For his 80th birthday he had decided to go on a vacation he had never been to before. He packed his bag with only informal stuff and his favorite hat and sunglasses. He had been dressing up for formal suits for meetings and corporate parties all his life as he could remember. Now at his 80, he wanted to break the rules a little. Go on a trip to remember; in a tropical place as he would feel.. Europe was as tropical as it could get for him. Coffee on small tables by the side walk; pizza by the slice...

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He exited the train at Buenos Aires. Took numerous buses, cabs, water planes and a thirty mile trek through the jungle before he arrived at his final destination. The land that time forgot.

Samuel Cartwright had grown up with legends about this place, dinosaurs, treasure, extraordinary people. How much of it was true he had no idea, but he was determined to find out.

As a child Samuel had been blessed with a very high IQ insatiable curiousity and parents that indulged his whims, no matter how unpractical. They encouraged this quest and helped with finances convinced their son would...

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The sepia girl smiled at me as I tucked her photograph back into my wallet.

I'd found it several years ago, inside a book in a box on a table at a garage sale. I hadn't ended up buying anything from the sale, but I'd taken the photo. I suppose you could say it was stealing, but I've never thought about it that way.

She seemed lonely. I was just taking her from a life spent between pages on the Ottoman Empire, with me. I travel a lot, and a part of me wanted her to see the world.


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The trip was turning into a disaster: we got lost at every turn, the food made us barf, the sites were disappointingly normal and the boisterous flow of life that had seemed so appealing when we first started teasing out the details of what a mutually enjoyable vacation would look like, all of a sudden reminded us of the very place we were trying to escape.

Today's excursion hit the last patience nerve left.

"I have to leave this place. I want my life back", I thought to myself on the bus ride back to the hell hole that sounded...

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"Travel light, but take everything with you. No cases full of cuddly toys. No toys, in fact."

These were the terse instructions from my mother as I prepared to pack the contents of my life into one tiny, child-size suitcase, a suitcase barely big enough to accommodate a change of clothes, let alone anything sentimental, useful or practical. What on earth had possessed her to choose such a ridiculous object for such a momentous adventure? I couldn't even begin to think. It was completely unsuitable and my mother was usually such a meticulous woman. Nothing escaped her notice. The house...

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Travel light, but take everything with you. Everything that you might need. The bare essentials. Nothing that might be termed as excess. Nothing that might weigh you down, nothing that might, at the other end, end up in a cupboard or a loft, forever after forgotten and stored away.

That's the problem with belongings. You accumulate so many unnecessary things over the years, things that once meant something to you, perhaps even a lot, but that, over an indeterminate period of time, lost that once owned meaning and became, instead worthless, meaningless. The Valentine's Day card from an old lover,...

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Travel light, but take everything with you. Take your ambitions, your hopes, your dreams. Take with you all of those memories of when we were kids; that time you got so mad at me that you punched out one of my baby teeth.

When you're cleaning out that dusty suitcase under your bed, set aside that sea shell we found on the shore on our parents' fifteenth anniversary. Set it on a shelf somewhere that you will notice it. Not every day, but once in a while, when you least expect it. Think of how we had our first heart-to-heart...

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I sat near the stall where they sold jade jewelry, waiting for Hestan to finish buying a years worth of magnolia tea from the stall across the way. I lifted my delicate umbrella to sheild me from the blazing sun overhead. I looked up at the gorgeous architecture perched above me. I loved China. The elegant sweep of each roof enraptured me. When i asked why they were like that, the woman told me that evil spirits could only travel in straight lines, so it could ward them off. Hestan walked toward me, his bag stuffed with 5 sealed jars...

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Mist and fog everywhere.

It had started off as a beautiful African day. 30 degree heat and so they only wore shorts and t-shirts and packed a few sandwiches. No point taking unnecessary baggage, they told themselves. This is an impromptu safari. Let's be adventurous.

Then the fog came down. They weren't expecting this. And the track just sort of faded out. Bumping over grass in the battered landrover, they could see no familiar landmarks, nothing to lead them back to the road.

They were cheerful and amused at first. Lost in Africa! How foolish. What a great story. Then...

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'No, come on, you stil saying it like an American.'

'I *am* an American.'

'Yeah but you're in Paris now.'

'You mean Paree.'

'Piss off. Now say it again. Pawn she on.'

'Nah. Too hard. It's pension.'

'I'm not going through with this unless you at least try.'

'Fuck it. I'm not. Grab the overhead bags and let's get off the plane.'

'No. I'm not getting of the plane until you at least try.'

He checked the tickets. 'How much does it cost to change the return flight?'

'You want to stay longer?'

'No. I'm changing it to the...

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