Native New Yorker Miranda fondly recalls family trips to Europe, which featured formative events like spending a night on the roof of an overbooked Greek hotel and sampling the culinary wonders of horse meat. But it was while riding a pony through a patch of wild blueberries in Iceland that she realized she wanted to be an explorer. As an undergrad, Miranda bicycled across the US and lived for several months in Berlin. Nowadays she obsesses over Baltic countries and the plump cream-smothered dumplings to be found there. Fluent in German, she does freelance translation and writes educational material for children.