Stephanie Moreland: Construction Worker and Voluntourist
A new breed of travel journalist
Travel journalism is about integrity, energy, and the recognition that people (and the places they inhabit) really matter. These values and skills are integral to Stephanie Moreland’s personal worldview and travel journalism skills. In the new world of electronic journalism especially, Stephanie embodies the interconnectedness and interdependence of the global village.
Stephanie is a native of Houston, Texas. She got her start in travel writing after spending some very productive time in retail sales and customer service — learning crucial transferrable skills. After completing her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, while at the same time pursuing a career as a store manager at Pier 1 Imports, she took a leave of absence (but definitely not of her senses) and travelled to Europe where she became fully engaged at the grassroots level in various voluntourism projects.
While in Europe, her passion for travel and writing grew even more. She is now a regular contributor to several publications including newspapers, magazines, and other freelance projects involving travel, marketing, and PR including Adventure Travel Media Source.
So where and what is Altamura?
Like so many destinations in Italy, Altamura is a cornucopia of historical, cultural, and archaeological delights. A quiet and slightly remote medieval town on the Murge plateau (a UNESCO World Heritage site) in the southeast “boot” of Italy, it is about 45 kilometres from the city of Bari. In contemporary times, the city is known for its bread which you can find in numerous other Italian cities. The bread has a unique fragrance and taste; with a yellow, crisp crust and a soft crumb, it stays fresh much longer than other types of bread.
As an archaeological destination, Altmaura is especially know for the Altamura Man. The area is defined by its limestone caves one of them being the Lamalunga cave. It was in this cave in October 1993 that a group of spelaeologists discovered the complete skeleton of a prehistoric man who had been trapped inside about 130,000 years ago.
Not far away is the De Lucia quarry where thousands of dinosaur footprints dating back to about 70 million years ago can still be seen. Over time the 4000+ footprints were exposed by rainfall on the limestone surface. Spread over almost 12,000 square metres, this is the largest such site in Europe and probably in the world.
Altamura is known locally as “the Apulian lioness” which is a reference to its classic beauty and the fact that it is a proud rebel town full of history and culture. It also lies along the ancient path of Via Appia. The town and area are therefore renowned for their commitment to preserving historic and ancient sites and structures, and it was here that Stephanie participated in a restoration project of an old farmhouse.