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I used to subscribe to the theory, "it's only hair." You see, I was never afraid to do something dramatic to my mousy blonde locks. I've had cuts of all lengths, chopped it all off, let it grow ridiculously long, tried bangs, tried bobs. I've dyed it almost every color imaginable. In college I dyed my hair purple, and green, and orange, and magenta. And then there was that time, a few years after college, when I decided to dye my hair black and while it is ridiculously hard to go back from it, I did, going for 11 more...

Carlos turned on the stereo and the son clave beat of a salsa song started blaring through the speakers. He walked over and took my hand, but, just as he was about to lead me into our first basic step, he turned my arm over and looked at my wrist. "Superman?" he asked, pointing to the insignia tattooed there. "Si." He let go of my hand and fished his phone out of his duffel bag, scrolling through his text messages until he got to a point where SUPERMAN was written. His friends called him that, he explained. And I knew I was...

I don't normally add something to my life list only to cross it off that same day. But, as some friends and I were sitting at lunch in Cali discussing the synching up Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon with The Wizard of Oz, I mentally added it as number 199. And then, moments later it was decided that that night we would watch it. ...

While visiting Costa Rica, in between hiking the cloud forest, I decided to give Monteverde horseback riding a try. Most backpackers come to the town to do the zipline or the bungee jump or possibly both. But as I've tried so very hard to establish here: I'm not extreme. And I don't like heights. And I especially don't like falling from heights. So as much as people keep calling me Supergirl, I have no desire to actually fly through the air like a bird, a plane, or a speeding bullet. So instead of wasting my money or fertilizing the landscape with my...

I hadn't exactly planned on going fishing in Caye Caulker. But, when a vivacious Dutch girl I'd just befriended drunkenly stammered across the table, "I'm going to catch a fish tomorrow! Valerie, do you want to catch a fish?" really the only thing to do was drunkenly yell back "Yes! I want to catch a fish tomorrow!" One of the guys I'd met earlier in the day on our snorkeling trip was trying to organize the excursion. The problem was that now eight people were interested in going and most of the outings capped off at four. He wasn't having any...

¡Hola! Yo quise aprender un otro idioma por mucho tiempo. Yo estudie francés en escuela pero yo no aprende nada. Muchas personas yo conozco saben muchas idiomas. A veces yo estoy celosa. Yo aborrezco hablar en inglés solamente. Cuando yo decide viajar en centroamérica yo quise comenzar en Guatemala y estudie español por 1 mes en Antigua. Hay muchos escuelas en Antigua. Yo escogí La Academia de Español Sevilla porque yo leí en mi guía turística. Yo pensé la escuela parecía bueno. Yo quise aprender Español porque yo voy a viajar en Central America. Muchas personas no habla inglés aquí....

My first ever camping trip got rained out, a malady that would plague every other camping trip I ever took with my college friends from that point on. It was the summer after my sophomore year of college, and we had crossed the state border to go white water rafting in Wisconsin. In truth, I was more than a little relieved when, on the second morning, we packed our bags and headed to my friend's cabin instead of hitting the rapids. I was scared....

If there is one thing that an adolescent addiction to family sitcoms had taught me (and, lets face it, it taught me many things), it is that in Hawaii they hand out leis like they're going out of style. You arrive at the airport: you get a lei. You arrive at your hotel: you get a lei. You attend a luau on some deserted potato chip of an island: you get a lei. I was pretty sure they gave you one every time you left the bathroom. You get lei'd in Hawaii. The Bradys got leis. The Seavers got leis. The...

Baby-Sitters Club was one of those things that was mine. I read all the books, watched the TV show, begged my parents to let me audition for a role in the movie. Dawn had me wishing I was a California girl. Stacey and Super Special #6 had me dreaming of New York. My sisters were older and had Sweet Valley, but this series, which began in 1986, when I was five, was geared a little more towards the younger set (I've confirmed this by reading every Sweet Valley book I could get my hands on in used bookstores abroad). Though,...

Over ten years ago I inherited a guitar from my sister when she replaced it with a new model for herself. Every so often I'd take it out of it's black case and haphazardly strum, making up songs, taking out joy or aggression in the strings. But, mostly, it's sat collecting dust in my closet because I really had no idea how to play....