Category Archives: Writing

My Guest Post for Miss Representation

Really getting motivated to write more lately. Here is a blog post I’m excited about.

#FreshFace: On Makeup and Confidence, Miss Representation
October 12, 2012

Miss Representation is a cool organization and documentary that challenges the way media portrays women. Advocating for women to be strong leaders and tell their own stories, their line “You can’t be what you can’t see” really resonates.

As a new Social Action Representative and someone who is makeup free on a regular basis, I was excited to get involved in the October campaign Fresh Faces with Miss Representation. To contribute to the goal of Fresh Faces (“to reduce pressures for young girls to wear makeup and challenge the media/society’s beauty ideals”), I wrote a blog post about my own experiences without makeup.

Time flies!

Wow, has it really been a whole month since my last post?! Whoops! I have been working hard at Go Overseas on some big projects and also working on moving this site over to my own domain. I decided to switch from WordPress to Drupal to get some new site building experience. Stay tuned for the new site soon!

In the meantime, it’s been ONE YEAR since I was in Oaxaca, Mexico. Check out some of my posts from last year 🙂

https://katieeelaine.wordpress.com/tag/oaxaca/

The International Ecotourism Society

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) published one of my Go Overseas articles onto their blog! Check it out: Volunteering Abroad for Women’s Rights.

You should also look into their upcoming conference in Monterey, CA in September. Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference 2012 #ESTC2012 http://www.ecotourismconference.org/

Guest post for Tripping – Destination Guide: Oaxaca, Mexico

Destination Tips: Oaxaca, Mexico (originally published on Tripping)

Katie volunteered in Oaxaca, Mexico in fall 2011 after studying public relations at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA and is now working as the Volunteer Director at Go Overseas. Go Overseas is the Yelp/Trip Advisor for programs abroad including listings of every volunteer, study, teach & intern abroad program in the world, with ratings/reviews and more. Follow Katie on Twitter: @VolunteeReviews and read about volunteer abroad opportunities on Go Overseas.

Oaxaca, Mexico is unlike any other place I’ve traveled to – the combination of old and new, indigenous and European cultures, family life and the bustling city, all of which go together well and make Oaxaca the amazing destination that it is. (Don’t let the name confuse you: Oaxaca is a state in southern Mexico. Oaxaca city, the capital of Oaxaca state, is located in the Valley of Oaxaca.) Oaxaca is the fifth largest state in Mexico, and number one in biodiversity. I spent an amazing 2 months volunteering in Oaxaca and here is a list of things not to be missed while in Oaxaca!

santo domingo church, oaxaca

Santo Domingo Church, Oaxaca

Monte Albán – Monte Albán, the most important Zapotec ruins, is one destination every visitor must see. These archeological ruins are one of the oldest pre-Columbian cities, which housed more than 30,000 Zapotec people around 500 BC. Located atop mountains just outside of the city of Oaxaca, Monte Albán had great religious and political importance in its time, with temples, tunnels, a grand plaza, and a ball court to explore. You can discover the views of the Valley of Oaxaca on top of a temple from this historical and cultural site, visit the museum and gift shop, and picnic in the beautiful gardens. Just 15 minutes outside of town, tourists can easily get a ride and a tour at Monte Albán.

Visit the Zapotec ruins of Monte Albán

Visit the Zapotec ruins of Monte Albán

 Mitla – The ruins of Mitla are just a 25 mile taxi ride outside of the city of Oaxaca. Although Mitla is much smaller than Monte Albán, it comes in second as the most important Zapotec archeological site – not to mention that more of the ruins and detailed mosaic designs are still intact. Mitla is even listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

Katie at the Mitla ruins

Katie at the Mitla ruins

Markets – As with many other areas of Latin America, the markets of Oaxaca are a huge attraction. Throughout Oaxaca, you will find traditional markets where locals do most of their shopping. These are great places to buy souvenirs to take home. Bartering is common but keep in mind that a few extra pesos may not matter as much to you as it does to those who make a living at the markets.

Hierve el Agua – Hierve el Agua, which translates to “the water boils,” is a natural wonder like no other. Just an hour or two outside of Oaxaca City, Hierve el Agua is made up of natural rock formations that resemble huge waterfalls. These “petrified waterfalls” have formed from a small amount of water over thousands of years. The region is also the site of an ancient Zapotec underground irrigation system. Above ground, there are a number of large pools (natural and artificial) where visitors can swim, relax, enjoy the views of the green mountains and valleys, and hike for the day.

View of the pools at Hierve el Agua

View of the pools at Hierve el Agua

Food and Drinks – Oaxaca is sure to please any palate. When it comes to food and drinks, my advice is to try everything – even chapulines (grasshoppers). It may sound strange but fried grasshoppers are a traditional delicacy. It’s said once you try chapulines, part of Oaxaca is with you and you are sure to return again. Other must-haves of Oaxaca’s cuisine include: cheese, tlayudas, mezcal and hot chocolate.

Volunteering – While in Oaxaca, why not find a way to immerse yourself in local culture while giving back at the same time? There are infinite opportunities to volunteer in Oaxaca – from orphanage work to health care campaigns to agriculture, find something that suits you.

Hijos de la Luna orphanage – Oaxaca, Mexico

Hijos de la Luna orphanage – Oaxaca, Mexico

But wait…there’s more! Art shows, plays, movies, festivals, churches – You will never run out of things to do in Oaxaca. The downtown center, called the Zócalo, always has something to do – from people-watching to browsing street vendors to eating and drinking. The capital city itself, along with Monte Albán, is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. There are many national parks, beaches, and festivals to keep you busy. For a list of current cultural events like movies, festivals, art shows, and more, check El Jolgorio Cultural and Oaxaca Calendar.

Oaxaca is a perfect place for anyone who is interested in traveling to a lesser-known Mexican destination full of life, culture, history, and more!

All photos by Katie Boyer

Berkeley Locals Making a Difference Around the World

Berkeley Locals Making a Difference Around the World

…New blog post I wrote for the Berkeley Patch news website. The article talks about the experiences that locals have had abroad and have written about and reviewed on Go Overseas. Reviews make Go Overseas the wonderful website it is and helps potential travelers make informed decisions about meaningful travel.

This is an especially great time to get the word out about travel program reviews because of the Go Overseas Leave a Review Contest! If you’ve been on a program abroad, leave a review of your experience for a chance to win an iPad3, tons of Apple gear, and travel apps too!

The International Ecotourism Society Interview

Go Overseas: Global Community of Volunteer Reviewers and Passionate Travelers

Our newest blog partner, The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), interviewed the Go Overseas Volunteer Abroad Director, yours truly, about ecotourism, volunteering abroad, Go Overseas, and more.

TIES is a great, well-established organization in the ecotourism world and I’m excited to be working with them. Check it out!

 

New website design

New design, what do you think?!

I want my website to be professional while being myself. I am just starting my career, finding my professional voice, figuring out what I want to do and what I’m good at. I want this site to be a professional portfolio with a regularly updated blog. I am continually improving and I am almost finished. Thanks for anyone who subscribes, likes posts, comments, or is just reading for the first time. I hope to post more and better content all the time.

Thanks,
Katie

Go Overseas Marketing Team Hard at Work

Definitely enjoying my new job!

From the Go Overseas blog: “We have some exciting new initiatives in the works here at Go Overseas! Our Marketing team was putting the finishing touches on some creative content plans which we know our users will love. Pictured above is our Volunteer Abroad Marketing Director, Katie Boyer, our Teach Abroad Marketing Director, Andrea Moran, our Study Abroad Marketing Director, Brett McKay and our study abroad intern, Elise Blum.”

Bicycling in Mexico

My followers here may know the story but here’s a new take on my Mexican bicycling adventures on MuchBetterAdventures.com. Check it out, great website, big thanks to Tom at Much Better Adventures.

Bicycling in Mexico

What I’m reading…

Tina Fey’s “Bossypants

“Bossypants” is a smart, witty account of Tina Fey’s life as a successful woman in comedy and show business. The audio book I got from Audible.com, along with a PDF filled with hilarious and personal pictures, made me laugh and love Tina Fey more than I already do. I couldn’t get enough of Fey’s stories of childhood summer camp, improv at Second City, writing on SNL, friend and colleague Amy Poehler, playing Sarah Palin, motherhood, writing and starring in 30 Rock, photo shoots, tips for women in the workplace and more.

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