Ninja Josh squares off against his audience. This is the part where all the girls fall in love with him (too bad, ladies, he's happily married!)
  • 1:16—Ninja Josh breaks his cool demeanor in an "Aww, shucks" moment after being swarmed by an adorable pod of belugas
  • 1:40—OH MY GOD!!
  • 2:15—Clever sound editing, and Belugaspeak!
  • 2:45—Here's where I tell my friends that I've got dust in my eyes to cover up the fact that I'm on the verge of happy-tears
  • 4:00 (after the video, but part of my experience)Scouring Skyscanner and Hipmunk for the earliest fares to Manitoba

Also, did you know that the beluga is referred to as the "sea canary?" Apparently they can mimick the human voice (or someone playing the kazoo), and the result is (a) hilarious and (b) fascinating.