There were three things I was determined to do during my fourteen weeks abroad, only one of which I actually achieved.
The first was to journal every single day, and I did. I scribbled down every trivial memory, everything that made me mad, everything I ate, and then I taped down every ticket, leaf, and pamphlet to boot. Goal achieved.
“It’s a dangerous business—going out your door,” someone once said to me. But maybe that person didn’t have a ukulele like I do.
I named my uke “Strad” (diminutive of Stradivarius), thanks to a totally unscripted interaction in Vienna when I insisted upon its gentle handling while declaring that I had an appointment with the Vienna Philharmonic that evening. Strad has gotten me through doors in countries as diverse as Kenya, Tajikistan, the Republic of Georgia, and so many others.
While it wasn’t officially an Anthrow Circus travel tour, the fact that our editor, Kami Rice, and I, Anthrow Circus’s creative director, were in Italy together made it nearly so. Fitting well with Anthrow Circus’s love of investing in burgeoning writers and photographers and artists, we embarked on a photography study tour as mentors to a group of my just-graduated high school students. Given their new status as legal “adults,” the goal was to give them access to sites, history, and art while also giving them a taste of responsibility as they explored and interacted with famous Italy.
But as our group tour of Italy continued, it became clearer to me that we were those tourists. We may have thought we were special, and in some ways, we were. But simultaneously, we were also them. We weren’t always the same type of tourist, in that we played different tourist roles, but still, at some point, we were those tourists.
I’ll be honest: It was Norway I’d begun dreaming of. My imagination was taken captive by images of fjords and pines, of iron and snow and bears, of iced sea light and a refreshing, starry cold. I was certain this was the next place beauty would greet me.
In 2013, I attended an intense, all-day, week-long training in Paris. The upper-floor classrooms hovered over the train tracks of the Gare de l’Est, and while we were too distant to hear the hustle and bustle of the train station traffic, one sound rang through the open windows in regular intervals: SNCF’s four-tone jingle that introduces train announcements to passengers. This audio sound serves as a friendly alarm, always followed by “Mesdames, Messieurs …” (“Ladies and Gentlemen …”) and useful train-travel information, such as on which track a train is arriving or an alert to a dreaded delay.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic’s disruption, the world had seen a surge in international travel and tourism, forcing many museums and other popular tourist destinations to take crowd control measures.
For example, the Louvre renovated the Mona Lisa’s exhibition space last year and improved traffic flow to better handle the painting’s many, many visitors, who largely view the painting through a sea of cell phones and cameras, let’s be honest.
Donna Ford lets us come with her to revisit a poignant season in her life that continues to resound nearly two decades later. We’re happy that through the photography of Sarah Conner, who is currently in the Guatemalan community that was so formative for Donna, we’re given extra glimpses into the scenes of this place.
La caminata de Megan Finck y Mike Plunkett a una finca de café en Colombia nos sumerge en la historia de las alianzas que han ayudado a una comunidad a transformar su pasado sórdido en un presente floreciente que marca un futuro lleno de esperanza.
Megan Finck and Mike Plunkett’s hike to a Colombian coffee farm plunges us into a story of the partnerships that have helped a community transform its sordid past into a flourishing present that marks out a hopeful future.