"If you do not take the antibiotics, you will die," the doctor proclaimed from the foot of my hospital bed. [spacer height="10px"] A lineup of physicians—a urologist, an internist, a cardiologist, and a neurologist—and countless nurses were parading in and out of my hospital room over a 10-day period. I had CT scans, a spinal tap, an MRI, and a visit from the rapid response team. I had IVs in my arms and was practically buckled to...

I'm in bed, engulfed in white sheets, watching and listening to the sunrise waves roll in. Here, where I'm dry and grounded, the world out there seems so far removed. It's a world unknown to those on shore. Who lay and sunbathe in the sand, drinking and eating and socializing, maybe dipping their toes into the water, maybe walking in waist high, even to their shoulders—still, like that, they aren't experiencing what it's like out there, past...

I hear it all the time: "I gained 10 pounds while on vacation!" "I laid by the pool all week, drinking. I need to get back on track!" "All I did was eat and drink!"I'm at a cafe in Sayulita for the 4th morning in a row, savoring the breakfast potatoes I crave as soon as I wake, punching my keyboard as I write about the importance of staying balanced while traveling.Next to me, a married couple from St. Louis pay...

Hospitals don't scare me.I feel calm when I walk through the sliding doors. As if nothing physically bad can happen, because its walls and staff surround me like a bubble. Emotionally though, I'm as vulnerable as a cancer patient's immunity is weak.Despite my positive association, the majority of hospital visits have been traumatic, including saying goodbye to my mom's best friend before she died from cancer, my 10-day stay due to an almost deadly kidney infection and...

At age 18, I had never before considered being vegan. But then I got my hands on Fast Food Nation, a book about how unsafe, unlawful, and often ethically corrupt the food industry can be. My mind was blown.Growing up, I'd eaten meat, but I had never really thought about it. But suddenly, after reading the book, I couldn't look at my diet the same way.Over the next few years, I gradually shifted toward an...

As a kid, I was taught, whether intentionally or unintentionally, directly or indirectly, that skateboarding was for punks. You know, the kids who wore Vans and baggy jeans and backwards hats, breaking all the rules in public parks and parking lots, skating over benches and hand railings.I was a straight-laced rule follower, who didn't skip school, didn't smoke cigarettes, nor any of the other stereotypical "negative" things skaters did. I wanted to be a good kid, so...