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Behind every VIA article there's an intrepid reporter risking sunburn on an exotic Tahitian cruise, indigestion on San Francisco's best food tours, and over-exfoliation in the West Coast's most relaxing spas. These are the men and women who lived to tell the tale.

Brad Herzog is the author of three travel memoirs about his RV journeys through small-town America (his latest is Turn Left at the Trojan Horse), and writes an online travel journal called You Are Here.

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Brad Wetzler is a New Mexico-based writer and a former senior editor at Outside. Wetzler originated the idea to send Outside editor-at-large Jon Krakauer on his 1996 expedition to the summit of Mount Everest, the disastrous culmination of which spawned Krakauer's best-selling book, Into Thin Air. His story "Is Just Like Amerika!," about Bohemian trekkers in Eastern Europe, was selected for the 2001 edition of The Best American Travel Writing.

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See stories by Brett Shanley

Brian Doyle is the editor of the University of Portland's alumni magazine. A member of the Oregon Field Ornithologists Society, he is particularly addicted to hawks and falcons. He is also a bibliophile of the first order, much to the chagrin of his family, who must make room for mounds of moldy tomes. Bystanders claim that Brian entered a state of nirvana while reporting on Powell's City of Books in Portland.

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Brion O’Connor is a Boston-based writer who can trace both sides of his family tree—Irish and French-Canadian—through eastern Canada.

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In 1967, Bruce Anderson spent a week at the world's fair in Montreal. He remembers long lines (up to five hours, a grueling test for a restless 10-year-old); LeRonde, the amusement area that served as the nightly reward for the long lines; and, most vividly, passing out at the "Man and His Health" exhibit. "They showed a film that captured, rather graphically, sundry medical procedures such as an open-heart surgery," says Bruce.

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Bruce Newman has interviewed the President of the United States in the Oval Office; Kareem Abdul Jabbar as he sat on a circular bed under a mirrored ceiling in a Las Vegas hotel on the eve of becoming the NBA’s all-time scoring leader; and George Clooney in a Jacuzzi at the actor’s home. Even when he encountered subjects that had corners, Newman rarely cut them while writing for Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, the San Jose Mercury News, and the Los Angeles Times.

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Bruce Schoenfeld also writes for the New York Times Magazine, Travel & Leisure, and Tennis.

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Buddy Levy is the author of Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs (Bantam Dell, 2008); American Legend: The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett (Putnam, 2005, Berkley Books, 2006); and Echoes On Rimrock: In Pursuit of the Chukar Partridge (Pruett, 1998).

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