Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Glancer Magazine - Online Link

As published in Glancer Magazine online feature "15 Fascinating Faces of 2012"

Glancer Magazine - Interview

What is your occupation and how long have you been doing that?
I was originally an Artist and Writer, kept journals since I was about 7 years old. But by a strange unplanned twist of Fate, became a Spokesmodel, have been since 1996. My college major was Broadcast Journalism, and I began doing Public Speaking for sales events. Then I started my own company online in 2000 booking Tradeshow services. And it took off from there to working Las Vegas Convention Center, signed with Agencies, being a Brand Ambassador representing many products. 17 years already and still at it. My true passion is to be the Voice for Nature.

What inspired you to attend the Climate Reality Leadership Corp and how were you selected?

I had been following Climate Reality news, their website was in my favorites. I think the work they are doing is exceptional and Al Gore is an inspirational, innovative Leader whom I greatly admire. I have a copy of his Nobel Prize speech, which I find deeply moving. I received email they were taking applications for those interested in becoming involved. I had no idea what to expect. I applied and was stunned to receive an invitation to join the Climate Reality Leadership Corps. Only 1,000 people were selected worldwide, and I was one of them. Ironically, I think my Nature Travel Blog was instrumental in this, as it truly relects where I've been, who I am and what I believe in. August 2012, I flew to San Francisco to attend the 3 day Conference, and received my Certificate of Training. It was amazing...and the opportunity of a lifetime.

What do you hope to change in DuPage County or the surrounding area since attending the training session led by Al Gore? Please be specific on the green or earth related changes you hope to make locally.

DuPage County is a naturally gorgeous area. I would like to see it stay that way. I realize construction for community growth is good, and inevitable, but we need to plan/take into consideration nature first. The DuPage Environmental Commission is already leading the way, with a remarkable amount of green projects completed, but mainly for businesses. I would like to see more for the residents who make this community home. This is where the personal activist-aspect comes in. We need homes made with all eco-friendly building materials, including solar. I'd like to see solar/led street lighting, and a Green Museum here, which would complement and honor our area and teach everything Environmental to the next generation. If we dont make the leap, if we keep denying green energy..which in reality is not "alternative," it is natural; it will never prosper as it should. Harnessing sun and wind power can be done here, we have lots of open fields in DuPage County for windmills, wind farms, solar arrays. Clean energy benefits everyone - families and corporations, with healthier children, pure air, less pollution and pollen, and tax incentives for business. For example, Reykjavic Iceland has already been doing this for 50 years. They get 100% of their energy from natural sources. There is no reason why we should not be doing this across the US.

Locally, Danada Forest Preserve has taken that step. They just installed Solar Panels on their front barn and the info kiosk is now interactive led. That reflects a real committment to our community! I would also like to see charging stations for electric cars here in the West Suburbs. We do rely on cars to get around since there is much distance between towns. And with the crazy cost of gas, I predict people will be considering higher MPG vehicles or electric/hybrids soon. It is going to take years for the Obama Administrations 54.5 mpg Fuel Standards to kick in. We've got to kick our addiction to oil now. But with no facilities to support maintaining greener cars, I think people are reluctant to buy them. The age old psychological analogy of "Build it..and they will come" applies. People often need to be shown a reason why they need something, and then given the education to make an informed choice. Its time. DuPage county's unique assets are natural beauty, educational institutions, and a vibrant suburban economy. We just need to put it all together. I will be giving my Climate Reality Presentations, with local emphasis, to educate and empower. Many do not have the opportunity to travel as I have, and I enjoy sharing my photos and real life experiences. I believe knowledge is power and learning by doing gives a greater perspective. I look forward to meeting everyone, answering questions, and assisting our community where ever I can.

Please share a little bit about yourself personally

My Great Grandparents came from Vastergotland, Sweden in 1923, and settled in Hyde Park. I recently traced my roots in Sweden back to 1848, but have yet to visit Scandinavia. Believe me, its on my Travel list!  This Spring, I was a finalist contestant for the Swedish Adventure Travel show "Alt for Sverige."

Personally, I was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, Blue Island area. Lived in Las Vegas for 10 years and ironically returned to my roots in IL. I landed in Lisle in 2011, for the past year its been home. It is a lovely town with great services, events, and people. I own a blue Fender Guitar, and am a trained Ballroom Dancer. I took dance lessons at the Gold Coast Casino in Las Vegas for 3 years.  I have an affinity with wild animals, they approach me where ever I go. As a child I brought home baby snakes, tadpoles and caterpillars to take care of them. I adore birds, am experienced in Avian Care and have raised Parrots since 1998. I would like to work with Eagles and Owls someday. 

What inspired your passion for a greener earth - was there a defining moment that you knew you wanted to make a difference in the world?

I was aware of my destiny since I was a little girl. Just didn't know how I was going to make it happen. I had no money, no connections. I just had dreams and determination. I saw the neighborhood of my childhood crumble into disrepair and felt the bittersweetness of life. My Father shared my fascination for Nature, we planted a veggie garden together, had wild roses and lilacs in the backyard. We'd go on nature walks after dinner down to the railroad tracks. I could not imagine a world unlike that, and was horrified by how I saw the Earth being trashed, literally. My Father died when I was 20 and I was lost. I held onto the only things that inspired me which was Nature, Travel, Writing and Music. Music literally saved my Soul, and my career allowed me to Travel, and I was spellbound by what I saw. Stunning places created by the forces of Nature - Wind, Water, Fire, Earth. These things are irreplaceable. I've also seen dramatic changes in places I've been. The damage pollution has done, the now yellow skies out West, water levels dropping 15 ft at Lake Mead, abandoned places left as boom town industry died, visited Ghost Towns in the Desert, witnessed blatant human disrepect, garbage infesting parking lots with plenty of trash cans nearby, effects of chemical contamination, etc.

What inspired you to start your blog and what do you blog about in general?

My favorite place on Earth is Forests and Mountains...the West Coast USA. Ever since I can remember I wanted to visit the Redwood Forest. After I left Las Vegas and realized that chapter of my life was over, I figured it was time to take that Redwood Road Trip. June 2010, I packed my Conversion Van, and ended up on a 2 week solitary adventure up the Pacific Coast Highway. I slept next to the ocean, I wandered through mists of hundred years' old trees, I hiked trails that were not on maps only to discover crystal clear blue streams and hidden coves of birds and wildflowers. It was an amazing natural symphony of color and song. It was the best thing I've ever done, Northern California into Oregon is the most beautiful place I've ever seen, and inspired my blog "Travel Your Dreams."

This was a fun, modern way to journal my travel adventure, my lifelong dream, and thoughts, as did explorers and trailblazers before me, like Thoreau. It was a virtual timestamp on the timeline of my life. It was also my tribute to Nature - combining my love of words and my photos. It was a personal labor of love. And it grew into something amazing. I have always been accused of being revolutionary, but never did I plan or realize it would lead to all this. I just followed my intuition, got on the road, and things naturally fell into place.

Please share anything else you feel the community would find fascinating to learn about you that makes you one of the 15 Most Fascinating Faces of the Year.

Although I have asthma, I climbed 3 Mountains in Nevada; Mt Potosi, Blue Diamond & Frenchman's Mountain. Hiked up the Continental Divide, Calico Hills in Red Rock Canyon, Redstone in Lake Mead, and all over Jerome Arizona Ghost Town. I plan to buy an RV, convert it to run on all green power, and continue traveling, exploring, journaling and adding nature video-documentaries to my blog. If I can share what I've seen, my reflections of Nature, then I will have left this world a better place. And thats all that matters to me, to leave a beautiful destiny for the future.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fall in the Forest

Photography by Traci Elizabeth
copyright @ Traci Elizabeth/Travel Your Dreams 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Flying Chicago - to Phoenix - to San Francisco

In the Air! Takeoff from O'Hare Airport - Chicago IL

Beautiful Blue

Delayed at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport
due to interference from Wildfire smoke

all photos @ Traci Elizabeth/Travel Your Dreams 2012

Climate Reality Leadership Training - San Francisco CA

Friday, July 27, 2012

Visiting Wombats...Brookfield Zoo

Yours Great Bear Habitat
Brookfield Zoo 

Roscoe Village Fest

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lisle Fest - Music, Crazy Signs & Crazy Weather

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Cavalcade of Planes

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sagawau Canyon

World Co-ordinates  41.68806° N -87.92528 W
Cook County, IL

Welcome to a secluded blast from the past....

Located deep in the woods off Rt 83 and Archer Avenue is a hidden place rocked by time.  Designed by Nature - the forces of wind, water, ice, and the shifting of the earth's plate sculpted and created this magnificent canyon. It is the only canyon existing in Cook County, IL. Geologically - it is dolomite limestone, a rare crystalline mineral composite of calcium magnesium carbonate.  

These stunning 40 ft rock canyons were exposed after glaciers retreated from the area. Yes, Chicago was once covered by ice, and yes, something happened to melt those miles of ice. But what?  Estimates on age of this canyon range from 100,000 years old to 400 million. 

Looking into the formation of dolomite not only reveals a clue as to the forces of Nature, but also dramatically illustrates and confirms a warming trend of climate change. 

According to info sourced from Wikipedia: "Dolomite was first described in 1791 as a rock by French Naturalist and Geologist Deodat Gratet de Dolomieu (1750–1801) from exposures in what are now known as the Dolomite Alps of northern Italy. Vast (dolomite) deposits are present in the geological record, but the mineral is relatively rare in modern environments. Laboratory synthesis of stoichiometric dolomite has been carried out only at temperatures of greater than 100 °C (conditions typical of burial in sedimentary basins), even though much dolomite in the rock record appears to have formed in low-temperature conditions"

On this land is now the Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve and Environmental Learning Center.   

Sagawau Canyon
Cook County Forest Preserve, IL 
April 2012
copyright Traci Elizabeth 

Wild Bluebells
Sagawau Canyon Nature Preserve
April 2012
copyright Traci Elizabeth

Snakes Come Out to Party
in the Spring!