Maasai on a Plane

Here’s a piece of seemingly random advice: Don’t take a Maasai Warrior on his first plane ride. Many of you are, no doubt, currently weighing the pros and cons of just such an endeavor or something vaguely similar. I had to learn this particular lesson the hard way — by actually taking my Maasai friend…

Field Notes from the Slopes of Kilimanjaro

There are squashed slug guts on the floor of my hut, which is located about one-third of the way up Mount Kilimanjaro. I feel bad for the slug, who just sort of exploded under my sneaker when I was looking at the drawings on the hut’s roughhewn walls. But I’m so damn happy about all…

Taking a Back Seat to Delhi

I had one overarching and recurring thought while I was stuck in traffic on Delhi’s roads Tuesday: Thank goodness I don’t have diarrhea. I must note that needing to use the bathroom — urinate, that is — doesn’t seem to be a problem for men on any street in India. They just pull over, pull…

The Magic Carpet Ride

What we came to see: rugs, sea, food, art and architecture.  What we left with: rugs (and a rug-seller friend named Gonzales), bloated bellies, and these glorious photos of  Istanbul (not Constantinople).

Oman Rocks, Again

What do 29 hours in Khasab, at the Northern tip of Oman, have to offer? Dhows, dolphins, and a very dramatic coastline known as the “fjords of Musandam.” Khasab is so far north on the Arabian Peninsula that our travelling companion’s phone actually welcomed him to Iran.  The waters here run through the Strait of…

Heart-Shaped Go

Some of the green traffic signals in this part of the world — the Northern Arab Emirates — light up in the shape of a heart, and some of the red ones are aglow with smiley faces. That is all I know on earth, and all I probably need to know. We lived at the…

Game for Anything

Kenya is the only place that can slow this sprinter down. I never look at the clock. I feel no hurry to get through the day, or the night. Nothing passes in a blur. I move along at the pace of the human race around me.  Sometimes at a complete standstill with my surroundings and myself. Fearless, not reckless. What Kenya…

Preorder the Book that took a Lifetime to Write

The time has come to offer you my new memoir, DRYLAND: One Woman’s Swim to Sobriety, now available for pre-order on Amazon. I’ve waited years, decades for this moment. Exactly how much time has gone into this book? Oh, just my entire lifetime. Twenty years as a champion swimmer in Florida. One-and-a-half years as half-assed Peace Corps Volunteer…