He picked up his pace as I quickened mine. “Oooo, mambo,” he leered as he crossed the street to meet me on the side of the road. “Napenda, napenda,” he murmured as he walked next to me. In my Swahili language class, I would later learn this translates to “I like, I love.” He was …

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The Rocky Mountain Front in Montana was my backyard. I grew up incredibly fortunate to spend summers constructing clumsy wooden forts in forests of Englemann Spruce (Picea engelmannii), tubing down shallow Spring Creek (ever uneasy about mountain lion rumors), and unenthusiastically participating in team sports (by standing aloof in the outfield). But my best memories …

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“If it terrifies you so much, why do you do it?” my mother asked. I was about to leave for Port-au-Prince to sail on a relief yacht through Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands. I was popping anti-anxiety meds, losing sleep, my fingers itching to call it all off. To retreat into safety. I had never …

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It was my brother Ethan’s idea. He was getting married in Jinan, China, and Taishan, or Mt. Tai in English, was a quick bullet train ride away. “We’ll climb it a few days before the wedding,” he said. “We’ll be too hung-over after.” He meant he’d be too hung-over after, referring to the Chinese tradition …

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A student of mine died this year and then I traveled to this place called Tana Toraja to see a pig get set on fire and after that I got a voicemail from my mother about looking death in the face. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. We’ll start with the pig. My husband and …

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To enter the red door in the alleyway you first have to press the “2” and “5” on the keypad and hold for three seconds. You climb five levels of concrete steps in a darkened stairwell to a blue metal door with a Russian-era keyhole and no handle. Behind this door is a one bedroom …

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Peak experiences make it easy to fall in love. I spent a week alone in the backcountry of Everglades National Park, interacting with slow, sacred waters. I fell in love, deeply.I canoed the remote wonder of Katmai National Park, sharing shores with majestic grizzly bears. I fell in love, wondrously.But when we leave the glory …

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“Can we spin around the neighborhood for a few minutes so I can get the hang of this thing?” I asked my boyfriend, Tyson, as we headed out on what would be our first long motorcycle trip and my first time riding my motorcycle on busy interstates. I had ridden dirt bikes before, but I …

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I was on my way home from work at 5 p.m. on a Wednesday in January. I could only see the few feet of cracked pavement illuminated by my bike light and all I heard were coyotes yipping somewhere in the prairie. As I pedaled my fixed-gear, hodgepodge bike up a hill with 25-mile-per-hour winds …

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Three women wearing burkas swept along, chatting expressively among themselves. Well-dressed families and couples sauntered past one another, noses in the air, headed toward either the AirFrance lounge or the AirItalia lounge, which were strategically positioned at a diagonal from one another. I sat in the no man’s land between the two lounges at JFK …

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I am sitting in gravel by the largest pool of Steamboat. The glassy surface of the river moves slowly and it is the end of summer so traffic on the road above is infrequent and the whoosh of an occasional car is indistinguishable in the combing breeze. I am looking at the white scar on …

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