Each square foot around the globe is different. The landscape, the people, the customs, the color of the light, the food, all are simultaneously common and beyond imagining. Travel pulls our skin as we bulge from newness; it compels us to look, it beats us about the head. Our eyes are exchanged for a new pair that see differently.

I travel because it is there.

Her Friends Call her Lady Jaguar

Her friends call Carolina Saenz-Bolanos Lady Jaguar, and for good reason. She has spent years walking in Costa Rica’s wild places seeking the sacred jungle spirit, the creature of legend, the capstone species of the nation. She has seen peccary herds explode in fear. She has heard the jungle hush. She has seen jaguars swimming […]

Canadian Geographic Runs Excerpt of the LiveBig! book and an Interview with Heidi

An excerpt from Heidi’s forthcoming book LiveBig! is featured in Canadian Geographic’s January/February 2016 print edition. Editor Aaron Kylie’s interview of Heidi is on their website at

The book is an historic story of tragedy to triumph and reveals the behind-the-scenes story of the tragic 2003 avalanche that buried a school group of 17 from […]

Go Women! 858 Global Leaders In Boston

Last week I had the exquisite experience of hosting the International Women’s Forum Global Leadership Conference in Boston. The Conference, in which 858 global female leaders came together to discuss today’s issues, was a tour de force. Susan Hockfield, MIT President Emerita, gave a fiery talk about education and its future, including her exciting vision […]

My glaciers are dying

As someone whose strength was forged climbing glaciated peaks, in August I stood on British Columbia’s Devine glacier watching water heave down a millwell large enough to eat a truck. Numerous arteries roared into a death spiral that consumed the brilliant blue ice. In five years Devine’s depth had lost 25 feet and the toe […]

Portrait of grief—a bereaved mother

In Rome a few months ago, I stood in the Borghese Gallery quietly grieving before Raphael’s painting Deposition.

In 1507 Atalanta Baglioni commissioned Raphael to paint a “portrait of grief” in memory of her son Grifonetto, recently killed in a family feud after a party. Deposition depicts Mary lamenting over Jesus’ body just removed from the […]

Every cell has a sex

Dr. Paula Johnson deserves the credit for the National Institute of Health’s 2015 directive that female subjects must be included in early stages of drug research. It seems such an obvious, common-sense concept that it shouldn’t have taken 128 years since the founding of the NIH in 1887 for such inclusion to become reality.

Dr. Johnson, […]

Ireland with music and ghosts

Dave and I visited western Ireland in the company of archaeologists and ghosts. We tromped through the long grasses, wet by rain, into burial chambers thousands of years old. We visited friends in long-suffering Galway and attended an unforgettable concert by classical guitar rock musicians Rodrigo y Gabriela. Everywhere the indefatigable spirit of the Irish […]

Walking with dinosaurs

Kneeling against a large mound of sandy dirt, sweat rilling down my face and my hammer and awl set aside, I used my fingers to remove a few chunks of dirt.  As the soil shattered, I recognized the telltale chocolate brown of dinosaur bone, come to light for the first time in 65 million years.  […]

Bendel was almost eaten

On a starless night just after Christmas, my husband and I walked our dogs along the Bow River in Canmore, our adopted mountain town. The river snapped with shifting ice. The trees closed in and the path got dark–ambush territory. Our German Shepherd Spira alerted. Rigid, head high with radar ears, she hated on a […]

A Pope for our time

Pope Francis bent over a recumbent boy wracked by disability. The Pontiff blessed the child and kissed his forehead while the boy’s uncontrolled mouth yawed open in delight and his spindly arms joyfully batted the air. While the Popemobile waited, the Pope walked slowly among the assembled wheelchairs, paying special attention to these special children. […]