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embera

Vagabond Dreams Outtakes #16—And I Was Just a Stranger There

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Vagabond Dreams Outtakes are “deleted scenes” from my book. Think of them as a “Special Features” disc of outtakes and curios. This incident took place in Panama’s Darien Gap…   Banana trees and low bushy plants lined the dirt path that led beyond the village’s last tambo. Jungle pathways were never entirely clear, no matter how recently someone had...

A Jungle Shift in the Trajectory

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During my time with them, I learned that the Embera of Panama’s Darien Gap lived in harmony with their surroundings. They didn’t try to be “close to Nature”—the idea would never have occurred to them. They were Nature, an inextricable segment of that community of life. It’s misguided to revere them for this, or to demonize them. They’re simply being what they...

Advice for When Travel Gets Hot and Sticky

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Enormous trees with wide buttressed roots propped up the canopy: giants draped with vines, mosses and epiphytes which hung in tangled green confusion. All the way down to the impenetrable jungle floor, life grew upon life in one symbiotic Gordian Knot. The forest floor absorbed our footfalls: mine and two Embera hunters from a tiny village deep in Panama’s Darién Gap. The jungle crouched...

Ryan Murdock

Author of Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America. Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Canada's Outpost magazine. Columnist at The Shift. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

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