Love in Mexico

Navigating family and place


Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico
December 31
This blog documents the encounters and events that taught me about Mexico, and about the culture of family, Mexico's and my own. .............................................… Find more of my work at ........................................... Thanks for reading.


JANUARY 6, 2011 4:27PM

On Backpacks and Babies: An Auto-Cartography

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This year I am a correspondent for National Geographic's 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

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I've read most of your blog posts here on OS and have enjoyed them all.....this is your best yet (and yes, I did read the rest of it on Glimpse:) I don't know if because, like you, I love to travel and now live in Mexico that this resonates with me, but your writing places me in your adventures.....I am able to see, smell, hear and feel the places you have lived and the people you have met; these are the musts for a great travel writer. I say "adventures" since many of my family and friends look at my life as an "adventure" which it is to a certain extent, but it is also my reality....lots of fun and excitement, but also responsibility to myself and others. "Responsibility" seems to be the key word to reassure family and friends that I do in fact have a "real" life:) Thank you for an enjoyable read and I hope to see more from you.
Gracias, Oaxacan. This essay has been in the works longer than my entire blog--I'm glad that it shows. I'm afraid that I'm a little old-school (or maybe just too slow) for blogging.
Your writing is beautiful and I read with envy and enthusiasm of your travels and daily ups and downs as a young mother. Enjoyed.