Angela Maxwell Is Walking Around the World for Women

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On May 2, 2014, with $12,000 saved, Angela Maxwell left her best friend’s home in Bend, Oregon, to start a five-year walk around the world. There’s no pre-approved path for the small ranks of pedestrian circumnavigators, the dozen or so people who’ve claimed they’ve walked around the world —so Maxwell devised her own route. She traveled the 175 miles to Portland, and then across western Australia. She next headed to Vietnam, where she hiked 60 miles from Da Nang to Hue and then spent three weeks recovering from dengue fever. A year into her circumnavigation, she arrived in Mongolia. One night, a two weeks’ hike from Mongolia’s capital city of Ulaanbaatar, in a valley surrounded by mountains, a stranger entered her tent and raped her. “It was the moment that every woman is afraid of before they go out into the world,” the 37-year-old former business consultant says. After the attack—“it was over in minutes,” Maxwell says—her assailant left. Maxwell packed her gear, hiked a few miles

Why I Love My $12 Casio Watch

Recently, over post-work drinks, one of our gear editors commented on my wristwatch. “It’s so small!” he said, marveling at its diminutive face. Whereas many of my colleagues wear the latest and greatest smartwatches—bulky, ostentatious displays of personal technology—I found myself compelled to defend my bijou timekeeper. It’s basic, and that’s exactly why I adore it. Whether I’m traveling abroad or just playing in my local mountain range in New Mexico, the Sangre de Cristos, it does everything I need it to do: it keeps me on time and in the moment.

The Casio Women’s LQ139 is the epitome of analog. It has a simple black silicone band and a single crown for adjusting the time. I’m not much of a runner, so I don’t mind that I can’t track splits or measure my distance. The 25-millimeter face doesn’t even have numbers—just notches for the hours and minutes. It’s water resistant, and the reliable ticking quartz movement has never failed me.

Though it costs just shy of $12, this watch has held up while rafting an underground river in New Zealand, scaling Mount Shasta, and sailing the South Pacific for five weeks. I’m not afraid to bang it up—not that it seems to show any sign of wear, anyway. I’m on my third Casio at this point, and only because I’ve lost the other two. 

There are various options in this bargain-basement price range, like the men’s MQ24-1E, which has a longer and wider strap and a larger face. The women’s versions tend to have smaller dials. For me, though, it’s perfect. The barely there size, minimalist interface, and durability meet my needs without a single superfluous feature. Some might consider me a Luddite, but zero distraction in this age of technological excess is the most valuable thing a piece of gear can provide.

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