World travelers have a new outlet to share their writing and photography—"One World, Two Feet," a travel blog created by Duke alumna Erika Zambello.
Zambello, who graduated from the Nicholas School of the Environment with a master's degree in environmental management in 2015, founded One World Two Feet this past summer as a way of bringing together stories from different "explorers." One of the central missions of the blog is to promote conservation through storytelling and photography. The site features writers from locations all over the world, including Mongolia, Australia and the U.S., and several contributors are current Duke students or recent graduates.
“I wanted to found a place where explorers from around the world could gather their stories,” Zambello wrote in an email. “I firmly believe in the power of communication to create change, and traveling is an amazing way to push anyone's comfort zone and open their eyes to the wonders of the world.”
Zambello was assisted by Ryan Huang, a Ph.D.candidate in ecology, who designed the website for One World Two Feet. Huang’s role eventually expanded beyond that of the website designer, growing to include that of a photographer and writer, he wrote in an email. His blog about his experiences learning Malagasy while living in Madagascar was among the first added to the “Discovery” section of the blog.
Huang, who has been to every continent except for Antarctica, added that his travels demonstrated that no matter how different people on different continents express themselves, people are all the same at their core—they all laugh, cry and “need to put food on the table.”
Zambello also recruited Stephanie Panlasigui, who also graduated in 2015 with a master's degree in environmental management, as an explorer for the blog. Panlasigui wrote in an email that she used to work in environmental education and welcomed the opportunity to encourage others to travel, as well as motivate herself to explore.
Prior to writing for One World Two Feet, Panlasigui was primarily familiar with technical writing for research purposes. Blogging and creative narration were new endeavors for her, she noted.
“I think that people are generally quite unfamiliar with spending time outdoors. We spend less and less time outside and more time in front of computers,” Panlasigui wrote. “I want people to know that being outdoors is not daunting, scary or dirty, but rather exciting, relaxing, beautiful, inspiring, and it can be fun to get a little dirt on your jeans.”
Writers are not restricted to environment-related majors. Zambello added that people from around the world have reached out to One World Two Feet about becoming contributors to the blog. Current Duke students have also expressed the desire to join the One World Two Feet community, a development that has Huang hopeful for the future of the blog.
“It's a fantastic incubator for new authors, so we can keep refining our writing skills and how we appeal to a broad audience,” Huang wrote.
One World Two Feet is continuing to expand and welcomes new contributors to its mission of communicating the values of exploration, Zambello added.
“You don't have to be a professional writer, photographer or traveler in order to be a true explorer,” Zambello wrote. “Everyone can explore their world, from planning trips abroad to discovering new aspects of their own neighborhoods. I want to inspire everyone to actively explore their world.”
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