“You’re doing what?” Most people asked this question during the fall as I explained my winter plans: Costa Rica, Ecuador, and paddling at the Grand Canyon. The idea of being on a raft for sixteen days in January in the Grand Canyon floored people. “Don’t you know it’s going to be cold down there?” “Yes, …

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The cliff face loomed above my head, pegs sticking straight out from the rock. I clipped into the steel cable with both carabiners, took a deep breath, and grabbed the first peg of the Klettersteig Via Ferrata in Kandersteg, Switzerland. Then I felt the first stirrings of stark terror. It made no sense; the fear …

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Fall came to Novosibirsk the last day of August. The week before had included a minus 1 evening, but that was a summer aberration. The last day of August was the real start of fall. That day the air became especially clear, and the light changed to that special tilting light of spring and fall. …

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“Living Big” may be Mary Cecchini’s mantra, but it’s more than a state of mind—it’s an international destination. Though she’d been saying the phrase since childhood, it really took hold in 2011 when Mary’s mother became ill after suffering a brain aneurism. “I saw right in front of me how fragile life is. People always …

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There is Sarah, the energetic blonde storyteller, a recent transplant from Florida. There is Leslie, the soft spoken and sweet Madison grad.  There is Laura, the Bay Area native with a bubbly exterior, but an introverted interior.  And there is me, the married dreamer from Minnesota.  Together we make up a group of four women …

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I’ve been traveling alone in Thailand for a little over two weeks now. I came here to escape a nagging sense of idleness that I felt back home in Asheville, NC. This journey was supposed to be a life-changing trip for a long-term partner of mine and me, but morphed into an exploration of my …

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Mount Rinjani was a sketch in charcoal. Acres of burned-out grassland, the northeastern flank of the mountain eaten up, turned under. At the trail’s edge, scorched alang-alang grass trembled, the husks fragile and ashy and blowing away. A bleak scene for a honeymoon. But that didn’t matter. We were here for adventure, however it might …

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Five miles into a hike on Yosemite’s Mist Trail, I stopped and panted, wondering whether I should (or could) continue for the rest of the planned twelve miles. I tried to fend off disappointment in myself as I pondered, recalling a similar crossroads I encountered twelve years prior during my first ever backpacking trip. I …

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I had my first candlelit breakfast while working on a farm on Rapa Nui, or Easter Island. Unlike the romanticized connotations of a candlelit dinner, a candlelit breakfast consisted of spilled coffee grounds, stepping on puppy tails, and living in 85% fear of when my next encounter with the cockroaches and rats hiding in the …

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For those that find a life on the road, there exists no reason, not a single cause for the vagabonding way. It is just a fact of being for people like me: a predestined way of life. I never remember being homesick. Not once as a tousle-headed little human did I cry for home or …

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