A rural church in Chichi­cas­te­nango, Guatemala. I snapped this photo of a local man sweep­ing the steps of this white-washed cathedral.   This is La Concha Acústica, a monument erected in Managua in 2005. This grand structure was recently taken down (May 2014) by the Nicaraguan Sandinista regime citing earthquake safety. Rumor has it however, …

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So the question arises – what is it about books like this that make us want to strap on our boots and find ourselves? Is it the desire to not only survive the way our ancestors did but gain considerable self-awareness after completing a similar journey? Is it an innate longing to get out of the day-to-day and do something we can talk about for the rest of our lives? Or is it just the simple idea of being completely enveloped in the alluring wild without protection of the modern world?

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Just to name a handful of Robyn Benincasa’s many accomplishments: she holds the record for farthest distance traveled by kayak on moving and on flat water in 24 hours, is 2 x Adventure Racing World Champion, and fights fires in San Diego. I’m half-surprised she wasn’t scaling a mountain while we conducted this phone interview.

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Let us pause for a moment and assess the fatigued travelers. My mother and I carried two large bags full of my “needs” for the upcoming months. My father carried their luggage as well as a bicycle box full of, well, bicycle. Why it ever went through my mind to take a mountain bike all the way from Germany to Scotland is beside me.

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What I seek in life I have yet to completely elucidate, but I think I have found in Essaouira what I sought in Morocco. Far beyond simple sunshine and a sandy beach, it offered me a glimpse of the colors that shift beneath the surface, the soul that defies to be outshone by glitter and mirrors or concealed behind a curtain.

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If you take up surfing as an adult, you may never ride waves as tall or as fierce as “Jaws” on Oahu. But don’t be discouraged: there are plenty small, smooth waves around the world. Add a long board and a patient teacher, and your vacation could become epic fun.

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he school’s administration assured me there was no language barrier in Dubai. Everyone speaks English here, they told me, down to the lowest worker. Before applying for the job, I had needed to look up Dubai on Google Maps. It looked far, far away from Iowa. Via Skype interview at opposite ends of the day …

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When I got back to Paris, I realized that I no longer spoke French. Well, this might be overstating things – I spoke haltingly enough to get by – but I no longer spoke like I did when I was in college, when I would dream in French and make jokes in French and even talk about politics.

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uring long distance cycling events in Colorado,there’s a particular company who set up at key stages of the ride – in general, as you near the top of some enormous climb – with cameras to shoot photos of the riders. Later, they post the photos on their website by rider number, with the idea that …

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