Essays 25 results
  • We Need To Travel Better

    Two Sundays ago, as Donald Trump's advisers were convincing him to read a prepared statement condemning an act of Nazi terrorism that he would override a day later with history's least dignified press conference, my boyfriend and I hosted a barbecue ...
  • Influence: How Instagram Made All Places Any Place

    A few months ago, I went to a dinner at a cute little restaurant in SoHo that has since closed, hosted by a man launching a Yelp-like app that he hoped his guests might help promote. We went around the table to introduce ourselves. I went first (I ...
  • On the Border

    “What are you doing in this lane?” a Customs and Border Patrol agent in at the crossing into Douglas, Arizona, yelled at us from outside the car. This border crossing was not like the others. “He can’t walk,” Keoki answered from behind ...
  • The People Who Live in Petra (or Not)

    Not long after arriving to Petra, the ancient city in southern Jordan known alternately and aptly as the Lost City and the Rose City, my two companions and I climbed a series of staircases carved into cliffs, which deposited us finally onto a large ...
  • Write, Love, Leave: A Romance of Survival

    We were the same age, she and I, but for a year. I’m 52. She told me she was 51. I had passed her warung, a hundred meters or so from the family compound just outside of Ubud where I was staying, looking for somewhere to eat. She had waved to me, ...
  • Shocks of Beauty and Mildew, 50 Meters from the Ocean

    I’m lying belly-down on the bed in my hotel room, a place on the beach with a beautiful view but no air conditioning on this, a 90-degree day. And I’m PMS-y as all get out. We arrived at Playa Hermosa on Nicaragua’s west coast this morning, ...
  • What To Expect During a Layover at Heathrow’s Terminal 5

    Riding down the escalator into London Heathrow Terminal 5's main waiting and shopping hall, I heard a man behind me quip to his companion, “Can you believe this is the new terminal?” I turned around and said, “This terminal is new?” We ...
  • The Bura: The Wind that Has Its Way with Croatia

    I was sitting on the deck of a rather exquisite wooden sailboat called the Tajna Mora. It was early afternoon in the port of a town called Vis, on an island also called Vis, in Croatia, and I was waiting to leave. We’d been scheduled to set off ...
  • Who Passed Through Universities: A Trip Back To My Alma Mater

    In June, for the first time since shortly after my graduation in the spring of 1999, I returned to the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, where I went to college. It’s a three-hour drive from my parents’ house in Kentucky, and every ...
  • Notes on a Sunday Night in the Hamptons

    The two lane road, even heading in on a Sunday, can’t help but get backed up with traffic that slows to a crawl. In a way I don’t understand, this is part of the allure of the east end of Long Island for the people who love it, the source of an ...
  • For Keepsake: The Things I’ve Brought Home

    Quite some time ago, having just turned 21, I traveled with my dad to Tanzania, where he’d once lived. It was the first trip of my life that could reasonably qualify as exotic, even with my father leading the way. After a layover, we flew on an ...
  • Guided By Memory Through Two Thai Chinatowns

    I started off with the right directions: Ride the Chayo Praya River boat to the dock for Chinatown; walk three blocks to Charoenkrung Road; turn right. Before we jumped off the boat, I asked in my rusty Thai if this was the dock for Chinatown. A boy ...
  • Not a Religious Experience (But Also, Sort of, Having One)

    My plane from New York landed in Tel Aviv on a Friday afternoon, and after settling into our hotel, my boyfriend and I walked pretty immediately across the street and down to the Mediterranean Sea, that body of water that was until then so firmly ...
  • Grocery Shopping with the Dragon Ladies

    Walking along Hisago Dori, a covered street in Tokyo’s Asakusa neighborhood festooned with paper lanterns and ribbed with red pillars, a friend and I were looking in the shop windows at the piles of mochi (rice cake), the ranks of plastic sushi, ...
  • Fog and the Faroe Islands

    At a point midway between Norway and Iceland, where the cold North Atlantic meets the even more frigid Norwegian Sea, a gorgeous huddle of islands sits subject to the vagaries of harsh Nordic weather. The Faroe Islands, 18 of them in all, comprise a ...
  • Cat in a Buenos Aires Loft

    Like many people in the fall of 2015, we found ourselves under the spell of a heatwave. A number of us had rented a four-bedroom palapa for a few days, up a hill from the beach town of San Augustinillo, in Mexico’s Oaxaca state. It had no air ...
  • On Holiday Travel: A Stumbling State of Mind

    At roughly 7:15am, a quarter-mile-long line snaked out from security at La Guardia’s Gate D, turned a corner and continued on almost to the check-in counters, where we joined it. Half an hour later I could see the other side and began feeling the ...
  • Gaining a Country, If Not a Language

    When I lived in Kyoto, Japan thirty years ago, I didn’t like it much. I had a job teaching English to engineers who didn’t want to learn it. I quit after a year and left Japan. By then, I did have a Korean-Japanese girlfriend named Kwija. We ...
  • Among the Very Tall

    The drive into Waikiki from the Honolulu Airport takes us first along the city’s notoriously clogged freeways, victims initially of bad design and later an undercalculated influx of people and cars. Stopping, then going, crawling then picking up ...
  • The Happy Islets of Langerhans

    “My journey seemed perfect, well, at least one part of it—a dolphin swimming in a kitchen sink.” I wrote these words in a diary on January 3rd, 2003. I have no idea why. They may not even be my words. I would not write them now, reality ...