|Food and water station at Toubkal marathon.|
1. Germany. Long summer days spent lazily dangling our legs into the water while sipping beer. I try to explain s’mores. My friends find marshmallows so I can demonstrate this American campfire phenomenon.
2. Netherlands. Largest student relay race. 4:00 a.m. I am shaken away and handed a jersey. I greet the dawn running through the low-lying hills of the Dutch countryside.
3. Mexico. Tarot card reading in the middle of the jungle. The monkeys howl from the trees and the candles cast shadows against the wall of the palapa.
4. West Bank Checkpoint. Israeli soldiers serenade us with “Hotel California.” The stars hang above the hills and their voices echo back. You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.
5. Istanbul. Stuck in a hotel elevator. Laughing deliriously when the concierge tells us to stay there while he searches for help.
6. The Dead Sea. My Palestinian friends scatter to the shore, eyes blinking wildly at the silver expanse of salty water stretching all the way to Jordan. They had never seen it.
7. Jordan. Sitting in a Bedouin camp watching the shadows stretch across red rocks as camels pad heavily into the desert.
8. USA. Greyhound bus. I pull out a map and eight of my new best friends huddle around me as we trace our route across the country.
9. France. Hiking through the Alps in summer, stopping at mountain huts for homemade meals shared with fellow hikers.
10. Morocco. Spontaneously signing up for a mountain marathon up North Africa’s highest peak.