Canyon of Compromise: A Parable

Two backpackers met for coffee to discuss their next backcountry excursion. One backpacker was a father. A blue backpack rested by his dusty hiking boots. The other backpacker was a daughter. Her red backpack was bulging with gear. Father laid his map on the table between their mugs and directed their route to the topContinue reading “Canyon of Compromise: A Parable”

Life: Who’s Got the Map?

We had been paddling all day. I sat in the front of the canoe, slick with sweat from exerting myself beneath the Florida sun. I was hot and tired, and where is a lady to use the bathroom while paddling in a canoe for hours around the thousand island region of Everglades National Park? I couldContinue reading “Life: Who’s Got the Map?”

Searching for Meaning this New Year

Each year, as the clock approaches midnight on December 31st, I delve through a quick mental scan of the past year. It’s what we all do, right? Even those of us who don’t make resolutions. Even those of us who do, but drop them a week or a month later. We still reflect. New YearsContinue reading “Searching for Meaning this New Year”

Last Days of Summer

The air was hot and stale in the bus and so crowded with people I stood for the entirety of my journey. Muted French voices swirled in the atmosphere around me as their host’s bodies swayed to and fro with the curvatures of the road. I felt sick. With each twist and turn, it seemed asContinue reading “Last Days of Summer”

Travel Blunders Got You Down?

The night before, I felt as though I was suffocating beneath a thick blanket of Northern Australian atmosphere. Sweat pooled without conviction beneath my corpse-still body, and moisture was so thick in my lungs, I thought black mold might be the ultimate cause of my suffocation.

Australia Will Kill You: and other life lessons

Ever since I was very young I wanted to visit Australia. I’m not sure why, out of all the places in the world I became fascinated with this destination, though I suspect it had quite a bit to do with the wildlife. I love animals. I especially love wild, exotic, and strange animals. Australia isContinue reading “Australia Will Kill You: and other life lessons”

The Most Important Job in Wilderness Therapy: An Ode to Miss Tammy

Student at wilderness therapy program: “Does Miss Tammy own this company?” Wilderness therapy instructor: “Why do you say that?” Student: “Everyone’s always saying that she’s the most important person here.” Instructor: “Well, that’s because she is.” Wilderness therapy is the ultimate Hero’s Journey dance; a cyclical pattern of communication, efficiency, and passion.  It is a process that is alwaysContinue reading “The Most Important Job in Wilderness Therapy: An Ode to Miss Tammy”