Author: Rachel Rueckert

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A Thai Lantern Funeral for my Grandma

EACH FALL THAILAND celebrates Yi Peng, the iconic floating lanterns festival held on the first full moon in the second month according to the Lanna lunar calendar. Last year I watched the sky light up with masses of Lanna-style khom loi lanterns, each carrying a wish, a plea for good luck, or a farewell to old habits...

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A Tribute to Walden Pond

I crunch through leaves and smell wet bark at Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Yellow and crimson leaves line the path and cluster at the edges of the dark water. I drop pebbles into the pond and watch the ripples. A school of tiny fish scatters. I am alone except...

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The New Global Student: Book Review

The New Global Student: Skip the SAT, Save Thousands on Tuition, and Get a Truly International Education by Maya Frost My rating: 3 of 5 stars As an avid and frequent traveler, and one who has set out on many independent research adventures abroad, I felt The New Global Student...

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First Anniversary Reflection and a Tribute to Marriage

ON THIS DAY one year ago I knelt at an altar, gripping the hand of my best friend who smiled across from me as I took the greatest leap of faith I have ever taken in my life. I remember walking out of the temple to a crowd of supportive friends and...

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14 Ways Traveling the World Ruined My Life

1. I now hate donuts. When I got home and bit into a gooey cream-filled donut my taste buds inexplicably revolted. Three years ago in Turkey I shocked my friend by confessing I didn’t eat vegetables, but now I find myself ditching ice cream, Ritz crackers, canned spaghetti sauce, and...

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27 Things to Do Before I’m 27

IT’S GOING TO BE hard to top last year’s birthday goals. I’ve planned on traveling the world for some time, and I got to live that dream for most of my 26th year. But now what? Luckily the world is a big place, but this year my goals are quieter and...

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The Camino de Santiago: Day 10

We are 312,576 steps, 239 kilometers, and 148 miles into the Camino de Santiago. I have only walked for ten days (three more weeks to go) but have shared miles and meals with new friends from England, Scotland, Australia, Taiwan, South Korea, the U.S., Germany, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Switzerland,...

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The Camino de Santiago: Here we go!

Starting tomorrow I’m going to be walking for a month with nothing but this small bag, this not-so-small hat, a husband in tow, and the road. Why? Because tomorrow I will be a pilgrim on the 1,000 year-old Camino de Santiago walking from France to Spain (about 500 miles/800 kilometers). You won’t...