Amy Ragsdale

Author's Bio

Amy Ragsdale has spent most of her adult life figuring out how to travel, whether as a professional dancer on tour, a University of Montana dance professor on sabbatical, or a parent looking for adventure with her husband and two kids. She, her husband (writer Peter Stark), and their two kids have made homes in Spain, Mozambique, and Brazil, interspersed with regular jaunts to Indonesia. In between they return to home base in Missoula, Montana.

Home Away From Home in Brazil

In the three years since Amy Ragsdale and her family had left, nothing had changed and everything had changed. The town of Penedo was still sleepy, but the lives of their friends, the people who had...

The Challenge of Not Knowing

Two risk-inclined families set off on a three-day excursion up the Rio São Francisco. Traveling minimally, they took the plunge of canoeing home—hoping to make it back before dark.

Coming of Age on Mount Rainier

One summer day, Amy Ragsdale's husband, Peter, gazed across the water at the white hulk of a mountain. "What about that?" he said. "Let's climb Mount Rainier."

The Culture Shock of Coming Home

After relocating with her husband and two children from small-town Montana to small-village Brazil, writer Amy Ragsdale realizes that no first world luxuries are as valuable as the experiences of a...

Handing Things Down, the Yanomami Way

Amy Ragsdale and her husband Peter want to give their children opportunities to experience different ways of life. In pursuit of this, the family winds up in the middle of the Amazon—as much...

Quer Ficar Comigo? Wanna Make Out?

We’d been warned, by Brazilian friends at home, that it was common practice at parties to be asked by someone you’d just met if you wanted to make out. “Quer ficar comigo?” No strings attached. Would...

Flies in the Operating Room

Nothing feels more alien than moving to a new town, let alone a new country. But an emergency trip to a Brazilian trauma center showed author Amy Ragsdale and her family that trauma is an emotional...

Canoeing Off the Grid in Maine

Our family of four was on Day Five of our eight-day wilderness canoe trip from the headwaters of the St. John River in northwestern Maine down to its confluence with the Allagash. My husband, Peter,...

What Qualifies as Dangerous Parenting?

Many of you have probably read of the dramatic rescue of Charlotte, her husband and two daughters, ages 1 and 3, from their failing vessel. It has triggered a lot of debate, about parenting. Their...

A South African Spring Break to Remember

As we age, we sometimes forget how anything can be incredible, instead of scary or simply boring, with the right mindset. Writer Amy Ragsdale rediscovered the simple joy of living on a South African...

The Kindness of Strangers

While living in Mozambique, Amy Ragsdale and her daughter took a trip to a South African mall. When they got a flat tire, kindly strangers gave them not only a helping hand but also a lesson about...