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Travel is one long introduction to the broadest of humanity. We aren’t perfect, but most members of our species are worth knowing. To meet those neighbors, follow these simple rules.

Contributing editor Patrick Symmes has traveled the world with these essentials, including guidebooks, earplugs, and decoy wallets

Help came right away. And then it stopped. Patrick Symmes reports on the business-as-usual corruption that brought a mountain kingdom to the ground.

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? Allow us to explain why you should go now—before Cuba changes, while it changes, and because you will change it yourself.

Chad Brown put down a gun and picked up a fly-fishing rod. The Navy veteran turned gear designer now wants kids and vets to heal each other on the great American waters that saved his life.

Syria is an enthusiastic state sponsor of terrorism and a fiendish fan of torture and oppression. But have you tried the stuffed grape leaves? Patrick Symmes invades before the coalition of the willing can.

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.

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 youngest state turn potential into stabilizing profit? Patrick Symmes joins the adventure.

In Argentina, rival soccer fans don’t just hate, they kill, and the violent partisans of top clubs fuel crime syndicates that influence the sport at its highest levels. Patrick Symmes braves the bottle rockets, howling mobs, urine bombs, and drunken grannies on a wild ride through the scariest fútbol underworld on earth.

When thieves stole 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 he saw will ­rattle your frame.

The plan was to check out Yemen, a little-visited Arab nation that offers glowing deserts, forbidding mountains, and lonely Socotra Island—a naturalist's paradise as imagined by Dr. Suess. But instead all hell broke loose, and a tourist romp became a front-row seat to the bloody upheavals sweeping the Middle East.

South America contains the Amazon, the Andes, 19,000 miles of coastline, and arguably more adventure than any other continent. So where to start? These ten perfect trips, from exploratory rafting in Peru to skiing in Chile to beach-hopping Brazil.

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

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 created in the middle of the ocean and no one is there to see it, can it make an impact?

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 González’s breath. Winter in southern Chile, one of the southernmost places on earth. The pickup truck, already…

When you're crossing to Florida the hard way–across 800 miles of water, with six people and no motor, in a 21-foot handmade open boat–it's a long, long way from Haiti to Miami.

It's year ten of the REVOLUTION. Venezuela's oil riches are vanishing, and el presidente's "Yankee devil" rhetoric has created the world's most hostile environment for Homo turisticus. PATRICK SYMMES goes looking for adventure, and comes back with a tale that will haunt him forever.

Ever fantasized about building a restful escape, with your bare hands, in some untrammeled back of beyond—and it all coming together just as you'd planned? Moron.

Outside the capital, the generals had not bothered with emergency services. No we will not help you. When Nargis hit, the military put its head in the sand.

The world needs Anderson Cooper. And vice versa. We go fork to fork with the CNN correspondent on how Outside kick-started his life, the perils of vacation, and how to make contact with a rebel group. (Hint: It's not like the bar scene in Star Wars.)

Cuba has the Caribbean's largest wetlands and earth's happiest lobsters, but is Fortress Fidel really an environmental paradise? PATRICK SYMMES heads south and finds that bold policies combined with bolder incompetence can result in surprising successes—and spectacular brown failures.

Six weeks, I told my wife. All the way to heaven and then home. Perhaps I would fail in some, or every, way. But one must go oneself to know the truth.

They stared combat in the face and lived to enlighten us, 2,500 years apart

The world's greatest Communist supereconomy needs all the power it can get. The devil's choice: Keep burning dirty coal, or tap into Yunnan's crashing rivers for clean, cheap electricity. With dams rising up all around, PATRICK SYMMES joins a team of Chinese and American rafters as they outrun the concrete on a wild descent of the Yangtze.

The year's best voices on the hottest spots around

Richard Wiese was the fresh-faced president of the Explorers Club who gave the crusty institution a media-friendly makeover. Now he's vying to be the next TV adventure hero while the club tries to remain relevant. Can they survive without each other?

Syria is an enthusiastic state sponsor of terrorism and a fiendish fan of torture and oppression. But have you tried the stuffed grape leaves? PATRICK SYMMES invades before the coalition of the willing can.

It seemed like a good idea: Two war correspondents escape reality into far Mongolia, stalking an otherworldly fish called a taimen. But in the process of cleansing their souls with icy water and Johnnie Walker Black, they realize it's possible to stray too far from home.

You can't buy it in any store, can't send away for it online, can't meet the author (there are thousands), and you probably won't be able to read it if you do find it, since much of it is written in Hebrew. PATRICK SYMMES follows the trail of an underground global legend: the everywhere-and-nowhere travel bible of Israel's combat-fatigued, footloose vagabond yo

On a madcap lap of the planet, Ewan McGregor and his wingman, Charley Boorman, burned rubber for 20,000 bumpy miles

Everybody loves the Klamath. Everybody wants a piece of it. And they're willing to go to war to get it. Editor's Note/Correction

In the sixties and seventies it was the hippie trail that brought foreigners to Afghanistan. Two decades of war and terror later, Kabul is a nonstop rave of C-130s, NGOs, soldiers, and spooky nation-builders. The freaks are back on Chicken Street—where everything old is new again.

Remember the rainforest? Fourteen years after the martyrdom of Brazilian activist Chico Mendes, environmentalists are once again being murdered, while illegal logging pushes deeper into the world's last great tropical jungle. In this investigative report, Patrick Symmes follows the money, the mahogany, and the mafias—and goes underground to join a brave ne

Diving on lost ships is one thing. Exploring the boat that shadowed your life is a murkier adventure entirely.

Can negotiations nip Civil War in the bud?

It was a whisper, barely enough to flutter the sails of Agamemnon, that originally set me careening down the mountainous coast of Turkey in my puny Renault, searching for a colony of backpackers living in the trees. A 21-year-old wanderer from Iceland, whom I'd met in Egypt, had murmured of…

Hundreds of wilderness experts rushed to Ground Zero—and found a maddening, hellish new frontier.

Dateline: Nepal, 2001. The royal family has been murdered. Maoist guerrillas prowl the countryside, fomenting agrarian revolution. Kathmandu has succumbed to general strikes and indiscriminate bombings. And everybody's got his own pet conspiracy theory. Is this in the Himalayas, or the next Asian apocalypse in the making? August 10, 2001: Symmes reflects on th

The Rise and Fall and Exile and Triumphant Possible Return of Rod of Massachusetts to the Battle-Torn Bedouin Kingdom of Dahab

According to legend, New Zealand's South Island was formed when the dawn froze 150 shipwrecked gods into mountains. There are worse places to spend eternity.

The South Island's Best Tramping Trails

According to legend, New Zealand's South Island was formed when the dawn froze 150 shipwrecked gods into mountains. There are worse places to spend eternity.