Maria Hutchins

Growing up in small town Iowa, I developed a taste for cultures from across the globe. Our house was the centerpoint for the non-native Iowan. Maybe it was my mother's gourmet cooking that drew people there, a place where things like seaweed soup could be on the menu in a definitely land-locked town. Often, visiting scholars would be let loose in the kitchen to share their exotic recipes. Perhaps my parents' own sense of transplantation attracted others in the same boat. In any case, I met a lot of interesting folk on the prairie tundra. It certainly made life more interesting.

But I wasn't satisfied just meeting the people from all the strange places, I wanted to go there and to go where maybe it was just like home except not home.

So after years of studying and earning a degree that could take me places, my husband and I decided to get up and go places for an extended honeymoon. Actually "the trip" was a carrot in front of me so I would hurry up and finish school. People said it would be bad for my career. How would I put 6 months of travel on my resume? In the end the gap was not a problem and I had the memories of a lifetime.

A decade later, I have been lucky to have fun in a science career and occassionally Dominic and I travel places as our precious holiday time allows.

We also like to ride our tandem around the Bay Area hills and this has taught me extreme trust in Dominic's captain abilities as we go screaming down at 45 mph. Literally screaming. And bell ringing. I used to be able to slow down, pre-tandemonium (photo credit). A couple of our proudest accomplishments are going UP Old La Honda in 27:47 (shaving 5 min off our previous time) and riding to the pacific coast and back for Tour de Cure (to raise money for Diabetes).

Since our 2001-2002 RTW trip, places we have traveled include: Death Valley, Arizona, England, La Gomera, Oaxaca, Honduras, Black Rock Desert, Hawaii, Uganda, Zanzibar and Italy. Where will we go next?


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