The question first came when I was 17. My high school peers, heading to college, wondered how I could take a year off before going to university myself (this in the days before Malia Obama popularized the gap year). “Won’t you be behind?” they asked. Behind what, I wondered?
More questions arose when I entered Peace Corps in West Africa after college. “Don’t you need to start working?” people wondered. Don’t I have a lifetime of that, I thought? “I wish I could take off like that,” they told me, “but I can’t.”
Immersive world travel, the type where travelers…
When the COVID-19 pandemic absconded with my family’s around-the-world trip, I settled into a sequestered home life and a stillness I hadn’t anticipated. Plans to roam Czech streets, dart from shadow to shadow in Luxor, and watch baby sea turtles in Sri Lanka sadly faded as I turned my attention to my daughters’ digital learning.
Like many parents, I became more connected to specific content my children received at school and realized that introduction to world cultures was years away. I decided to do something about that.
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that individuals in one corner of the world can profoundly impact people in another corner. The emergence of a virulent virus in Asia can provoke the loss of 30 million jobs in the United States.
The closure of a factory in Mexico can create a dearth of produce in North America. The cessation of travel by wealthy residents of the Global North can compel desperate Kenyans to marry off their daughters as young as 9.
While millions of people have lost their lives, loved ones, homes, or livelihoods in the last 12 months, millions…
As you wait to travel the world again, take this quiz to see what type of traveler you are. Mark your choices on a sheet of paper, and scroll to the bottom to learn how to score your answers.
We knew the bus had no windshield when we boarded it, but we felt unconcerned. Maybe we’d been in Africa too long at that point to be surprised. Perhaps we couldn’t envision what the ride might be like without glass. Maybe we didn’t care.
Jimmie and I knew enough to walk far down the aisle, though, and we settled into the back row of the bus. We’d chosen to travel at night hoping sleep would help the 12-hour journey pass more quickly.
As the vehicle made its way south, Mopti, the dusty city on the Niger River, had already begun…
Grounded travelers have been pacing the perimeter of our rooms like caged animals since March. Many of us have canceled more than one journey or forfeited visas. While it’s unsympathetic to complain when people are risking or losing their lives to COVID-19, we can certainly feel gloomy, fidgety, and confined.
Thankfully, the global community has come together to sustain one another as best we can.
Curious souls can stare at Bran Castle in Romania, the former home of Vlad the Impaler on whom Count Dracula is based, or watch people traverse intersections in Tokyo. British writer Robert Macfarlane, famous for…
Writers write for different reasons. We may use words to process an event or tragedy, unraveling our convoluted thoughts. We may plug a void with our voice or perspective. We may be attracted to the craft itself, using metaphor or other literary devices to express our ideas. We may share our expertise with a wider community.
I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever. - Stephen King, On Writing
While our motivations may differ, writers do share one type of experience: every so often, we’re…
Grounded travelers around the world are tired of waiting. You’ve been gazing at family members or roommates across the living room for almost a year, and your heart craves views of Dubrovnik’s red walls, Costa Rica’s green jungles, and Thailand’s blue water. The most fidgety of you are planning your next journey before being vaccinated.
Formerly overcrowded destinations sit empty. Deals and discounts abound. Airfare is inexpensive.
Some of you cannot resist.
We’re not here, in this article together, to discuss the ethics of your decision. We’re here to discuss how to travel well, how to travel right.
As people around the world settle into 2021 with hope in their hearts and visions of vaccines in their veins, they’re not all fighting off hangovers like many Americans do on January 1. Instead, they may be removing yellow underwear or reaching for potatoes under the bed.
Various rich — and sometimes bizarre — New Year’s traditions around the world may bring blessings, abundance, and treasure in the year to come.