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Delightful Travels with Olivia

stories that stimulate the soul

 

November 7, 2019

Crisp wind pressed in through the cracks between my helmet and goggles, freezing my cheeks into a permanent smile as a herd of alpaca scattered across the valley. At nearly 14,000 feet in elevation, my heart fluttered to keep up with my breath, despite gravity assistin...

October 9, 2019

A grizzly bear or a wolf—which would you choose to encounter on your backpacking trip? The obvious answer is, “neither,” but let’s say you didn't have a choice. Is there one that seems to be more reliable or wise? What if instead of two simple choices, you were given m...

March 31, 2019

It's 2014, and I'm at my very first Kayaks on Snow, with a foam shark fin duct taped to my helmet and toothy shark jaws taped menacingly to the bow of my boat. I grip the sides of my whitewater kayak and lean forward as the snowcat lurches to a start up the ski hill, d...

February 1, 2019

There is an old Gaelic expression that says, “Go n-éirí an bóthar leat .” It has been widely mistranslated as, “May the road rise to meet you.” What it really means is closer to this: “May your journey succeed” or “May you succeed in the journey of life.” In many place...

January 9, 2019

The skydiver is ready; he stands at the open airplane door, wind whipping the fabric of his jumpsuit. It’s now, or never. He hears a voice behind him telling him to jump. He sticks a foot out of the door, and then another, and then an arm, but something is wrong. He’s...

December 3, 2018

On September 20, 2006, I awoke in my Bangkok apartment to a voice over the telephone that instructed, “Do not come to school today. A state of emergency has been declared in Thailand.” I rolled over and went back to sleep. I was awakened again by a call from family in...

November 14, 2018

“Go on without me guys; that helicopter is coming for me.” I lay in the snow staring up at the sky while my faithful fellow mountaineers peeled off my crampons and pulled a coat over my shoulders. I watched the helicopter pass by and gripped my stomach, still queasy af...

October 18, 2018

It was hour 39 of chugging up-river from the muddy tide of the mighty Amazon, and onward into the blackness of the Rio Negro.  We nestled deeper into our hammocks, swinging gently on the top deck like a multi-colored row of pigs-in-blankets. The only sounds were the ch...

September 6, 2018

In Nepal, I dealt with blood-thirsty leaches. In the Amazon, I swam with piranha.  In Thailand, I faced a pit viper. In Alaska, I dodged a grizzly bear. In Belize, I swam with sharks. But of all the creatures I faced, there is one that I dread the most: The mosquito.

Ah...

August 16, 2018

When you decide to venture into the Himalayas, most guidebooks recommend that you hire a local Sherpa (trail guide). It’s good for stimulating the local economy, for getting better deals at the tea houses, and for protection. But what most guidebooks don’t tell you, is...

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