about lorna

Hi! I’m Lorna MacMillan, a freelance documentary filmmaker currently living in a tiny RV and traveling around the U.S. and Canada through 2011.

Before becoming a professional filmmaker, I earned a degree in Anthropology (Cultural & Visual) at U.C. Berkeley. For my senior honors thesis (jointly with Francisco Nanclares), and with support from the Haas Scholars Program (2002-2003), I conducted field research with Kayan women in Mae Hong Son, Thailand.  Kayan women are known for wearing a brass neck coil, commonly referred to as neck rings.  The focus of the work, entitled; Tourism & Ethnic Identity: Creating the “Long-Neck Karen” of Northwest Thailand, was examining the creation of these women’s touristic identity- often at odds with their self-identification- and its multiple producers.

In 2006 we were contacted by producers of the National Geographic Channel’s show TABOO to appear as Kayan “experts” on an episode entitled: Taboo: Body Modification. I appeared in the episode. In 2007 NatGeo called again, and I was one of three experts invited to represent TABOO at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Conference in Beverly Hills. Following the conference, I represented TABOO and our research as a guest on over 16 national & satellite radio shows.

My family is pretty semi-nomadic. I grew up moving around New England, and have lived in Montreal, Los Angeles, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

I took my first solo trip outside of North America when I was 26…to Paris. Since then I’ve traveled to Thailand, Cambodia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Taiwan, Vietnam, Uruguay, The Cook Islands, and many U.S. States, and I’ve got big plans for the future!

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19 Responses to “about lorna”

Comments (19)
  1. Love it! I can’t wait to live vicariously through you two love birds in flight, while Joel and I sit in our little nest. We’ll keep you posted on London though. We may take flight soon too!

  2. Hey there you two,

    I am super excited that you guys are heading out for this adventure. I think you are brave and a bit nuts for going for it, but I totally understand the wanderlust. Hey Francisco, since you do disease prevention, do you happen to know if there is a cure for this? I am going to try and stay put for awhile even if I have to nail my shoes to the ground. The ship would be happy to have me back, and it’s sooo tempting.

    May the sun shine warmly on you in Vietnam, and may cool air keep you from getting too sweaty.


  3. you guys impress me
    at some point you should try scotland.
    i would like to see if it affects you like it did me.
    lynn and i are up to 34 years of memories
    and i expect you to break our record.

  4. I was first attracted to your blog because of the name and now plan on following you becasue of what I’m reading here. Looking forward to your tweets and posts!

  5. Vicariously, I will travel with you with pleasure but loudly I will sing your praises.
    Thank you for the thrill.

  6. Wow, that’s very impressive, guys! The National Geographic part is super awesome. If someday I got to see the clip, I can say “Hey, I know her!” (even though only via blog :) ).
    So, you guys are going RTW next year? Exciting!! Where first?

    • Thanks Dina! Hope to get to link to the Taboo: Body Modification episode at some point! It was fun to do. :) We haven’t made any plans for the RTW trip yet…we’re guilty of being non/last minute planners ;)
      Stay tuned and thanks for the nice note!

  7. Wow! I’m so happy I met you guys at #tni on twitter today! You two sound like the most amazing people in the world! :)
    thanks for connecting :)

    • Wowza! How do we respond to that? Thanks so much! If we hadn’t actually met today, i’d think that was just spamalicious! Thanks Cailin- we think you’re the bomb dot com :)

  8. It was great meeting you at #TNI last night and coming to read your blog, we think you are are an awesome couple with some great adventures coming ahead and we’ll be reading A LOT on your blog!

    Good Luck on whatever you are doing and wishing you a great adventures to come. Hope to see you in Egypt soon!

  9. Very inspiring life you two. We love Berkley. We had a great day out there when in San Francisco and never stop talking about the amazing salad we had at some place on the main street there.
    Very cool that you were in a Nat Geo doco

    • aww thanks guys! it’s about to get a whole lot more exciting thanks in part to inspiring folks like you and others in our new beloved travel community! glad to hear you loved our ‘hood.
      i bet i know just the place you had your salad too- ha ha. have eaten many a great salad there myself. nat geo was a fantastic experience- all great people and a wonderful opportunity to dispel some
      myths that abound about the kayan people we worked with. hope to write more on that here in the future. :)

  10. Hi Lorna,

    Wow, you’re a brave storyteller and adventurer! Congrats on your appearance on National Geographic, what an achievement. I read your post about your upcoming RTW and flights from your friend, what a beautiful gift! Looking forward to more of your updates as you plan your travels!

    - Lily

    • thanks so much lily! i really appreciate that. :) i’m so excited about my RTW next year and this year’s looking pretty great too! just headed out less than two weeks ago on my cross-country road trip in my tiny RV (doing some of canada too!) and that’ll take me right into when my flight benefits start. so i’m officially on the road indefinitely! so excited! thanks so much for following along. :)

  11. Are you still around? Any updates?

  12. Hi Lorna,
    I admire what you’re doing. I started blogging about a year ago to create a place for my photos of Italy to live. Of course, it didn’t remain just a place for photos of Italy for long. However, it’s still a work in progress.
    As my money job, I’m a freelance makeup/hair stylist in television and events. I’m pretty sure those beautiful African women don’t need powder but now you know a makeup artist with a passport and one foot out the door. :)

  13. Come to Ireland!!….and you can buy really cheap tickets to fly all around the continent with Ryanair

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