Where in the World Are You, Alicia Imbody?

Travel Blog  •  Alicia Imbody  •  06.15.09 | 3:43 PM ET

The subject of our latest up-to-the-minute interview with a traveler somewhere in the world: World Hum’s new intern, Alicia Imbody.

Where in the world are you?

I’m canoeing just off Assateague Island, on Maryland’s eastern shore.

What are you doing there?

I’m trying to sneak up on some wild ponies, of course.

What do you see around you?

Just below the bow of the metal canoe are clusters of black shells embedded into the side of a muddy island that has been surrounded by the murky incoming tide. A few yards ahead a trio of the not-so-elusive ponies are gorging themselves on marsh grasses and doing a better job of ignoring me than a nervous pair of seagulls skirting between us. In the distance, a few persistent clouds hover over the arches of the Bay Bridge and beyond that the Chesapeake is still and glassy.

Got a pic?

What did you have last night for dinner and where?

On my way out to the shore I stopped at the Cambridge Diner, just across the bridge from Annapolis, and had what could possibly be the best crab cake sandwich in the Mid-Atlantic.

What are you listening to these days?

I love the new Decemberists’ album, Hazards of Love. It’s great travel music because these guys are such incredible storytellers and it really sucks you in. I’m also a fan of Ben Harper’s White Lies for Dark Times. The solid bluesy-rock tracks are perfect for blasting with the windows rolled down on a summer road trip.

What are you reading?

I’m slowly making my way through Angels and Demons (so that I can then watch the film and lament how much better the novel was, and for the unexpected travel candy in Dan Brown’s meticulous descriptions of Rome). When I’m done with that, I’m finally going to finish The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan, which I began before a recent trip to Israel and the West Bank, but never managed to complete. The book is set in the region and puts a human face on the conflict without being too preachy, providing a lot of factual information without sacrificing suspense.

What did you experience in the last 24 hours that you’d recommend?

Rediscover your own backyard! It takes a little more creativity to be able to appreciate the immediate with a fresh perspective, but I think it’s that much more rewarding to stumble upon some serendipitous new experience without straying far from home.

Where in the world are you headed next?

I have a few more weekend adventures planned for the summer within a couple hours’ drive of Washington, D.C. But the next place I’m heading that requires a plane ticket is Costa Rica, when I’ll be doing some hiking, scuba diving and (probably) getting married on a volcano.

Alicia Imbody is a former World Hum intern and an international development consulant based out of Washington D.C.

6 Comments for Where in the World Are You, Alicia Imbody?

Jim Benning 06.15.09 | 4:35 PM ET

A volcano wedding?

That’s so cliche, Alicia.

Downtown Hotels 06.15.09 | 6:06 PM ET

we went to Assateague Island 1 year ago to watch the pony penning day and see them swim across the channel. the day before the ponies are drugged so they are checked out by a vet so they know which ones are strong enough and in good shape to be adopted. they had signs everywhere that they are still wild and not to touch them but people were still going right up to them touching stroking some even got on them. { does stupidity in people still shock you it does me} plus they have a bridge you can drive over i think that is such a shame no one should be allowed over there except the people who care for them and when they bring them over.

Brandon 06.15.09 | 6:45 PM ET

the black flies on assateague can be quite a nuisance

Alicia Imbody 06.16.09 | 9:27 AM ET

@Downtown Hotels: I agree with you about the lack of regard people have for their own safety and maintaining the wildness of the ponies for the sake of a good family photo. I made sure not to get too close as to startle them or offer up any of my Clif bar to lure them in for a better shot. I was also more than a little disappointed that I spent all morning paddling around trying to get a glimpse of them in their natural habitat, then came across several standing in the middle of the road just before the bridge, where eager visitors were being as reckless as you described. “Do not touch or feed the wild animals” means just that!

@Brandon: Bug spray is ESSENTIAL. Stopping for a quick bathroom break or just to ask for directions? I learned the hard way not to leave the safety of my vehicular bubble without first applying a full coat of protective spray- we’re talking welts the size of golf balls.

Grizzly Bear Mom 06.17.09 | 12:57 PM ET

Assateaque’s ponies walk right up to your car for treats, almost like begging dogs.  Too bad they have been “tamed”  I’m not sure that the ponies are drugged though.  Pony Penning week is conducted the last week of July.  The ponies are swum across an inlet from Assateaque to Chincoteaque and herded down mainstreet to a pony pen where they are examined and recieve vacinations.  The young ones are auctioned off to ensure sustainability on the island, and raise money for the local firemen.  If weigh less than 100 pounds you can even attempt to ride them.  It was great fun!

Susan 06.26.09 | 8:43 AM ET

Assateague is one of my favorite places!  Regardless of the season there is so much to see and the ponies are beautiful!

And I love your suggestion of exploring your backyard!  There is so much to find in our own areas on a Sunday afternoon.  On a drive to Target one weekend we found a small memorial park full of history and beauty that we had drove past several times without notice. 

Have fun on your volcano! :)

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