Patrick Symmes

Patrick Symmes

Patrick Symmes is the author of The Boys from Dolores and Chasing Che.


How to Make Friends with Strangers

Travel is one long introduction to the broadest of humanity. We aren’t perfect, but most members of our species are worth knowing. Here are some simple rules for meeting the neighbors.

A Year After the Quake, Nepal Is Still a Mess

Help came right away. And then it stopped. A year after the earthquake that turned Nepal to rubble, the government has accomplished little. Patrick Symmes reports on the business-as-usual corruption...

The Golden Age of Havana Is Now

With Airbnb and Yelp already operating in Cuba's capital, will hordes of American tourists sipping McDaiquiris ruin the very authenticity that draws us to the rebel island nation?

The PTSD River Cure

PTSD survivor Chad Brown put down a suicide weapon and picked up a fly-fishing rod. The Navy stevedore turned gear designer now wants kids and vets to heal each other on the Oregon waters that saved...

Syria The Sweetest Villains terrorism Outside Magazine Outside Online Outside Patrick Symmes

Syria, as the World Closed In

Today, Syria is known more for creating international unrest than its sweet shops and minarets. Journalist Patrick Symmes explored the cultural heritage of Damascus before the outside world...

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The Real Rebels of Timbuktu

Tuareg nomads have stormed out of the desert again, threatening a return to culture war in the Sahara’s legendary lost city. Patrick Symmes on the rebel alliance, and the fire next time.

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A Wild Country Grows in South Sudan

The new country of South Sudan is blessed with oil, water, and a safari bonanza: one of the largest, most stunning animal migrations on earth. But without roads, laws, or infrastructure, can Africa’s...

Fans of the team Racing at a Ma Buenos Aires.

The Beautiful Game

Argentina's soccer fans may be the sports' most impassioned. So much so that the rowdiest among them have formed gangs that intimidate players and coaches, control stadium concessions, and murder...

In the act

Who Pinched My Ride?

When thieves stoles his beloved commuter bike on a busy street in broad daylight, Patrick Symmes snapped—and set out on a cross-country plunge into the heart of America's bike-crime underbelly. What...

Yemen market tourism view old city people

Sand Storm

With demonstrations sweeping Yemen, Patrick Symmes landed in the country for a long-planned excursion. The tourists were there, all right, but so were the riot police and pistol-flashing National...

Peru's Inca Trail

Meet The Neighbors

What doesn't South America offer in the way of big adventure? Here are the 10 best ways to drop in on our amigos down south.


Cuba Libre

Why hordes of Yankee travelers are exactly what the island needs.

The Marianas Trench

Off the Deep End

By the time George W. Bush created the Marianas Trench Marine National monument, he had shocked his detractors and quadrupled the size of the planet's fully protected waters. But if a preserve is...

The Carretera Austral, Patagonia's north-south artery

The Beautiful and the Dammed

ALLAH WAS INVOKED THAT DAY, after a wood-fired breakfast in an 18-degree dawn. The earth was cloaked anew; hoarfrost made the grass crunch under my boots. Wind ripped away the plume of Daniel Gonz...