The Smartest Air Filter In China

I've been living in Beijing, China since last August. Whenever I talk to friends in other countries, the subject of air pollution comes up. Is it really as bad as the international media makes it out to be?

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Back to Civilization?

Eventually I reached the Gibson Steps, just a few minutes from the end of the 100 KM hike. Hundreds of tourists were slowly making their way to the beach for a good view of the Twelve Apostles. I also walked down the steps, though with a different motive. I wanted to hitch a ride back to Geelong (public transportation was hard to find in these parts), but I was filthy and smelly from five days' walking without a shower. I had to do something about my body odor before I would have a prayer of catching a ride. Absent a shower, I figured an ocean bath would be my next best bet...

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What a Difference a Day Makes

It was the easiest day on the trail. There were no monstrous hills, and no monotonous sections of beach. The temperature remained nice and cool. I spent almost the whole time in the forest, walking with the wallabies. My biggest mental challenge happened when I saw a sign for free beer and hot dogs, and it turned out to be nothing but a sick joke. I felt a bit hungry after that, but not for any of the carbohydrate-laden food I was carrying. I wouldn't be able to eat anything fatty for a few more days...

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The Map Is Not the Territory

I gulped my water and realized that I might need five or six liters to avoid another episode of severe dehydration. The Melbourne hikers caught up with me while I rested. They said “hi” and continued up the hill, on a mission. When they were out of my view, my mental challenge increased tenfold. As far as I knew, there were no other hikers on this section. If the heat knocked me out, it could be a day before anyone would find me. Given my limited supply of water, would I even last that long?

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AtW Podcast, Episode 3: Martin

Martin and I know each other through the Hoofer Outing and Mountaineering clubs in Madison, WI. After earning his masters degree in 2014, Martin took off on an adventure, traveling around the US, South Africa, Australia and Southeast Asia. Recently,we met up in Siem Reap, Cambodia to explore the famous Angkor Wat temple. It was a typical hot day, so we took some time off from our sightseeing to record this interview.

I hope Martin inspires you with his stories. Let me know what you think...

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The Hottest Day of the Year

Craig and I got up at dawn, aware that today was going to be a stinker (stinking hot). We headed down to the beach and walked along the sandy shore while the sun came up. The trail then took us inland, past the famous Cape Otway Lighthouse. We stopped at a nearby campground for breakfast. This was to be the last place we could stock up on water all day, so we guzzled as much as our stomachs could handle. I filled my three-liter Camelback and my one-liter Nalgene bottle, but I still was worried that I wouldn't have enough for the day. It was 9:00 a.m. and the temperature was already over 30 (86 Fahrenheit)....

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AtW Podcast, Episode 2: Chris Jackson

I met Chris Jackson on the Indian Pacific train, which runs across Australia, from Sydney to Perth. Chris was on his way home from a three-month motorcycle trip around the country. I stayed with his family in Perth for my last few days in Australia, and I was grateful for their hospitality. For this podcast, Chris and I discussed his trip in detail. He never ceased to impress me with his vast knowledge of the terrain in his native country.

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Beginning the Great Ocean Walk

Starting on New Year's Day, Craig, Mandy and I planned to hike the Great Ocean Walk, a 100-kilometer trail that roughly traces part of Australia's southern coast. The walk begins in the town of Apollo Bay and ends at the famous Twelve Apostles, in Port Campbell National Park.
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The three of us drove along the Great Ocean Road to the small town of Apollo Bay. I picked up a trail map at the visitor's center, the official start of the trek. I packed five days' food for myself, figuring that I could complete the trail quicker than the suggested eight days...

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Around the World Podcast, Episode 1: Craig Martin

I'm really excited to present you with my new project. The Around the World Podcast is an hour-long show that focuses on travel. I'll interview interesting characters to learn how they travel and what motivates them. Hopefully in the process, I'll motivate you as well.

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Grampians National Park

When Craig isn't adventuring around the world, he's working as a tour guide near Melbourne. He began a three-day trip to the Grampians, one of the area's nicest national parks. Before he left, he lent me his van and told me to pick up Cain and meet him in the park! Despite his generosity, there was a small issue: I had never driven on the left. I was really nervous when I got behind the wheel, like it was my first time ever driving. The good news was that the shifter had the same pattern I was used to (first gear was top-left), and the pedals were in the same location (right foot = gas/brake, left foot = clutch). I pulled onto a busy street and drove with extreme caution, thinking: stay to the left, stay to the left...

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