Posts Tagged: travel

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.


Why You Should Buy the Hairpin Kindle Serial Thing

I’ve been dreading this day for quite a while. And looking forward to it. But dread, mostly dread. Today's the day my piece from the Kindle travel thing comes out. I feel good about it, I think it turned out pretty well. I had to buy and re-read Strunk and White because the Amazon copyeditor made me think I totally didn’t understand what a comma was anymore. Or a semi-colon. What are those for? I grew up in New England, and we have these "merge" signs everywhere. But nobody merges, we just keep on plowing through until all traffic everywhere is permanently snarled. Semi-colons remind me of merge signs. [...]


The Hairpin Travel Serial, Part Four: Paris Is [Lonely/Lovely] When You’re Alone

Episodes One through Four of The Hairpin's eight-part Kindle Serial "An Experience Definitely Worth Allegedly Having" are now available in full via Amazon. Excerpts from the first three episodes can be found herehere, and here. (And: more info here.)


I’ve been a dating writer for the past three years. It’s not something I set out to do, really, but I liked writing, and had been on dates, and those are apparently the only real qualifications you need.

Being a dating writer consists mostly of encouraging people to date: spurring them on through their pursuit of love, and acknowledging that, yes, the process is [...]


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 Hairpin Kindle Serial, Episode 7: Madame's Cane

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


You’ve heard this story before. Clarification: you’ve heard this story before if you reside within the not altogether rarefied demographic of middle- to upper-class students who studied abroad at some point in their college or postcollege career. Sometimes the details are slightly different—one of my friends went to Vietnam; another spent at least a month in the backwoods of Ecuador making pottery with an eighty-year-old master.

But the reason so many people undertake the voyage that so many others in their place have before—that’s not too difficult to understand. Studying abroad in Europe [...]


Zadie Smith on Love, Death: "I was in mourning and it was winter, and the city was all stone and diagonal rain to me"

At the New York Review of Books, Zadie Smith has a beautiful essay up about two trips to Italy, the first taken with her father:

It is not easy for a white man of almost seventy and a black girl of seventeen to go on a mini-break to Europe together; the smirks of strangers follow you everywhere. We did not like to linger in restaurants or in the breakfast room of our tiny hotel. Instead, on that first, exploratory trip, we found our pleasure in walking. Through the streets, through museums—but more than anywhere else, through gardens. No money has to be spent in a [...]


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 [...]


Six Weeks Alone on the Camino de Santiago Pilgrim Trail

Victoria Golden is a 25-year-old Chicago resident. Over the summer, she spent six weeks alone, walking the Camino de Santiago trail in Spain.

How’d you get the idea to go on this trip originally?

I think it started in high school, when I read a play where one of the characters is a peregrina (pilgrim), and she stayed with a family in Spain, the way all the pilgrims used to on the Camino. And then I went to Spain in 2006 for a school trip, and I saw a book about the Camino in a store and read that, in 2010, the Feast of St. [...]


Hairpin Travel Serial, Part Five: Real City

Episodes 1-5 of The Hairpin's eight-part Kindle Serial "An Experience Definitely Worth Allegedly Having" are available via Amazon. Excerpts from the first four episodes can be found hereherehere, and here. (And: more info here.)


During the summer of 2003, just after my sophomore year of college, I spent a summer living in London while writing for a budget travel guide. That it meant anything at all to me developmentally is relatively silly; London is one of the cushiest gigs you can get as a budget travel writer. There isn’t a rampant culture of extortion or government corruption (depending on how [...]