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I didn't sell my car before I left to travel the world. I kept it in my mom's garage with strict orders to run it every once in a while and to have my sister drive it whenever she came by. Of course, when I came home, 15 months later, it was completely dead. I suppose I could have sold it before I left, but my original plan involved coming home after nine months to road trip around the US. That was before I fell in love with Asia and stayed months longer than planned....

I never went camping growing up. Never pitched a tent or started a fire or made s'mores outside of a microwave. In grade school we had outdoor ed where we stayed in a giant cabin and I once took one trip with a friend where, I believe, we used a camper, and that was the extent of my roughing it days. I was never an outdoorsy kid. I much preferred my bedroom and television and air conditioning. It wasn't until late in college that I ever went camping. Every couple of years when we'd go white water rafting and camp at...