Why Climb Every Mountain When You Can Take the Lift?

Oh, the Alps. Glorious. Majestic. Breathtaking. They’re the mountains of your dreams, every hiker’s delight, and a “must” destination for so many. For the past week and a half, Rick and I have been leading 26 tour members through the Alps from Austria to Italy to Germany and to Switzerland. And now we’ve arrived in…

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Conquering Fears and Storming a Castle in Austria

My friend Julie once experimented with “The Year of Trying New Things.” Whenever she encountered something she hadn’t tried  or didn’t want to try before (activities, food, routes, ways of thinking), rather than say no to it, she opted to try it…just for kicks. When Rick and I are faced with the choice of doing…

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The Dynamite Dolomites: Easy to Access, Easy to Love

I’m not what one would call an outdoorsy kind of person, and no one ever mistook me for a Birkenstock-wearing “granola girl,” but I sure do love hiking in the Alps. Our outdoor-loving and nature-respecting European counterparts make getting there so easy. From well-groomed trails and mountain huts to clear signage and industrial-strength cable lifts,…

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Are You Gonna Go My Way?

  Not all travelers are created equal. Whether you’re a bold adventurer, culture vulture, foodie fanatic , history buff, or nature-lover, how you travel can be as important as why you travel and where you go. As an avid travel and tour guide, I know that incorporating our personal passions—and even our individual idiosyncrasies—into our travels…

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The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

“Please don’t rain yet. Please don’t rain yet. Please don’t rain yet.” My mind looped this mantra, and I plastered an everything’s-alright smile, hoping my face wouldn’t betray my anxiety. Twenty-eight people were following me through the cobblestone streets of Paris, and I didn’t want their only two days with me in my favorite European…

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Life in a Volcanic Landscape

No trip to Iceland is complete without a visit to the highlands.  With the help of an expert guide–equipped with a “Super Jeep”, Rick and I made the four-hour trek from Reykjavik to the rugged and almost other worldly landscapes near Eyjafjallajökul (pronounced EY-ya-fyad-luh-YO-kuld, a.k.a. E15–starts with “E” has 15 letters).  You’ll recall that this…

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Losing My Outdoorsy Virginity

As you might guess, I’m a big fan of the conveniences of modern life like electricity, running water, heat, and fly swatters, and I think whoever invented window screens is a genius. While I really enjoy running, I’d rather run on a treadmill than run outdoors so I don’t get sunburnt or rained on.  And…

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