Places

What It’s Like to Travel When You Have a “Bad” Passport

I am a Kenyan, an African, someone from the ‘global south.’ It is my job to prove I deserve to travel. It doesn’t matter how talented or smart or wealthy I or others like me are; we need a good passport.

Apr 15, 2019
The Executioner

My father is obsessed with killing flies.

Apr 09, 2019
I Wanted to Know Why the Ocean Ate My Grandfather

As a child of many cultures, I wasn’t sure I could lay claim to one. But I learned that identity can grow and stretch, widen and encompass more than a single country or language.

Honesty Is the Best Policy—Especially in Focus Groups

There will always be liars in the focus group, but Fred was never one of them.

What Happens When You’re in the Elevator with the Boss’s Son

It’s happened for the past three days now. A three-day streak definitely qualifies it as A capitalized Thing.

Feb 19, 2019
The Medi-morphosis: Being Treated Like a Human Under Socialized Health Care

In France, universal (or socialized) health care is half-NASA, half-MacGyver. And it works. I have to suspect the main objection to adopting the best healthcare system on the planet is just that it’s French.

Facing My Fears in the World’s Largest Sand Desert

We were three single Americans with a whiskey handle. What reception would we wake to if we fall asleep on the wrong sand?

Dec 20, 2018
In a Digital World, I Tried to Write My Love in the Analog

There is a special gesture in the analog, in putting love to paper, when everything is in code.

Dec 12, 2018
How This Woman Celebrates Black History and Food in Salvador, Brazil

Miraci is being the one thing blackness has always been forced to be even when unwilling—political.

Dec 11, 2018
Confronting the Violence of Gentrification in Your Hometown

Moving home to Newark has been a surreal experience because I have had to mourn places that once were, but are no longer.

Dec 04, 2018
What Do I Gain From Citizenship—and What Do I Lose?

There are rules to who gets to live the American dream, and who doesn’t.

Nov 27, 2018
Encountering Beauty and the Effects of Climate Change in Acadia National Park

As a child growing up in a landlocked state, I’d imagined the flock of gulls as a cloud of wings, calls sounding like laughter. Now I was struggling to grasp all that we’d lost.

Nov 06, 2018
Finding Something Like Certainty in the Crowds of Kampala

“I console myself regularly with the fact that the problem is not unique to me, that young people everywhere are trying to figure it out.”

Oct 31, 2018
How a Lost Church in Rajasthan Helped Me Find My Way Home

The magic of the Bandikui church is that it stays, rests, and remains, despite the world moving on and away from it.

Oct 24, 2018
When Your Mother Country Becomes a Foreign Land

I grew up in the in-between: white, Hispanic, a pigment of mixtures that blended unevenly.

Oct 10, 2018
How to Stop Saying Sorry When Things Aren’t Your Fault

In Hindi, you don’t say ‘sorry;’ you ask for forgiveness. So, growing up, I made the mistake of apologizing for who I am.

Oct 02, 2018
Carefree White Girls, Careful Brown Girls

“Nobody will stop a young blond girl, that’s the truth,” you said. This was when I grew angry with you, when I wanted to scrap our week-old friendship.

Sep 25, 2018
On the Haunting Beauty of Roadside Crosses in New Mexico

The roadside cross is a jarring balance of the emotional poles, internal and external, surely an action by and for the remaining soul—not the one who has departed.

Sep 11, 2018
Finding Faith Beyond God on the Camino de Santiago

For me, loss of faith was hollowing. Can you believe in miracles without believing in God?

Sep 10, 2018