The fact of the matter is, when my three friends and I decided to get scarification we knew very little about it except that another volunteer had been to this same healer and hadn’t suffered a debilitating infection. Good enough for me! Bring on the razorblades!

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The enraged water buffalo charged down the narrow dirt path toward us. I ran as fast as my weary legs would carry me – so fast my feet almost slid out from underneath me – my mammoth backpack slapping me in the back of the head with each step. Was this seriously happening? I came …

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The email screamed: “It’s not too late to join our global meditation community. Register for Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Free Online Experience Today.” A 33-year-old, Indian-born, overworked business consultant living in Tribeca couldn’t refuse an invite from Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey. The power couple extended this offer at the beginning of the year, and …

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I hadn’t planned to go solo. A group of friends in Heidelberg had expressed interest in going, but they all declined during the week leading up to Friday, and I found myself facing the choice of going alone or not going at all.

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[dropcap size=small]D[/dropcap]espite my exhaustion, I couldn’t close my eyes and go to sleep. Above me were millions of stars in the inky-black sky, and below me was the Mediterranean Sea, gently rocking me to sleep on the front deck of the gulet, a two-masted traditional wooden sailing vessel. We were in Turkey to walk the …

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Great things have been created because of/ in spite of confining situations. Think of Pride and Prejudice and the oddities shoved into local history museums: flowers woven out of a dead great aunt’s hair, to-scale cork models of historic buildings, decoupage ashtrays. Still, from the point of view of Russian language, Jane Austen basically sat at home.

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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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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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