• Wandering India

    People Watching in Rishikesh

    I think Rishikesh was my favorite stop during my three week trip to India in 2013. The city existed on both sides of the Ganges River, and was connected most notably by this pedestrian suspension bridge. And when I say pedestrian bridge, what I really mean is pedestrian/bicycle/motorcycle/monkey/cow bridge. The crush of people in India was always impressive, and this bridge was a microcosm. One day I was drinking tea at a cafe overlooking the bridge and watched as a bull began to charge across. It had been ambling along agreeably and I’m not sure what startled it, but suddenly it was knocking people down and sending others running. A…

  • Close to Home

    Old Friends / Bookends

    Some old friends came to visit me in Boston this past weekend. We may only be in our mid-20s, but we’ve known each other since high school — I’ve known two of the women in this group for more than 15 years. And I’m pretty sure that meets the minimum requirements for old friends. We grew up in South Kingstown, Rhode Island and we were brought together by honors classes, but we’ve stayed in touch because of Suncook Lake in New Hampshire. There are six of us who have gotten together on this lake most summers since we graduated from high school. There’s no internet at the cabin there and…

  • The Great European Adventure

    The Rooftops of Paris

    When I think of Paris, I picture these gray-blue rooftops and their red-orange chimneys. Of course, I also picture the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, and a whole host of other prominent landmarks. These places are so iconic, such a part of our cultural consciousness, I could picture them before I’d ever visited Paris. I remember my mother and I were so surprised to see Parisians walking the streets of their city wearing berets and carrying baguettes that we started to keep a tally. The behavior seemed too obviously, stereotypically French to be real, and yet there it was. Conversely, no one had ever told me about…

  • Uncategorized

    So Much Moss

    When I visited my brother and his partner last Fall, I’d never been to a temperate rainforest before. They live in Vancouver, which is a city known for its proximity to wonderful hiking and skiing, but neither of them are hikers, nor skiers. In fact, they’re pretty indoorsy people. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, just north of the city, is a nice compromise when you’re looking for natural beauty accessible by public transit. We had skipped this particular attraction the previous year when our mother was with us because she has a fear of falling. The suspension bridge for which the park is named is 450 feet long and strong enough…

  • Uncategorized

    Can’t see the forest for the baobab trees

    I don’t have much to say today. It’s a sad, bad day and I’m tired and scared and in shock. I’ve been avoiding the news and social media. I set a goal for this month to help me start writing again. I’m trying to post a photo and write a couple hundred words on this blog every weekday in November. Today is a weekday — a sad, bad, weekday — but a weekday nonetheless, so, here I am, writing a post about baobab trees. The thing that struck me most about baobab trees was how solitary they are. The climate they live in is dry and their root systems are…

  • Close to Home

    I’m From Boston

    I remember the first time someone introduced me as “from Boston.” It was the summer before E and I started our senior year at Tufts. We took a road trip down to Asheville, North Carolina to visit his sister, Far, and while hiking we struck up a conversation with some people on the trail. They asked where we were from and Far ended up answering, “they’re from Boston.” I made a note of it because it was also the first time we were introduced as a unit. I’m from Rhode Island and E is from New Hampshire, but we are from Boston. Our relationship is from Tufts University on the…

  • Looking for America

    Vacation / All I Ever Wanted

    You should probably listen to this song while you read this post. And no, don’t worry, it’s not The Go Go’s. In September, E and I took a vacation to Utah. As it turned out, I hadn’t taken a vacation in a long time, and I really, really needed one. Yes, I’ve traveled a lot, but until recently I hadn’t done the sort of work that necessitates vacationing. I interned and worked part-time positions with clear end-dates. Taking a year-long fellowship felt like a big commitment. In February, I started a new job — full-time, permanent — with more responsibility, challenges, and stress. And then I proceeded to work 9-5,…

  • That Time I Studied Abroad

    Fez and Fever Dreams

    Some of my travel experiences feel like fever dreams. When I studied abroad in Barcelona, my program brought us to Mallorca for a weekend, and I was sick the whole time so my memories of that trip are particularly hazy. I picked and ate a fig straight from a tree in a stranger’s yard, and it was fresh and delicious, like nothing I’d ever tasted before. I drifted in and out of sleep on a scenic train ride, and I swam in the Mediterranean Sea in the dark, and there was a castle, and my friend got to practice her medical Spanish vocabulary by explaining my symptoms to a pharmacist.…

  • Hawaiian Summer Camp

    Compost Burritos and Other Stories I Tell About Hawai’i

    A friend and I were talking last night about feeling settled in Boston. We appreciate the lives and communities we’ve built here but we still feel the pull of distant places. “I didn’t mean to get so comfortable here,” I lamented. We laughed at ourselves for wanting more when we’ve had so much already — she’s lived abroad in Mexico and Mozambique, and I spent more than three months backpacking Europe before moving to Hawai’i to work on a farm. It’s always amusing to tell stories about living on Maui to friends I’ve met since the experience. People are surprised when I tell them I lived in Hawai’i for a…

  • Close to Home,  Tea Tuesday,  Wandering India

    India, Incoherently

    I’ve been thinking about India lately. Disparate thoughts. Not terribly coherent. It’s hard to be coherent about a subcontinent; I worry about simplifying or fetishizing. My partner, E, and I moved last month, and since then I’ve eaten dinner at Momo N Curry, a Nepali and Indian restaurant a few blocks away, about once a week. I ate momos (Nepali steamed dumplings) for the first time in McLeod Ganj, a community in the foothills of the Himalayas, and I’m always excited to see them on menus in the US. But what really sold me on this restaurant was the carafe of free chai by the front door because it tastes…