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Episode Info:

The first in a five part series.

In Episode 1, it's 2006 and Maria Luisa Tucker gets the call that her dad has disappeared into a vast Arizona forest. She pushes pause on her life to go look for him, initially assuming he's on an extended solo camping trip that he just didn't tell anyone about--including his wife and children.

More than a decade later, Tucker questions why that idea seemed plausible and realizes that she was raised to value independence above family connection. She talks to both her mother and anthropologist Meredith Small, who has written about American parents' focus on raising kids to be independent.

Maria Luisa Tucker is an independent producer. Find her at or follow her on Twitter on @LuisaTucker. A full transcript of this show can be found at


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