A: Do think about sustainability when you travel?
EN: Yes, absolutely. I don't go to resorts much, but I do find myself much more compelled by opportunities to experience a place that's either ecologically sustainable or contributing to the local communities in important ways.
I have traveled a lot in East Africa, and returned there again and again not only because of the ecology and the biodiversity, but because of the ethos of what was going on there. My sister used to be an Africa travel planner at Geographic Expeditions. She would scout the lodges and climbs over there. Occasionally my brother and I tagged along. After all those trips, we decided that Campi ya Kanzi, operated by the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust in the Chyulu Hills of Kenya, was at the top of our list for the simple reason that it was much more than a tourism experience.
There are lots of fancy tented safaris out there. But you're traveling, in many cases, where locals are employees only. But here, the people working at the lodge are the owners, literally. That was really meaningful. It affected the whole spirit of the place. It's an incredible example of not just protecting an area but engaging the people who live there in the long-term preservation of it. I'm now on the board of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.
A: So do you have an all-time favorite adventure trip?
EN: I am very lucky to have done a lot of fun traveling in my life. I've been blown away by many places. I've never seen biodiversity on a reef like in Indonesia's Komodo National Marine Park. The underwater experience is mind-boggling with coral and fish diversity. It was unparalleled.
A: What else are you up to this summer?
EN: I remain involved with the project to renovate the High Line, which is a favorite of mine as an urban activism project. On a community level, it's just wonderful. It's been a beautiful examine of civic activism by regular New Yorkers. They guys who founded that project are incredible. They are my heroes.