I am still in Singapore and I still have a little jet lag so last night at 3am, I started reading the news. And I noticed something by accident — the photos on top of the headlines seemed to be all white men. This surprised me partly because the news feed on my phone, Flipboard, only sends me articles from what are generally considered to be left-leaning news organizations, like the NYT, The Nation, CNN, MSNBC, and The Atlantic.
So I did a little survey. I flipped through the first 50 articles and counted how many photos showed only white men. And guess what?
Mural painted by school students in New Iberia, Louisiana.
Last Friday, in a small town in rural Louisiana, the state’s 16th Judicial District Court rescheduled a preliminary hearing to address procedural matters in a lawsuit described in nine double-spaced pages.
Ho hum, not usually the beginning of a great story, right?
When I was in Athens working in the refugee community in 2016, I had lunch one day with a wise young man. We talked about the work we were doing and I disclosed that I cried a lot, even though being around vulnerable people had never made me cry before. He replied “Well then, maybe you have crossed over from charity to solidarity.”
Since then, I have thought a lot about the difference between charity and solidarity.
Mural in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
With all of the problems in the world and all of my opinions, if I am going to complain about something, it should be about Something Big, right? No. Other people are doing that exceptionally well and I am trying to avoid giving myself ulcers. So here’s a kvetch about something small and a little bit important.
Artwork by Allie Brosh.
The nomadic life is full of joy and surprises but it wouldn’t be travel if it didn’t come with annoyances. Just like real life! I have had my share of travel annoyances which, ironically I guess, usually remind me of my privileges in one way or another — because all travel annoyances are First World Problems. Continue reading
I have always wished I had the intellectual acuity to read In Search of Lost Time, the 4,000 page novel by Marcel Proust about, er, refer to the book title. And this easy-to-read article: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tldr-prousts-in-search-of-lost-time_us_559e8cb1e4b0967291558d31. One of these days, I will commit. In the meantime, I am happy enough with Proust’s wonderful observation about travel:
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
I have been nomadic for most of the past three years, and some days I don’t know where I will be next month. Since I don’t have a home, I am forced to decide where to land on a continuing basis. My friend Emily asked me at lunch the other day how I decide where to go. And I guess I make decisions the same way most travelers do — except more often. Continue reading
My Airbnb cottage on the Greek Island of Lesvos where I awoke to clanging sheep bells and made friends with local chickens.
Airbnb has changed the way I travel. I have stayed Airbnb apartments, houses, farms and cottages all over the world, in places as far flung as Japan, Armenia, Peru, and Sweden. Traveling with Airbnb, I have lived in neighborhoods that most tourists never see. I have cooked and shopped like a local. Best of all, I have met wonderful people I never would have met if I had stayed in a hotel.