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  • 10 shirts. 5 pairs of shorts. 2 pairs of jeans. 2 sweatshirts. 2 bathing suits. 1 brush. 1 toothbrush. 1 bag. 18 days. I went down the “Travel Checklist” that my mom handed out to each member of my family and made sure I had everything—or as much as I could fit into that small duffel bag. For the...

  • Like so many things, security is an invisible asset. When we have it, it empowers us to go boldly, to take chances that actually endanger it. But when it is threatened, or worse, gone, you realize how vulnerable you are without it, how vigorously you will work to get it back. I realized this lesson...

  • I have lived in Iowa all of my life. Some people say that it’s in, or even is, the middle of nowhere. This where I come in. I hope to banish the misconceptions people have about Iowa, and prove that it is a very fun and exciting place to visit and live. I grew up in Marion, Iowa, which is in...

    Tags: Exploring, Iowa, USA
  • I guess you could say my obsession with Johnny Depp began the day Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl came to theaters.  After seeing Mr. Depp play the rogue but charming Captain Jack Sparrow I was hooked.  So it was no surprise that when I heard there was going to be a second and...

  •            They say it gets easier after the first step. That the hardest part is leaning back, putting all of your trust in and weight on the cord that you’re gripping with sweaty hands, trying not to focus on the lack of stable ground beneath your feet. What had started out as slight uneasiness...

  • I was standing ankle deep in the foul smelling mud, covered in bits of hay, happier than I had been all year. Surrounded by family, friends, food, and mosquitoes of giant proportions, I was at home. As the murky water worked its way into my shoes and then socks, the scent of dirty rice and sound of...

  • New York City is my city. When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is around my neighborhood, the Bronx. Then we hit the big ones, like Central Park, The Met, and Grand Central Terminal. I always leave time for: the iconic Strand boolstore; William Greenberg for a small black-...

  • The day is Wednesday, March 19, 2008. Now I'm not particularly fond of Wednesdays, but this Wednesday, happened to be the most exciting and monumental day of a 16 year old girl's life. My luggage was carefully being weighed on a silver scale at the always pleasant Southwest Airlines counter, while...

  • Every summer I get the chance to travel to a new exotic place in the world.  All these trips are exciting and memorable, but none of these trips compare to when I go back to my native country, Poland.  Even though I cannot spend my day lying on the beach, by the pool, or just visiting the islands...

    Tags: Europe, Heritage
  • I could start this essay the ol' fashioned way. You know "the days were hot, the nights were cold," yada, yada, yada. The days were hot and the nights were hot but not as hot. What would you expect? It's India, my friend. IT'S ALWAYS HOT.  But you don't want to know about the temperature, you want...

    Tags: Asia, Heritage, India

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