The Hadrian’s Wall path is an 84-mile hike running along the England/Scotland border and stretching from coast to coast. If you’ve seen our guide for walking Hadrian’s Wall, you know that there are pros and cons to walking east to west and vice versa. For…
A list of books by POC travel writers you might enjoy:
This is a classic in which Hughes offers a close glimpse into his fascinating life. He traveled and lived all over the world, and wrote about his many adventures in far-flung places like Cuba and Japan. What’s particularly fascinating about Hughes is that he traveled during the 1930s, when being a wanderer of African ancestry could often prove perilous.
Pico Iyer is well-know for penning tales about fascinating places, but we would argue that Video Nights in Kathmandu is one of his best pieces of travel writing. In this book, Iyer documents his travels through Asia while taking note of the impact of westernization on various countries and cultures, which often has negative consequences.
At the young age of twenty-two, Jennifer Poe decided to move to Buenos Aires with not much more than a copy of A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, and the number for a local hairstylist. In Hola Morocha! Poe tells of her many adventures as she struggles to adjust to the culture and fit in in a country where she always stands out.
Meeting Faith is much more than a travelogue, it’s a commentary on faith, meditation, and embracing nonviolence in the face of constant racist aggression in the USA. In this great book, Faith Adiele goes from Harvard to transforming into, wait for it, northern Thailand’s first Black Buddhist nun.
An African in Greenland is a book made for those who dream of big adventures. As a teen in Togo, Kpomassie picks up a book on Greenland and decides to one day travel there. It took him 8 years to achieve his goal, but Kpomassie ended up spending a long period of time in the country in the 1960s, learning and living with the local Inuits. His book takes a look at the good and bad of Greenland, and lays it bare for the reader in a unique way.
US(a.) stands out from other travel books not only because it’s comprised of poetry, but also because it doesn’t necessarily involve travel to far-flung places. Many expats can understand the feeling of strangeness that accompanies you when you return to your home country, and Williams tackles this in his book. After four years abroad, he returned the United States to write about what it means to be American, as well as culture, race, and American disconnect.
Tell us which are your favorite travel books, and why!
What’s it like to take an overnight train in India? Sometimes the wackiest adventures happen before you’ve even left the station.
When it comes to celebrating wedding anniversaries, Gaurav and I are about as basic as they come. Usually we forget until the last minute, then scramble to find a romantic restaurant for dinner, come home wine-drunk, yadda, yadda, yadda.
It doesn’t help that in a flight of fancy we decided not to get married in just one country, but three. Ah, the indiscretions of youth. In Singapore I wore red, in the U.S. I wore white, and in India I wore yellow and pink, just in case you were wondering (you probably weren’t).
Anyway, today, May 6th, is our 1st, 6th anniversary–see if you can make sense of that!
We remembered this late last night in the midst of a Cinco de Mayo Zoom cocktail hour, and promptly forgot again. I blame it on Gaurav’s potent margaritas. He blames nothing, because he’s always had a terrible memory anyway.
Now here it is the day of, and the most exciting thing we’ve got planned is to order in dinner. Love in times of Corona and all that.
Sure, under normal circumstances we could be headed out to a nice restaurant tonight, but is it really all that different from tasty take-away in the comfort of your flat? Maybe this is what 6 years of wedded bliss is really supposed to be: pajamas and pizza and maybe a movie.
Having an anniversary in quarantine has certainly made me stop and consider the pressure we put on ourselves to celebrate certain milestones. Yes, being married for 6 years is a big deal, but why does it take a birthday or anniversary to force us to get our boogie on? It’s like we need permission or something to enjoy our daily lives.
Quarantine life has shifted the way we view the world in so many ways, but in particular I think it’s shown a lot of us the danger of taking things for granted. It’s taught us the importance of celebrating the little things. Every. Single. Day.
Like when your SO brings home a brownie for you from their daily coffee run.
Like when a friend who lives nearby mails you a card because social distancing is important but they also love you.
Like when you have karaoke nights with no-one but your husband and cats to cheer you on.
It might not feel like it right now, but all these micro celebrations are making up a big life. You don’t need exotic trips, or expensive gifts, or much of anything else really. You just need all those little moments.
Appreciate them and make it count.
In the immortal words of a dear friend of ours who lived every day like it was the best ever: Go big, or go home.
Except these days it’s: Go big, while staying home.
Isolation has taught all of us that we don’t NEED to be productive. And also that instant gratification is key to surviving quarantine!
Virtual travel is getting more and more popular for those of us in isolation. You don’t need to give up your love of wanderlust to survive in quarantine, you just need to get a little creative.
So this is what the cat feels like.
There was a time—we’ll call it B.Q. (Before Quarantine)—where we envied the lives of our two indoor cats.
‘Oh look,’ we’d say indulgently as we watched Hugo Cat gaze out the window at a pigeon across the street. ‘He wants to go outside.’
We’d chuckle. And think it was cute. And wave a feather in his face to make him feel like maybe, just maybe, he had gone outside and just didn’t know it.
‘She’s so lucky,’ we’d grumble at the sight of Poe Cat getting comfortable for her 12th, or 25th, nap of the day. (Though, if your life is pretty much comprised of naps, isn’t it all just one big sleep? A question for another time.)
We’re the first to admit that it’s hard to look at our cats and not give in to that little green monster. And by little green monster I don’t mean your cat, Snookums, who you forced to dress as half an avocado last Halloween. I mean envy.
If you’ve ever been owned by a cat you know what I mean when I say their lives can be quite jealousy-inducing. While you might wake up on an average Tuesday with a commute and day’s worth of work looming ahead of you, the most pressing event Mr. Fluffy McMeowington has on his schedule is to spend 10 minutes batting at his toy mouse trapped beneath the refrigerator. After which he’ll wait until the rescue team (a.k.a. you) gets home to begin meowing endlessly until you retrieve it for him.
On Friday’s schedule? While you’re off trying to make an honest living, Mr. Fluffy McMeowington is busy losing his toy mouse under the fridge again. See you back here next Tuesday, human, same time, same place.
Gaurav and I have fallen prey to feelings of envy many a time. We’ve wished we could take naps whenever we want. Pop in for a snack when the mood strikes. And hang out at home all day without ever having to leave. In short, we believed that the cat’s life was indeed for us.
You know where this is going, but I’m still going to spell it out for you: IT’S ALREADY HAPPENING. Fast-forward to the time of A.Q. and our lives have achieved what we lusted after for so long: they’ve taken on an uncomfortable cat-like consistency.
Sure, we still have work to keep us going, but there are times when we look around our flat and pose the sobering query, ‘Is it too late to take a nap?’. A valid question, considering there’s not much else to do. We look forward to each meal with the same eagerness our cats exhibit whenever we get out their kibble jar. G&Ts have become our equivalent of catnip; treats we’re somehow still surprised to know we can have on a regular weekday and for absolutely no reason whatsoever.
In much the same way I imagine it is for our cats, time seems to have become meaningless. Night and Day are the only two consistencies. Most mornings it takes us about a minute to remember which day of the week it is — and the majority of the time we later find out we’ve guessed wrong.
Weekends? What are those?
The other day, and I really, really wish I was kidding as I write this, Gaurav and I sat with our foreheads pressed up against the living-room window for fifteen minutes and watched an interaction between two delivery men — one of whom was delivering donuts, but not to us unfortunately — with the sort of rapt focus reserved for things like chocolate giveaways and new Star Wars movies.
As if this isn’t bad enough, Hugo and Poe have taken to looking at us lately with expressions that say, ‘Ye should have stayed quiet, stupid human, for ye knew not what ye asked for.’ (Yes, I imagine they speak like cranky old knights from the Middle Ages).
Apparently life as a cat isn’t quite as luxurious and easy as we once believed. Now I can empathize when I see Hugo gazing longingly outside because I know exactly how he feels.
Then Gaurav waves a feather in my face and for a moment I feel like maybe, just maybe, I have gone outside and just don’t know it.