Category Archives: Close Calls

Seeing Stars [Drive Like Hell]

Posted by Christian DeBenedetti in Adding Insult to Injury, Close Calls, Drive Like Hell, Human Sacrifice, Road Warriors, Survival | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

It happened in Granados, Mexico, in the summer of 1997. I was 13 and visiting relatives on a family vacation. After a feast with family, laughing together, we got into the back of red pick-up truck. Seat belts in a … Continue reading

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Floating to Paradise on the S.S. Montezuma [Howl of Nature]

Posted by Christian DeBenedetti in "Study" Abroad, Close Calls, Off The Map, S.S. Montezuma, Semester-at-Scream, Survival, The Howl of Nature, Water Water Everywhere | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

After a semester abroad in Costa Rica, I traveled with a friend through Central America. We missed the last ferry from Guatemala to Belize, so we hitched a ride on a large canoe that was filled with at least fourteen … Continue reading

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Deep Trouble [X Marks the Spot]

Posted by Christian DeBenedetti in Amateur Hour, Close Calls, Off The Map, Survival, X Marks The Spot | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

In 1961 two friends and I decided to explore the limestone caves of West Virginia. I had a map that caving friends had given me and so we headed south from Pittsburgh. Sure enough we found an entry hole just … Continue reading

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American Confidence [Hotel Hell]

Posted by Christian DeBenedetti in "Study" Abroad, Breaking and Entering, Close Calls, European Delights, Hotel Hell | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Travel, when undertaken with the correct élan, can be as much about reinforcing national stereotypes as breaking them down. One of the great and unique advantages of being in a place where no one knows you is that you can … Continue reading

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Where the Wadi Meets the Road [Water Water Everywhere]

Posted by Christian DeBenedetti in Adding Insult to Injury, Amateur Hour, Close Calls, Mountain Madness, Off The Map, Survival, Uncategorized, Water Water Everywhere | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Finding English speakers can be a little hit and miss in Oman. While some locals speak perfectly, others struggle to even understand our very basic attempts at pronouncing place names in ‘gringo’ Arabic  – but it’s not for want of … Continue reading

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The Shipwreck Drowned My Homework [Semester-at-Scream]

Posted by Christian DeBenedetti in "Study" Abroad, Close Calls, European Delights, Human Sacrifice, Semester-at-Scream, Survival, Uncategorized, Water Water Everywhere | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

In 1963, my wife and I set out on a round the world cruise with over 500 undergraduates in an old tub converted to a floating university. We approached Alexandria, Egypt in a storm so nasty that all the other … Continue reading

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How to Survive a 1,000-Foot Fall [X Marks the Splat]

Posted by Christian DeBenedetti in Amateur Hour, Bad Asses, Close Calls, European Delights, Mountain Madness, Off The Map, Survival, X Marks the Splat | Leave a comment

He fell off with his ice axe tied to the back of his rucksack. “I remember at the start of it, from when I first slipped, trying to slow my speed; trying to slow myself down so I could hopefully stop. Every time I started to slow myself down I would go over a cliff and pick up speed again and as this process continued, I just kept going.” Continue reading

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Grand Illusion [The Unfriendly Skies]

Posted by Christian DeBenedetti in Close Calls, Flying the Unfriendly Skies, Off The Map, Vegas | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

My wife and I went to Vegas for our March break and decided to tour the Grand Canyon by helicopter. We took off from Boulder City and things were going great. The pilot was giving us the history of the … Continue reading

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Ambulance, South America-Style [The "Doctor" Will See You Now]

Posted by Christian DeBenedetti in Amateur Hour, Close Calls, Drive Like Hell, Road Warriors, Survival, The "Doctor" Will See You Now | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

While on a family vacation in Porto Viejo, Ecuador, my 3 yr old daughter got sick. On the third day of our trip, in the middle of the night she started going to the bathroom out of both ends, if … Continue reading

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Prescription: Pain [The Call of Nature]

Posted by Christian DeBenedetti in Adding Insult to Injury, Close Calls, Human Sacrifice, Mountain Madness, Off The Map, Survival, The Call of Nature | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

I am a geneticist who was invited on a medical mission to Saigon. On day three of my month-long trip, I stopped on a remote mountain road to photograph a beautiful valley below. Taking advantage of the solitude, I stepped to the cliff’s … Continue reading

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