OZZY IS GIVING ME ATTITUDE—bumping against my pack, nosing ahead, blowing his semisweet-fermented breath in my face. I nudge him on the chest to keep him behind me as I inch down the steep sandstone, but he clearly has personal-space issues. I chose Ozzy . . .
Growing up, I was The One Who Could Not Sing. My older sister and brother, on the other hand, were routinely cast in musicals and chosen for high school Madrigals (the “Glee”-like choir reserved for the cream of the teen vocal crop). At Christmas, my . . .
My best friend and I rarely call each other. Not because we don’t enjoy talking; we just prefer to catch up in person, ideally over frosty drinks in a foreign land. But before our recent trip to Nicaragua, I texted her, “Are we taking backpacks or rolling . . .
“What’s going on?” Dan asked, smiling. He nodded at my feet, which tapped to the beat of zero music. My hands were in constant motion, too—fidgeting with my phone, flipping through the in-flight magazine, rustling in my purse, playing with the barf . . .
The voice was booming, packed with obscenities, and deep—almost supernaturally deep. It was unlike any sound my lungs had ever produced. But there was no time for contemplation. It was 2 a.m. in Busan, South Korea, and an intruder was in my living room. The . . .
When I was young, I was a stickler for Christmas traditions. If my father forgot to wear the Santa Claus hat, I pouted. If we didn't watch "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," I cried. If hot cocoa wasn't served with breakfast, I was capable of a four-star . . .
It’s late afternoon, and Erin and I have occupied the sunny courtyard of La Canchanchara for hours, drinking cervezas and taking turns dancing with José Luis. Now he’s tutoring Erin on the güiro, a traditional Cuban instrument made from a hollow gourd. . . .
In January, I sat with six women around a table in a dimly lit restaurant in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. And while they drank and laughed and clapped, I cried. When we first arrived, I was fine. Really. It was a perfectly intimate room with a handful of . . .
I’ve been missing Korea like crazy lately, reminiscing and daydreaming and rifling through old photos, emailing long-lost friends, practicing my hangul with the nice ajuma at the grocery store down the street. She listens patiently, but then talks back so . . .
When I was little, we didn’t travel. My parents couldn’t afford airplane tickets, and we were never one of those road-tripping-skiing-camping-fishing-s’mores-by-the-bonfire families. We were a stay-indoors-play-monopoly-read-politely-on-the-sofa people. . . .
The sun is relentless, stalking me along the narrow, cobbled lanes of Alamos, Mexico, as I return to my hotel. I unlock the heavy double doors and walk into the lush, untamed courtyard, where weather-pocked stone cherubs guard a center fountain and rocking . . .
Most of us can easily pinpoint the moment we began identifying ourselves as travelers. It was Paris or Jaipur or Chiang Mai—we were perched on a medieval castle wall or sitting cross-legged in a temple at dawn or riding an elephant through a dense jungle. . . .
"For behind all seen things lies something vaster; everything is but a path, a portal, or a window opening on something more than itself." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery Some years ago, while packing to move from San Francisco to Utah, I unearthed the journal . . .
The fall season for us here at Hell's Backbone Grill is a bit like an amusement park ride. In September the weather begins to cool, a second wave of wildflowers bloom, and the aspens on the mountain turn a fiery gold. Everything glimmers and sparkles . . .
It’s six-thirty in the morning, still dark, and I’m tiptoeing across my older sister’s living room, avoiding the places that creak. I’m sneaking out of her house, off to work the breakfast shift at the restaurant. I inch open the front door and am . . .
Monday Classes started today. At the beginning of each month, with new students and a different schedule, it often feels like my first day of teaching English in Korea. I remember feeling tossed right into it back then, like some belated addition to an . . .
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Words form the thread on which we string our experiences.” –Aldous Huxley