Why the Wandering Puffin for those who have not read this on my website? The name goes back many years, 1987 to be exact, where my passion (perhaps obsession) started for those cute and very sociable little birds, of which there are three species, the Atlantic (or Common), the Tufted and the Horned with their colorful beaks and sometimes known as clown birds. They are commonly confused with penguins, but are definitely different and while both penguins and puffins are seabirds and both black and white with the added colorful features, that is where the similarities end. Puffins fly, penguins don’t. Penguins are found in the southern hemisphere, puffins in the northern hemisphere. They are not related but it does seem that they do wander the globe quite a bit and offered me the the perfect name when I started Wandering Puffin!
The first encounter with puffins was when I was on an Alaskan halibut fishing trip and became seasick. A tip that anyone will give you when seasick is to focus on the horizon. My luck that day was a cloudy day, nothing much to focus on, so I looked down at the water, that which made me seasick in the first place and lo and behold, I saw a little bird floating around on the water. That image and the experience I had that day has stuck with me through my whole life and career.
I have studied them, held some rescues in Iceland, seen them also in Maine and Oregon, among other locations in the wild, including one very special one named Toti, no longer with us. I have collected artworks, books and other puffin stuff over these past 35 years and so it has been a calling regarding these amazing little birds.
The Wandering part is how I love to travel and explore and discover what the world has to offer and share stories of my experiences to better assist those I have educated, be it as a teacher or travel planner, and the ability to connect on many different levels. The paths I have take are rarely in a straight line and the best experiences I have had are not necessarily those that are planned out. Travel has been in my blood since an early age, and the puffin has become my spirit animal. A crazy film director/producer friend of mine said that the puffin is my totem which is perfect since I first encountered these amazing little birds in Alaska.
Oh, and PS...Iceland officially opened up to all travelers who can provide confirmation of the Covid vaccination documentation!!
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