At the José Martí International Airport in Havana, Cuba there are no escalators. Passengers lug carry-on bags down stairs to their gate cursing the poorly air conditioned terminal, and the one restaurant in the food court has a constant line, with no indication of what is actually available. When I reach the counter, a woman …

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I didn’t know what to expect except to expect adventure. I had gotten so caught up in my day-to-day, the hectic pace of life in New York City, my full time job, my subway commute, my errands, my to-do list, that adventure seemed like something in my far-reaching past, something that was part of a …

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When I first smell the smoke, it registers only superficially. Unlike the tight gild of the eucalyptus trunks or the mammalian noises of the kookaburras, which shock my perception with their newness, this smell is a familiar detail from hikes back home in Virginia. It isn’t until I see the concern on a fellow backpacker’s …

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