This year I am a correspondent for National Geographic's Glimpse.org. This essay about how travel has changed me and how I have changed as a traveler is the first of my articles there to go live. Here's a bit of the essay below; link below for the whole shebang.
This morning, Steve and I woke up late and tired because our two-year-old had been up twice in the night dreaming about scary dinosaurs, and then there was an incident with a rat in our bedroom. In my cold Mexican kitchen, I “sproached” eggs in sugar cane vinegar and picked rodent-gnawed fruit out of the basket on the counter while Steve shoveled our son into his school uniform—plaid pants, white polo, blue cardigan.
Meanwhile, Steve and I debated P-O-I-S-O-N versus T-R-A-P for the rat, listened to NPR streaming reports on volcanic ash over Indonesia and endangered toads in Arizona, and packed tortillas, leftover zucchini, and panela cheese into a lunch sack. Then, late as usual, Steve raced out the front door with the stroller.
Aside from the honking of combis on the street outside, the house was momentarily silent. I made myself a cup of decaf Nescafé in milk and sifted through emails.
Two dozen countries, perhaps a million miles, and here I am. I am thirty-two years old. I am married. I have a two-year-old son, and I am eight months pregnant.
Ten years ago, when I was a college student camped out in a frigid Tibetan yak pasture under a Milky Way thick as soup, this list would have sounded like a prison sentence. Back then, my description of myself had only one bullet point that mattered: I was a traveler, loose, temporal, unbound and unbordered. Allowing myself to be anything else was too big a risk...
Read the rest of this essay at http://glimpse.org/on-backpacks-and-babies-an-auto-cartography/