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Bitter-Sweetness Revisited

It's been one year. One year since the phone rang on that grim Saturday morning. One year since my inconsolable family gathered around her unconscious body to weep our unprepared goodbyes. One year since I was awakened to human ...

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A Take Away Show

It's been a while since I gave the blog some love. The site has been offline due to hosting issues, and the whirlwind change my life has seen in the past several months has prevented me from correcting it. A proper update is forthcoming. For ...

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Panama

[Note: As it goes on the road, I lost my memory card reader somewhere in Costa Rica. Until I get home the rest of the photos I post will what can be gathered from my phone or Josh's. Please forgive the omission of quality visual ...

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Sailing on the S.S. Santana

Getting from Colombia to Panama was not as easy as we thought it would be when we looked at a map and routed our trip. Although the nations are physically connected, a land crossing between the two is virtually impossible due to what is known as ...

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Happy Birthday Dad

 It is with much regret that I find myself so far from home today, my dad's birthday. I know he understands why I can't be there, and he's too modest to want any attention, but it's not every day a fellow turns 60. If there was ever a role ...

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Return to Colombia

Our first two weeks on the road have been a marathon of sorts.  Considering our successes and failures, we've got a bit of reflecting to do and more discovery ahead. But first and foremost, we've had a helluva time. I feel like myself again. ...

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Here We Go Again

"Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life." - Jack Kerouac, On the Road And so it continues. I'm finally back on the road. The road is life. I think it's safe to say ...

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An Afterward to Adventure

They say all good things must come to an end. But why?! I've been preaching zen optimism about rolling with the punches and making the best out of any situation, yet in the days leading up to my departure from South America, the one thing I couldn't ...

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Buenos Aires in Photos

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Buenos Aires

Saying goodbye is really hard. I flew into Buenos Aires on a Saturday night. After traversing the entire length of the continent, a few days in B.A. was my victory lap before flying home. What a perfect place to finish. Buenos Aires is one of those ...

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Tierra del Fuego in Photos

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Tierra del Fuego

I returned to Punta Arenas late at night. Utterly beat from my trek I hardly had the energy to brush my teeth. Sleep had never felt so good, even on the squeaky top bunk I was assigned. I set my alarm and was up by 6 o'clock. I took my first ...

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Torres del Paine in Photos

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Torres del Paine

After two months of bus rides south, I caught a flight from Puerto Montt to a region often referred to as El fin del Mundo - the end of the world. It felt like such a treat to ride in a plane, traveling so far in so little time. After a meager 1.5 ...

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Middle Chile in Photos

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Pucon

After a restless overnight bus ride, I got to Pucon on a frigid wet morning. This region, known as the Lakes District, feels a world away from Santiago in landscape and lifestyle. A small town turned outdoor mecca, the draw to Pucon was obvious for ...

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Santiago & Valparaiso

I arrived in Santiago at 2:30 in the afternoon. At the bus station I asked for the best way to get to Barrio Brasil, the neighborhood where I was staying. I was pleasantly surprised when I was told to take the Metro. The center of a booming ...

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Northern Argentina in Photos

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Mendoza

The trip to Mendoza was not the normal bus ride. Early in the morning, halfway into our 18-hour journey, my travel companion, Hayley, said she'd been experiencing a sharp pain in her stomach since 1 a.m. As time passed, the pain became more sharp ...

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Road Trip in Northern Argentina

After a well spent stay in San Pedro de Atacama, I made the first of several border crossings between Chile and Argentina. The border was a standard affair if not frustratingly slow. The only pleasant part was, after getting our stamps and lining ...

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Northern Chile in Photos

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Stranded in San Pedro

I was a little devastated when this post got deleted the first time I wrote it. But life goes on. Sorry for the delay.  I arrived in San Pedro de Atacama in the late morning. The town is an oasis in the expansive Atacama, the driest hot ...

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Arica

When I woke up Monday morning I was still in Peru. It was just before 4 a.m. - a normal hour for me these days - and with the border not opening for a couple hours I was stuck in a rank concrete bus station for the second morning in a ...

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Peru in Photos

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Puno & Lake Titicaca

I don't do a lot of planning. Sometimes I'll get to a place and double my expected stay. I'm also not afraid to leave a place early. I left Cusco with a bit of a heavy heart, feeling pulled away by my schedule and yet anxious to be in Chile. I ...

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The Ghosts of Machu Picchu

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Cusco & Machu Picchu

For being my longest single bus ride yet, the 22 hour trip to Cusco was by far the most pleasant. That's because you get what you pay for. In this case I opted to take Cruz del Sur, the Rolls Royce of bus companies. My luxury liner included ...

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48 Hours in Lima

Next stop: Lima. After leaving Huaraz at 10 p.m. I arrived in Lima with my friends Kate and Owen. Of course buses have a habit of arriving early only when it's inconvenient. In this case we were forced to find our way from the bus station at 4:30 ...

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Northern Peru: A Series of Contrasts

My first week in Peru has been a series of contrasts.   I left my beloved Baños Saturday afternoon on a night bus that would carry me into Peru, stopping at the border to get my stamps. We would arrive in the tiny surf town of Mancora ...

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Ecuador in Photos

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Making Friends in Ecuador

Socially speaking, my last five days in Ecuador were a contrast to my time in South America up to that point.  After being a party of one for close to 10 days, I have made many friends since my last update and I must say, as rewarding as solo ...

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My Time in Quito

Over the past two days I've done what I could to explore Quito, the mountain-dwelling capitol of Ecuador.  At 9,350 feet elevation, I don't envy any visitors who come from sea level. While I had some silly idea that South America was going to ...

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Another Day on the Road

Love 'em or hate 'em, travel days are a reality when you are crossing the length of a continent. Yesterday was a doozy.  Knowing what I had ahead of me, I set my alarm and was to the Popayan bus terminal by 7 a.m. I was on my way out of town ...

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Adios Colombia

One country down, five to go.  It seems like I flew into Colombia yesterday. Actually, it was just under a week ago. While it seems a little unfair not to give this country a little more time - it really has charmed me - there are other ...

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Colombia in Photos

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Third World Transportation: A Love Story

Travel days. Every shoestring traveler knows the sluggish tone associated with those words.  I fervently contend that the differences between the developed world and the developing world are not half as big as most Westerners think. However, ...

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The Street Art of Bogota

The first thing you notice, as a taxi drives you into Bogota from the airport, is that this city has a lot of grafitti. The second thing you notice is that it is some of the most beautiful grafitti you've ever seen. Move aside Banksy, and get your ...

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Bogota

Here I am, on the road, back where I belong.  I flew into Bogota two days ago, and my first impression was, 'Am I in the right place?' From warnings and a vague understanding of recent history, I was expecting Colombia to be a nasty place ...

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The Bitter-Sweet Beginning of a Big Adventure

A week ago yesterday, I watched my aunt die.  I visited her the previous day, after she was officially diagnosed with acute leukemia. She was to begin chemo therapy immediately. After 14 days of treatment, she had a 50 percent chance of ...

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How far is too far?

I don't know about you but I'm terrified of the National Security Agency. If you're not, soak in this lengthy New York Times article and get back to me. I'm not sure if I'm more upset by activities of the N.S.A. or by the fact that they have ...

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What’s Old is New

The critics you love to hate (and hate to love) at Pitchfork  have a new column called Secondhands, which “examines music of the past through a modern lens.” I love this concept because it attempts to explain a phenomenon I’ve often wondered ...

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Zoo Kid Grows Up [Review]

A couple years ago, me and my friends were treated with a mysterious song that shook us to our cores. The song, titled "Out Getting Ribs" after a pencil on paper drawing by Jean Michel Basquiat, was made by a 16-year-old Brit named Archy ...

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My Interview with Thomas Windham

I received a lot of kudos for my article on the March on Washington and while I'm proud of my work, I feel as though I was standing on shoulders of giants, as it were. The power of the article came from the subjects and the historic march, ...

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My Fledgling Career in Journalism

I'm in an odd spot in my life and career. As my internship at the Daily Camera comes to a close, I am in the strange, if not daunting, position of having no job in front of me and no idea which direction to go. I feel like bona fide badass on ...

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Blowout Comb by Digable Planets [Review]

Blowout Comb is a classic album from 1994 I had never heard of before its reissue this summer. I've been  making up for lost time. The second and final album from Brooklyn trio Digable Planets, Blowout is a rare gem of early hip-hop genius ...

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The Cost of an Education

Matt Taibbi's piece in this week's Rolling Stone hit dangerously close to home. Titled, "Ripping Off Young America: The College Loan Scandal," the article muckrakes the sad, cold reality faced by much of my generation - the reality of college ...

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Does Vinyl Really Sound Better?

Pitchfork recently added a blog feature, The Pitch, where the staff can open up and write about topics they want, without worrying about its relevance or journalistic balance. So far I'm a fan of the interesting topics it has produced. One post ...

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Remembering JJ Cale

It was with great sadness that I learned about that singer-songwriter JJ Cale died this weekend from a heart attack. He was 74. Cale was known by many as the writer of songs made famous by other people. He was covered by the likes of Eric ...

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“News is bad for you?”

I just read this article from The Guardian, which claims that "News is Bad for You." With such an inflammatory title, I had to read on. The author, Rolf Dobelli, claims consuming news literally hurts your mental and physical health: ...

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Congo: Caught in the Cross-fire

There is no place on this planet with more problems than the Democratic Republic of Congo (aka the D.R.C.). Cursed by its priceless cache of precious resources, the failed African state has been consumed by internal war since 1998, with little ...

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The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey [Review]

"The future lies before us, spread-eagled like a coronary upon the dunghill of Destiny." - Doc Sarvis  Few writers speak to me at the same level as Edward Abbey. Known for his environmental advocacy, his anarchic views, Abbey was aptly ...

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The Quiet American by Graham Greene [Review]

"Innocence always calls mutely for protection when it would be so much wiser to guard ourselves against it: innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm." I used to only think of innocence as a ...

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Why Instagram Sucks

[Originally Published on Elephant Journal, July 27, 2012] Instagram is changing the world of photography. If you haven’t used the Internet since 2009, the iPhone app that Facebook bought for $1 billion dollars applies artsy, interesting filters ...

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This is What Global Warming Looks Like

[Originally Published in Elephant Journal, July 19, 2012] Wildfires across Colorado, floods in Minnesota and Florida, heat waves and droughts, deadly tropical storms—and that’s just the U.S. This has been a confusing summer of extreme ...

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Why You Should Get Your News from Al Jazeera

[Originally Published on Elephant Journal, July 7, 2012] CNN, MSNBC, Fox News—your television news network is lying to you. Or at least they are doing a bad job of informing you. Last year, during the crisis in Egypt, Secretary of State ...

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“If Americans Want to Live the American Dream, They Should Move to Denmark.”

[Originally Published in Elephant Journal, June 29, 2012] The American Dream is dead. Sorry. For a nation of great principles and great achievements, America has never been a society of equals. I think the folks participating in Occupy would ...

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My Compost Turned to Toxic Waste

[Originally Published in Elephant Journal, June 22, 2012] For six months, I have been trying to be a good person. I did it wrong. Ever since returning to the U.S. in January, I have made it a habit to save every bit of acceptable ...

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How Big is Africa? You Have No Idea

[Originally Published on Elephant Journal, June 15, 2012] If you know your nerd history, you may have heard of Kai Krause. Krause is famous for developing graphical user interface design, something you might really be thankful for if you have ...