Russia, Contrariwise

Five months back from Russia, I am still challenged to write about my trip, still trying to even begin understanding this vast country. Russia seems to me to be a nation of contradictions, the brute of a country cousin to…

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Even Non-Birders Can Enjoy Galapagos

In Galapagos, the animals aren't afraid of humans. Photo credit: L. Tripoli

I didn’t head to Ecuador to be at one with the birds. I’ve never been especially drawn to the things. I didn’t appreciate the claws on the parrots at Parrot Jungle. My grandmother’s caged parakeets—still singing despite their incarceration—annoyed me.…

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The First Thanksgiving Was in Florida

Sitting on the patio of the golf clubhouse at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando and watching the pastel-clad golfers, their carts, and the sand traps, Florida’s dark history seems remote, a dream. Brutal Spanish explorers, Protestants killing Catholics,…

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Survived the Apocalypse? Head to Disney

The Brawny Sherpa and I were more than grateful to head out of town after weathering Hurricane Sandy incredibly well—lost power for a few days, had only very minor damage to the purple bungalow, and temporarily hosted some of our…

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Have a Limited Travel Budget? Try an Amazon Jungle Walk

A life-changing trip: traveling the length of the Amazon.

Everything I needed to know about traveling, I could have learned from Ed Stafford’s Walking the Amazon: 860 Days. One Step at a Time. He’s the first man to have walked the Amazon, a little journey that took him just…

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What’s to Fear in Guayaquil?

I was hesitant to fly in to Guayaquil for an overnight stay before departing for the Galapagos Islands, mostly because some Ecuadorians I volunteered with at a kitchen supplying lunches for the elderly kept telling me I would be mugged…

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