As a woman, I’m often asked why I take solo hikes. Why be on your own? they say. Aren’t you afraid to go hiking alone? The answer is both simple and complex. I hike alone for the serenity and quiet of the journey. Being afraid doesn’t come into play. Being out in nature allows me the time to contemplate my …

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I grew up on Syokimau Farm in Kenya, not far from the Ngong Hills. My mother and I lived in a converted chicken slaughterhouse on the former sisal plantation about 15 miles south of Nairobi. The whitewashed walls were high and the building cavernous. A swing hung from the ceiling in my bedroom and the …

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It took three and a half weeks until I felt compelled to brush my hair. Ponytails and finger combing had become routine. Sleeping in a tent most nights and spending days either in the car or traversing around nature quickly lends to a lifestyle of practicality. I cannot seem to break the habit of filling …

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A new, amazing chapter in life began for me the second I broke the bonds of earth. No, I don’t fly airplanes. I’m not your typical pilot. I fly something else… something more simple, hardly sophisticated. Something that leaves me suspended above the earth by nothing more than a few strings dangling from a piece …

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Some years ago, my husband at the time, Sebastian, and I decided to spend our second anniversary backpacking in the wilderness. We would celebrate our love in solitude, as far away from ringing phones, television, e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter as we could get. We were young, naïve and arrogant—maybe not masters of the Universe but at least in …

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It’s official: I have made it to the age where my social media feeds are full of engagement rings, weddings, and babies. Don’t get me wrong, I love celebrating all of these events…but at the same time, it often seems that society doesn’t see a woman as a whole human until she has checked off …

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Dian Fossey initiated the longest-running Mountain Gorilla research in 1967, which lasted almost two decades and changed the world of zoology. As the 30th anniversary of her untimely death approached, I visited my role model’s grave in Rwanda. I now carry a reminder – a totem – in my pocket: a carved wooden keychain from …

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What do 2 ladies + 18 days + 200 miles + 9 passes + 1 summit + 1 bear (!) add up to? Adventure, obviously. Last summer, at the ripe old age of 21, Julia Whitten and her friend Carly took on a cross-country and cross-California adventure, filming each step they took hiking the John Muir Trail. Watch …

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“FRICTION ZONE!” It’s eight hours into the first day of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic RiderCourse I’m taking at a North Carolina community college and my instructor is baffled, maybe even annoyed. Preparing to weave my way through an obstacle course, I released the clutch too quickly on my loaner Yamaha TW200 and it stalled—again. …

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