Lisa Munniksma

freelance writing, editing, farming, travel

About my blog

Enjoying a day off on the fortress wall in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico photo by Mitch Collingwood

Some background on how this now-neglected blog came to be:

I’d been talking about taking a trip around the world since I worked on a horse farm in England during college. After that, I said I wanted to actually work in England and see the world when I graduated. Everyone (I use the term “everyone” loosely) told me to get  a real job and be a responsible human being. So I did.

Fast forward … a few years … and after I’d lived in six states, my desire to travel hadn’t be met. Life made some big changes for me in a six-month period, including the death of a horse I’d loved for 16 years, a divorce, giving up my dog and a change in job responsibilities, and I decided it was time to hit the road. With some (read: a lot) of help from friends, I packed a rucksack and a loose plan for seven months of farming, writing and hashing abroad. (Hashing, dear readers, refers to the Hash House Harriers, a drinking group with a running problem that began in Malaysia in 1938 and now has kennels all over the world.)

My first seven months of long-term, independent travel (2011) took me to 10 countries, six farms and 13 hashes. In 2012, I worked, hashed and ate my way through the western U.S., Italy and Albania. I finished up that trip with working at a bakery and a horse farm in Greece in the last days of 2012 and early 2013. Much of 2013 through 2015 were spent working on a diversified, sustainable farm in the wilds of Kentucky. The end of 2014 and the start of 2015 was ruled by Road Trip: The Winter Edition, where I scoured the Southeast U.S. in search of warm weather, good food, better beer, fun hashing, all-around adventure and sustainable farming. The winter of 2015-2016 and the beginning of 2017 were spent in Puerto Rico—my first two of what I’m positive will be many Caribbean escapes—where I worked on a farm, got to know people doing good things for the terrifyingly dismal food system, worked at a hostel and a guesthouse, got robbed, and had the most fun I’ve ever had while traveling (all at the same time).

My travels aren’t only about fun and vagabond games. I actually get out there to learn about sustainable living, agriculture and food systems around the world, and I still work as a freelancer as I go. I’m a sustainability junkie and ag geek as well as a freelance writer and editor. Isn’t it nice when your life, your livelihood and your passion intersect? (If you don’t know the answer to that question, don’t wait another day to start seeking it.)

Life has quieted a bit and has me back on a farm in Kentucky, which is nice. I’m probably not done traveling, but I don’t have any long-term plans right now. At the moment, I’m also kind of taking a hiatus from the blog. Simplifying, is how I like to think about this move. There are only so many minutes to fit in so many moments, and I want to make the most of them. So follow me on the Instagram for some photos of where I’ve been, but please don’t abandon this blog entirely! I’ll probably come back here some day.

 

All photos are (c) Lisa Munniksma, unless otherwise labeled.

14 Comments

  1. So glad you have gotten this rolling! Love hearing about your adventures as I am perfectly happy living vicariously through you on this one! But I do have a strange desire to go to the Doudou festival! Must be the name! 🙂

  2. Yay for Indian Staircase and water bladders!

    You got something against gypsy fun and vagabond games? 🙂

  3. I am so happy that you are having such a wonderful adventure! Thanks to your bragging Mom I was able to find your blog. Be safe and happy wondering Lisa!

  4. Love all your stories and adventures, and living vicariously through you love you lots

  5. Great to follow your worldly travels! keep on having fun, we’ll keep on Enjoying the updates

  6. Hi Lisa, So proud of you for traveling and getting to write about all the fun places. I loved Paris and have been there 3 times. You never get tired of it. Turkey is a great country and I was there in 1965. Great memories of eating oatmeal with goat’s milk.
    Sarah is also doing freelance writing for the local paper, The Warren Reporter, and is enjoying it also. She has done artcles on Merrill Creek and the Washington Pool. Her next one will be on the upcoming Warren County Farmer’s Fair. She is on facebook too. Maybe you can look her up. Take care and see you in November. Your neighbor, Susan

  7. Lisa, I just finished reading your excellent article in the Dressage Connection.
    After reading it, I wanted to jump up and cheer. As an old cowboy, horse-trainer and competitive dressage rider, -I would love to discuss some of the things you have written in that wonderful article. I believe with my back ground I may have something to offer. I grew up working cattle , I became a top Rodeo cowboy (RCA) trained reining horses in my youth and of all things went to Europe to learn dressage. My teachers were Leppy’s from the Spanish Riding School. I was later a rider in the US version, I have taught horsemanship at two different Universities, -and have judged a large number of horse shows as well as dressage shows. I will be judging the Dressage in a few weeks at the Utah Games.
    I applaud many of the things you have written and would like to talk to you about your wonderful article. Unlike you I am not a good writer. for that reason I would love to discuss some points of your article over the phone. If you would be willing. I promise not to be a pest…

    A phone number would be most helpful.
    Thank you –Thann Hanchett

  8. At the AHP meeting, missing you and talking about you. Glad to make contact even if it’s this way—and thanks to Jennifer. YOur travels look to be wonderful. Let me know if you need a “strong back/weak mind” type of guy to carry things for you.

    Dean

    PS Okay, I was bragging. I’m a weak back/weak mind type of guy

  9. I just read most of your artical lean on me in hobby farms. I was very disapointed that you never even mentioned one of the leanest meats there is and good for you to. That is the texas long horn. Please check us out there are many longhorn farmers around the country. I am from south central pa. There a a bunch of long horns in most states.

    • Steve,

      Thanks for your comment. That article was about nontraditional meat animals–that is, I intentionally did not include breeds of cattle. (Beefalo are a bovine/bison cross.) I shared your comment with the editors.

  10. Hi Lisa,

    I recently learned you’re a DVU alumni. As a member of the DUV Alumni Executive Committee, the Public Relations Committee would love to feature your blog as one of our Weekly Alumni Blogger features on Twitter. If you’re interested in more details, please email me at delvalalumassn (AT) gmail (DOT) com.

  11. Lisa I am a farmer in India for the last 46 years . I really really liked your site on Facebook. Please keep me posted.

  12. Hi Lisa,

    I read your article on Civil Arts. I wrote a comment there, but unsurprisingly it hasn’t been published (I assume this is something Civil Arts, not you, controls).

    I am angered by the article as it grossly misrepresents the organic and sustainable scene on the island.

    I have posted a rebuttal on my blog.

    I understand what it’s like to chase a story down. I am an organic farmer and a writer myself. And while I am not sure whether you intentionally skewed facts or they were skewed for you, but either way, with your name on the article, it was your responsibility to accurately report things as they are, not as the Department of Ag, Myrna Comas Pagán, Monsanto or any of the special interest groups want you to portray them.

    When I have been in this situation, I have refused to publish the article on their site and published it on my own blog.

    So while I wholeheartedly believe you may have had the best of intentions, what you have produced is completely inaccurate and portrays us in a light that only serves those who will continue to get richer off the island and continue to exploit us.

    Shame on you! I can tell from the writing on your site that you genuinely care about organic farming, so that’s exactly why I am coming down so hard on you. You shouldn’t have sold out that way.

    http://mayanifarms.com/representing-puerto-ricos-sustainable-agricultural-situation-accurately/

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