Well. Here’s a twist

Killing time in the Timika airport this morning. Over 3 hours, which is a long time on cold, creaky metal chairs after 2 nights in airplanes. The waiting room is packed with sweaty, unwashed bodies and the damp air is stagnant and stale. My eyes hurt, after 40 hours on the road and no proper …

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Travel weary and waiting

Preparation day had a couple of surprises. Like the last minute instructions from my organizer in Indonesia to bring two MSR burners and 4 pumps. What?! The day before I set off, I have to run around shopping for more gear?! Luckily I have a relaxed and supportive husband, who shrugged and said, "okay, let's …

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a new adventure begins

“You’re going where?” “Papua.” Blank look. “You know, like Papua New Guinea.” Still blank. “Have you ever played Risk (the board game)? It's that big island down near Australia.” “ooooh. Why’re you going there?” “To climb Carstensz Pyramid.” “climb what? “ aaaand…eyes glass over. This is pretty much the conversation I’ve been having for about …

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The Cannes Film Festival

What were you like as a kid?  Do you remember your struggles, trials and tribulations as you tackled life and the whole arduous growing-up process?  Can you recognize the person you are now, as a response and result of who you were then – shaped and refined and redefined by your experiences and your approach …

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The Kilimanjaro Story

Do you remember the dreams you had as a teenager?  And I don’t mean the steamy, hormone-driven kind that keep you awake at night.  I’m referring to those grand ambitions we each had – the wants and needs that influence your outlook and drive your actions. The obsessions that determine your reading list and which …

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Japan (for beginners)

The chef and the hostess both followed us out to the street – in subzero temperatures – as they continued fervently thanking us and bowing deeply as we hastened off in the direction of the nearest bus stop.  We chuckled as we rushed through the frozen city, amused and amazed by our Japanese experience.  It’s …

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Mt. Elbrus Expedition – the story (from 2013)

Day 1: Arrival in Mineralnye Vody It is a different world here.  Arriving at midnight, I walked out of the arrivals hall (well, that’s a stretch – really just a room with a luggage track, exiting directly into the parking lot) and found my pre-arranged taxi driver holding a hand-printed sign “EURO Hotel.” So far, …

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Pushing the boundaries of the comfort zone

Applying sunscreen is supposed to be a protective measure and keep you safe.  At the moment, though, I’m cursing all the skin-cancer information I’ve gathered in the past years. My mouth goes suddenly and unbearably dry, my legs begin to tremble uncontrollably and my fingers – slippery from sunscreen despite liberal chalk application - slide …

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