Posts Tagged: travel

The Best Time I Was The Only Passenger Aboard A Cargo Freighter Container Ship Across the Pacific Ocean

I stood on the corner of a busy, grungy, industrial intersection in Vancouver, B.C., outside of a Canadian Jiffy Lube, trying to bum their unprotected wi-fi. I wanted to post one last photo of the boat before I boarded it for two solid weeks. I told people I’d keep a blog; now I feel so obligated to show them something that I’m completely unhinged when a voice behind me says, “Excuse me?” because I’m staring too deeply into my stupid phone.

I turn to see two scruffy-looking fellow backpacker kids—a guy with greasy ginger hair and a shaggy goatee, and a gal with piercings all over her face [...]


The Best Time I Met Captain Jack Sparrow in Brazil

There's a tiny island town in Brazil called Morro do Sao Paolo where the idea of "the honeymoon" was born. It takes a winding cab ride through the jungle and two boat rides to get there, but once you do, you’re hit by sweeping ocean views and the smell of passion fruit that mysteriously wafts through the air at all times. This is a place where cars aren’t allowed. Where beautiful Argentinean girls with tan legs and ankle bracelets invite you to parties on the beach. Where you dance to the Brazilian pop song of the moment in the rain at 3 am, while guzzling down drinks made of [...]


It Was Really Lovely Meeting You

I slid into my assigned window seat and closed my eyes. Dear airplane gods, I silently prayed, please, please, please leave the middle seat empty for the next 15 hours. I was still begging the universe for this travel favor when I felt someone settle in beside me. Too bad, I thought. Then I opened my eyes on my dreamy new neighbor.

“Hey there,” he said. He had an Australian accent. His blue eyes and unkempt blond curls were coupled with the kind of three-day old scruff that makes me want to move somewhere mountainous populated by men who chop their own kindling.

“Hi,” I said.

While two flight attendants [...]


The Baggage Pie


Previously: The Instant-Watch Pie

Ann Friedman is sniffing every article of clothing in her bag.


Never Too Much

We're leaving Barcelona, heading towards Bilbao to catch an overnight ferry to England. Outside the city lies a near-desert marked by occasional stone foundations, once buildings, trees of some sort, olives or fruit—the Spanish countryside, orchard-studded and cloudy overhead, is a blur at eighty miles an hour, lovely as anywhere. After last night's show my throat hurts in a way that is hard to put into words. Just breathing, abiding, it burns. I can't really speak, my voice, a rasp. I'm an overdramatic child on the verge of tears. I'm homesick. I twist in my earbuds and put on Luther Vandross, because I need to hear someone who can [...]


Hitchhiking to the End of the World

Sandwiched between a hulking grey backpack and an expandable bag on my chest, I stand on the shoulder of a steep road that winds up from a surreal aqua lake. I’m on the edge of the pristine Aspen-like town San Martin de los Andes in Argentina’s northern Patagonia. I have a purpose here. I just decided one hour ago: I am hitchhiking to Ushuaia, the southernmost tip in South America. I am hitchhiking to the End of the World.

I’ve been in the country for a month and only hitchhiked once before. I don’t know what I’m doing. "Stick out your thumb higher,” two passing Chilean hitchhikers call out [...]


How to Enjoy the Airport This Holiday Travel Season

I’ve spent somewhere around 200 hours of my life—about eight full days—inside airports. This is not because I am a glamorous jet-setter (I’ve never seen the inside of an airport lounge), but because I enjoy traveling and the cheaper I can do it the longer I can keep going. In order to make early morning flights I’ve spent the night at Heathrow, Newark, Milwaukee, Casablanca, and a handful of other airports. I’ve had looong layovers in Toronto, Seoul, D.C., Frankfurt, and New York that gave me plenty of time to go into the city, but I’ve always opted to save my funds for the trip instead.

Those 200 hours have [...]


The Best Time I Thought I Was Going To Die In The Italian Woods

“You don’t have to speak Italian, it’s completely fine. Non ti preoccupare.”

The fact that my boss couldn’t get through the entire reassurance in English should have been a tip off. But it wasn’t. I accepted the job, an offer almost too good to be true: myself and my first-ever Serious Boyfriend would be working in Italy for a now-defunct government program that sent Italian government officials’ children away from them for a few weeks every summer.

A regular summer camp in most of its programming, we would teach English for three hours total each day. In return, we would be housed, fed, paid, and free to roam [...]


Tales of Post-Graduate Love, Turmoil, and Friendship: A Conversation with Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale

Graduates in Wonderland: The International Misadventures of Two (Almost) Adults is an epistolary memoir by Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale that’s out today. You may already know Jessica from The Hairpin; she writes the Baking from a Bygone Era column and often enlists Rachel when she embarks “on disgusting culinary adventures from the past," she says. The two friends and co-authors met at Brown. Before they graduated and Rachel headed to New York and Jessica to Beijing, they promised to stay in touch with honest, tell-it-like-it-is, regular emails to each other. Those emails, which they returned to years later after reuniting in London, became the basis for [...]


The Hairpin Travel Serial, Episode 8: That Witch Is Tied Up

From The Hairpin's eight-part Kindle Serial "An Experience Definitely Worth Allegedly Having."


My friend Carrie and I were in an open-air market in Mexico City when an old man tried to lick her shoulder. She jumped, we turned around to look at him, and he held out a clear plastic bag filled with liquid. The liquid was brown and opaque, and we backed away but he followed, extending the bag toward us, and at some point we started nervously referring to it, in English and to each other, as a “bag of shit,” although it was probably just a drink. I’m not even sure what [...]