Amy Ragsdale

Amy Ragsdale

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.


What It Feels Like to Die from Heat Stroke

That glaring sun, of course, is essential for life on this planet. But its thermal energy, which we feel as heat, is a force both benevolent and cruel

Amy Ragsdale and Peter Stark
Jun 18, 2019

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...

Amy Ragsdale
Aug 13, 2014

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.

Amy Ragsdale
Aug 6, 2014

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."

Amy Ragsdale
Jul 11, 2014

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...

Amy Ragsdale
Jun 16, 2014

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...

Amy Ragsdale
May 26, 2014

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...

Amy Ragsdale
May 12, 2014

Finding Adventure Beyond Nature

I tend to think of adventure as heading into the wilderness, but maybe that's because of where I came from.

Amy Ragsdale
May 5, 2014

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,...

Amy Ragsdale
Apr 28, 2014

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...

Amy Ragsdale
Apr 23, 2014

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...

Amy Ragsdale
Apr 14, 2014

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...

Amy Ragsdale
Apr 7, 2014

Life Lessons from the Third World

While living in Mozambique, Amy Ragsdale's kids start asking the big questions on race, identity, and inequality.

Amy Ragsdale
Mar 31, 2014