"Grab a Towel; The Universe Awaits" HasTowelWillTravel's Profile


5/26/2013: And how quickly time marches on. Since updating in October, I've been on quite a tour. My wife Sarah and I went to Belize, where we indulged in trekking through the jungle, and getting into our newest passion, diving. We swam with sharks and green turtles and moray eels, it was unreal.

I spent most of January down south, working in South America. One week was teaching in Chile at the Universidad de Arturo Prat, and then I followed up with 2 weeks at the Universidad de Las Americas in Quito, researching Andean plants and creating extracts. Both locations were exciting and exhausting, but I would love to have the chance to return and explore more.

For the summer, it will be relatively quiet, except for a couple short trips to Anchorage and Bismarck for our ongoing research there. With luck we'll manage a vacation, but we'll see how it goes.

I'm hoping to complete the doctorate within the next year, which will mark the end of a big chapter of my life. I'm terrified and excited at the same time.

A Bit About Me

I am currently a Ph.D. student studying medicinal plant chemistry. This is a fabulous discipline, as it involves chemistry, medicine, anthropology, botany, and travel. It has already led me to Ecuador, Alaska, North Dakota, Kenya, and Bhutan, and trips to Chile and more of Africa are in the works. I am ecstatic to be studying this arena, and am looking forward to completing more studies as time goes forward.

In my spare time, I enjoy exploring the great outdoors. I am an avid backpacker, hiker, biker, and kayaker. My idea of a great weekend is hopping off to a local mountain and roaming around for a few days.

There's much more to me than I can fit in this tiny space, so I will leave it at that, with an open invitation to all to come and meet more of me...

Why a Towel?

"The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels.
A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with."

Favorite Travel Quotes

--"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be." Douglas Adams

--"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts." Mark Twain

--"Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as a fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life." John Muir

--"I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange. " Dale Cooper (from Twin Peaks)

  • Intro Updated May 26, 2013
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Josh Kellogg
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