Places

Finding Peace at the Most Beautiful Taco Bell in the World

I need the ocean to quiet my thoughts, the surfers to remind me I’m a person, the Taco Bell as a place where I become solid again.

Jan 13, 2022
I Wrote an Essay on Sleep Paralysis to Finally Talk About Men’s Ugliest Urges

Once it happens, sleep paralysis tends to recur. It’s as if a spirit has marked your bed, like the first coming has irreversibly altered you.

Jan 06, 2022
My Parents’ Country Doesn’t Exist. I Moved There Anyway.

I was enjoying what exists of this place today—be it Croatia or Yugoslavia—without the need for comparison.

Dec 08, 2021
Before You Leave for Bulgaria

My husband’s grandfather wrote an immigration guide called “Before You Leave for America.” We could have used one in reverse—for moving to Bulgaria.

Dec 06, 2021
Longing for the Magic of My Childhood Home

Frarieville was the safe space on which I could plant my flag.

Dec 02, 2021
Immigrating From Yugoslavia Was a Struggle and a Privilege—Both Can Be True

As her family saw it, my mother’s life in London was one of comfort. But she also struggled. Both of these things were true.

Nov 29, 2021
Searching for Home in the South with Carson McCullers

Quietly, I clung to what I knew: how to be an outsider in the South.

For Me, “Home” Is Never Present—Only Ever in the Past

Though no place is home upon arrival, I make it my home by the time I leave.

Nov 18, 2021
In 1990; Butler, Pennsylvania

Time amplifies division; I fear that we’re never going to be a big family again, that my newborn son will never consider his cousins to be siblings like I did.

Nov 16, 2021
Finding Home in Ten Days in Goiânia, Brazil

At home, in Goiânia, I didn’t have to be Brazilian; I could just be me.

Nov 09, 2021
Searching for My Parallel Life in Vietnam

What might have happened if we had stayed?

Nov 03, 2021
The Night a Grieving Phantom in the Everglades Changed My Life

The land that was previously seen as harsh and brutal by colonial forces was actually a site of survival, new life, and renewal.

Reaching for My Family—And My French Not-Husband

Comforting each other is more natural when we’re physically present, which is what the pandemic made it impossible for my not-husband to be.

Oct 20, 2021
Learning to Live with Durians Again

Was my rejection of the durian, Southeast Asia’s King of Fruits, a betrayal of my cultural identity, of my life in Singapore?

Oct 18, 2021
Longing for the Netherlands, Stroopwafels, and the Real Thing

We don’t crave the things we’re close to, even if they’ve shaped us into who we are.

Oct 14, 2021
What Would It Mean to Live in the Clouds?

If one can dream up a better future for humanity or for whatever species humans evolve into, why replicate the past?

Oct 05, 2021
Going from Other to Local in Mumbai

I was certain my appearance would mask my secret: that I didn’t belong.

Sep 29, 2021
Facing Crises—and Mosquitoes—at Home in Osaka

If you’re looking at something, you don’t know where it’s going; if you know where it’s going, you don’t know where it is.

Sep 28, 2021
No Place Like Home: How Nostalgia Paints Over Violent Histories

In class we’d learned the Australian flag was blue to represent the sky and ocean both, our collective identity shaped by that constant hue.

Sep 21, 2021
Traveling With My Parents Taught Me “Growing Up” Is Not “Growing Old”

My parents were old. It was time to take seriously the last years we had left. That is not, of course, how they saw things.

Sep 08, 2021