Essays

Essays

View from partway up Mount Kilimanjaro

My Personal Summit: An Adventure up the Slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro

I am by no means an experienced hiker. While I enjoy the outdoors, I am not one to always be seeking out my next summit or trek. In fact, when I go hiking, it’s...
Kids and a woman sit on a bed frame outside a hut

Last Night in Kassala

Inside the tomb of Seyyid Hassan, I press my nose to an opening in the wooden enclosure and inhale the sweet fragrance of incense. Pilgrims smile as I open my palms upward and raise...

The Antithesis of Homesick

I grew up in a culture that encouraged nesting, young marriages, and staying within the zip code — a place where the idea of adventure was talked about, but never acted upon. When I...
Sunset behind desert mountains

Me vs. the Map: Why Road-tripping Across the U.S. Is Patriotic

The rain is pouring down like I’m under a damn waterfall, and it feels as though all the wind in the world has come together in conspiracy. Each new gust catches the broad sides...
Sparklers being set off

Broad Stripes, Bright Stars, Mixed Emotions: The Impacts of the Fourth of July

While I was growing up, the Fourth of July was nothing but a chance to celebrate my country. Every year, my mom bought me an Old Navy t-shirt printed with an American flag. My...
Woman stands overlooking tea crops and a lake

Beyond the Beach: Mauritius’ Mix of Adventure and Relaxation

The Sega dance is the musical expression of the Mauritian way of life — of joy and liveliness — and, as I tipped back another rum, the Creole words floated over me, lost in...

Why Travel Is a Privilege

Ask any traveler what they enjoy about setting out from home for new destinations, and they’re likely to say something about what a freeing experience it is. Whether we call it broadening our horizons,...

Learning to Leave No Trace

I spent much of my childhood in the frost-tipped mountains of Colorado with my father, carrying everything I needed to survive on my back. On every Coloradan trail, there is a dominatingly large, weathered...

How I Learned to Embrace My Expectations While Traveling

When I was little, I wanted to be Samantha Brown. You know her — the blonde-bobbed, spunky Travel Channel host who visited places around the world and showed them to viewers at home in their...

The Latest

All Posts