Why I’m Running the Ethiotrail Half Marathon

Simbo lodge

Let’s be frank: I’m no runner. I’ve never had the special shoes or the Fitbit or the love of pain to really get into it. Yet here in Addis Ababa, I’ve just signed up for a trail run called Ethiotrail. I skipped the 12k option and went straight for the half marathon as my goal for August 9 (i.e. four weeks from now). Is that crazy? Probably. Good idea anyway? I think so. Here’s why:

“How Are You!” and First Impressions From Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa from above

When I walk down the street in my new neighborhood in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, there’s no blending in. I’m a blatant ferenji (foreigner). The diplomatic capital of Africa sees its fair share of ferenj, but still, my otherness seems to invite shout-outs. After offers of “taxi!” the most common call I hear is “how are you!”

One Last Ode to Colorado


Dear Colorado — my backyard, my habitat, my home, This is not the first time I’ve sat down with a heartful to write about you. I’ve penned my praises before. You already know what I love most. It’s the summits of your 14ers, your natural hot springs, your miles of mountain highway on road bike, your […]

Notes On a Long-term Ticket to East Africa

Ethiopia research

It’s been nearly three years since I returned from my last long-term travel jaunt in South America. Three years! It’s been so good to be home. I reconnected with my hometown of Denver. I built a career with Southwind Adventures, and I went on a couple fam trips to Ecuador and Peru. I wrapped myself […]

My $20 Toward Hope For Rhinos (and Travel Prizes!)

Photo courtesy Susan Portnoy, The Insatiable Traveler

Bad news, guys. African rhinos are in trouble. In addition to the habitat loss that endangers a wide range of species, the rhino’s threat is its particularly valuable horn. Sadly, poachers can fetch huge sums of money for rhino horns on the black market in East Asia, where the horns are believed to possess medicinal powers.