Category Archives: Off The Map

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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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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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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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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Pee Tree Dish [Water Water Everywhere]

Posted by Christian DeBenedetti in Close Calls, Drive Like Hell, Hotel Hell, Human Sacrifice, Mountain Madness, Off The Map, Road Warriors, Survival, The Call of Nature, Water Water Everywhere, When Animals Attack | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

It all started with a drive. A drive consisting of 20 people packed into a fairly impressive 16-seater van. I found myself sandwiched between a frail granny buried under a load of groceries and a teenage boy whose cool demeanor was significantly reduced … Continue reading

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The Death Grin [Surgical Tourism]

Posted by Christian DeBenedetti in Adding Insult to Injury, Books + Media, Close Calls, Hotel Hell, Human Sacrifice, Off The Map, Survival | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The dentist grinned at me. He was missing teeth. Several teeth. He stood in front of a small, sturdy building in a dusty town in southwestern China, sharpening some kind of crude metal tools on a stone wheel. Like his … Continue reading

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Kasonga Through the Back Door [For Love or Money]

Posted by Christian DeBenedetti in Bad Asses, Books + Media, Close Calls, Drive Like Hell, Hotel Hell, Human Sacrifice, Off The Map, Road Warriors, Survival | Tagged | Leave a comment

“Oh yes, we have Ciprofloxacin,” says the woman behind the drugstore counter. “You have typhoid?” “Not yet. There’s always hope.” I’m a little cranky after a bone-cracking day in the back seat of a bus crossing southern Tanzania, followed by … Continue reading

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Of French Vipers & The Disappearing Path [European Delights]

Posted by Christian DeBenedetti in Books + Media, Close Calls, European Delights, Hotel Hell, Human Sacrifice, La France, Mountain Madness, Off The Map, Survival, When Animals Attack | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Reaching the top of Sanetsch Pass, long used for trade and warfare, it became impossible to find the Via Alpina until we dropped into a dairy farm for directions and found a sympathetic ear. The farmer, dressed in her white … Continue reading

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