Somewhere in Venezuela: 2

Venezuela is the kind of place that’s back-lit, it glows, dim from the inside out. I was sitting on a bench in the small Caribbean country, far from my home, under a street lamplight. A…

Somewhere in Venezuela: 1

I sat on a plastic lawn chair, edging my arm, my foot, my knee under tarps that subbed as a roof over a part of interconnected brick shacks. I cringed as the equatorial sun burned…

Feeling the Heat in Albuquerque

I had stopped at a gas station on the outskirts of Albuquerque. This one was small, had four pumps and a picnic bench under an overhang. I chose it over other flashy gas-food-shower-convenience store-Burger King-souvenir…

On the Border in Tijuana

I learned through conversations with taxi drivers that you could declare yourself Tijuanese, a resident of Tijuana, if you lived there for many years. Many Mexican transplants did just that, adding a layer of a…

An Unexpected Place in Mulegé

A round, sunburned questionably Mexican man approached my truck and spoke in American English. I couldn’t immediately place the accent. “Where are you from?” the man asked in English. “New York,” I replied. I bit…

Rasta Vibes in Kingston JA

“Yo! Look at that white girl smoking weed in the street!” —a British male voice said. “She shouldn’t be doing that! How’d she get there?”—a female one. I heaved my hot and heavy torso around…

Coffee and Coco in Baja

I reasoned that surely there would be a little stand somewhere near the highway selling coffee. There was a campground in Puertecitos, Mexico, a tiny fishing camp with garbage, loose dogs, and tires littering the…

Being a Traveler in Medellín: 2

I entered the airport terminal, a large hallway that wound around with marble floors and stone walls. I felt a warm reception, as if I were being received by people, as I slid through the…

Being a Traveler in Medellín: 1

The warm, oily air rushed on to my face from the street. It smelled like diesel and fried dough. I walked down the sloped sidewalk to the station for El Metro, the overland train public…

Island Connection in New Jersey

I rode the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey, navigated the concrete river flowing with traffic—cars and trucks and motorcycles and cars and SUVs—four abreast, headed north. I had just left the beach at Sandy…