Sharon McDonnell

Sharon McDonnell writes about travel, culture, history, the environment and animals. Her work is published in Fodor’s Travel, Roadtrippers, Costco Connection, AARP, New York Times, Teatime and many airline and cruise magazines.

She’s written about India’s passion for peacocks in its art, culture and legends, “flower carpet” traditions from Guatemala to Italy, San Francisco’s mosaic outdoor stairways, learning about the Northern Lights in Norway and Alaska, Bali’s flower offering tradition, the world’s most bizarrely-named foods, her alpaca and llama encounters from Chile to Canada and whale-watching in the Azores.

When not walking amid nature in the Bay Area, where she lives, she’s apt to be cooking Moroccan tagines or curries from Thailand or south India, thanks to cooking classes she’s taken around the world. Read her work here.

She’s never bought a plastic water bottle for home use in her life, and doesn’t own a car. In high school in New York City, she refused to take biology, a required class, when she heard it entailed dissecting a fetal pig, telling the principal it was cruel and useless for her future life. When the principal countered ok, but she’d need to take a fourth year of Latin instead (three years of Latin was required in this parochial high school), she gladly agreed, and noted it would be helpful in her later life. So, she studied the speeches of Cicero and The Aeneid instead.