The Outdoors Blog

Following Mackenzie’s Footsteps

November 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Posted by Samuel Phineas Upham

New Zealand is known for its beautiful scenery, but apparently there is an area of the land that is so beautiful legend says it was “formed when the dawn froze 150 shipwrecked gods into mountains,” according to Patrick Symmes. In the article “Chasing Mackenzie’s Ghost,” Symmes travels to the area called Mackenzie’s Country located in New Zealand’s South Island.

Mackenzie was an infamous outlaw in the 1800s who was known for stealing sheep in the area. When things got hard for him, he would go into the mountains and stay for months just living off the land. At one point he was even captured and bound, but he broke free. While trying to escape, gunfire shot at his legs and he was captured again. According to the article, the wounds were superficial and he escaped again later. In the article, Symmes visits the country and attempts to follow Mackenzie’s footsteps by hiking various trails in the area.

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Sightseeing in Italy

November 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Rome is the capital city of Italy and serves as a multidimensional city of its own. Visitors taking a Rome vacation stand a chance of enjoying some of the best tourist attraction that Rome has to offer. Rome tours can be customized to include visits to a variety of tourist attraction sites. The sites may include the great squares of Rome that are located at the heart of the city. The Roman churches and Basilicas, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, the fountains, and aqueducts of Rome also serve as major attraction sights in the city. Aside from sightseeing, visitors can also get a chance of enjoying the cuisine and nightlife in Rome.

Visitors planning to take an Italy Sightseeing trip can have their itinerary planned in a way as to allow them visit several cities within the length of their stay. Italy’s railroad infrastructural framework eases transportation between adjacent cities. Visitors can get to visit cities such as Rome and connect it with Versailles and Florence. Visitors can see many amazing scenic and archaeological features in these cities. Visitors can enrich their trip by visiting Tuscany where there are numerous monuments, museums, bridges, and churches. All these will serve to enrich their sightseeing experience.


This article was submitted by Italy tours is a leading travel and tours operator with its operation in the wider Italy. The tour company organizes tours to different cities in Italy. They are also renowned for planning the best Italy Vacations that meets the needs of their customers.

Before There was Paradise

November 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Posted by: Phin Upham

To many of us, Hawaii is considered paradise. But “Before there was Paradise,” it had a different reputation. In the excerpt from John Tayman’s book “The Colony,” the writer unveils a part of Hawaii’s history most Americans have no idea about. For about 100 years the island of Molokai used to be one of the largest leper colonies in the world. During the same time leprosy was considered a crime and people with the disease were picked up and escorted like cattle to the island.  At that time they wrongly believed that leprosy was very contagious and that people with the disease suffered from a hopeless condition.

According to the article, the American and Hawaiian governments sent more than 8,000 people to the island to live in extremely brutal conditions. People fought over food, water, and supplies. At the height of the community, 1,174 people lived there.

The article describes the poor living conditions on the island and chronicles the many writers and other people who visited the island over the years. It also describes Hawaii’s struggle to overcome the reputation as “an epicenter of a terrifying disease.”

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The Timeless Pleasures of the Cinque Terre

November 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By Phin Upham

Who doesn’t want to visit Italy, even if it is through the eyes of the storyteller? I recently read an article about the Cinque Terre, a rocky strip on the Italian Riviera. The Cinque Terre is home to five villages, or as the writer Liesl Schillinger describes it, “five heart-stoppingly picturesque hamlets on the Ligurian coast, dotted with pastel houses nestled amid terraced hills that drop to the jade and lapis waters of the Mediterranean.”

Published in the New York Times, the article takes the reader on a fun journey to this timeless place two years after it was hit by a heavy storm. The writer was drawn to this area in Italy after reading two books that were set in the Cinque Terre, a Victoria memoir by Margaret Fountaine and the novel “Beautiful Ruins,” by Jess Walters. On her trip, she meets a native from one of the villages that was destroyed by the heavy rains two years prior. The native happened to capture the storm with her camera and later used the photographs to create a book, “MonterossoAmare,” which documents the disaster and its aftermath. The article takes the reader on several walks to and between the villages. It reveals how the area has recovered since the storm and describes many beautiful treasures that keep people coming back for more.

To read the entire article, please visit:

About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or LinkedIn page.