April 3, 2020

If you search the hashtag “view from my window seat” on Instagram, you’ll find a stream of pictures taken out of airplane windows – beautiful shots of mountains and fields and miniaturized cities. These days, our “window seats” are a bit more grounded. 

Our worlds have all gotten a lot smaller lately. Obviously we can’t travel, and we can’t even “li...

March 13, 2020

In the nearly five years since I first wrote on this website about the connection between travel and global health, there hasn’t been a tangible demonstration of what I was talking about – until now. 

As the coronavirus upends both our daily lives and our travel plans, many people may be realizing for the first time that travel and health are inextr...

December 20, 2019

Would you like to enjoy your holiday travel with a side of environmental guilt? Ho ho oh no. 

We all know flying is bad for the environment. Almost every form of travel emits some emissions, but flying is, unfortunately, the worst. It’s also too often the only feasible way to get somewhere. (The Hogwarts Express has a shockingly limited service rout...

December 13, 2019

If you’re not yet feeling in the mood for the holidays, may I suggest wrapping yourself in a strand of tiny twinkle lights and singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer until you’re sufficiently festive? 

If that option isn’t appealing for some reason, then get yourself out the door: there’s a lot of festive stuff going on out there.

I’m a bit spoiled f...

November 29, 2019

I was talking to someone recently who commented that she used to love sitting in the bulkhead seats on airplanes, but she didn’t choose those seats anymore because she read a book about where to sit on an airplane so you’re more likely to survive a crash, and apparently the bulkhead seat isn’t the “safest.” I said that it sounded like a depressing...

November 22, 2019

I didn’t realize how much panda bears look like people while they (the pandas, I mean) are eating. Walking around his grassy enclosure, the panda looked like … a bear. But then he sat back on his haunches, picked up a piece of sugarcane in his large, surprisingly dexterous paw, and proceeded to enjoy his snack like any human on a mid-afternoon brea...

October 25, 2019

It’s official: My transformation into a grumpy old man, sitting on the front porch railing against “kids these days”, is complete. 

It happened in Europe, of all places. Amidst the hordes of tourists and selfie sticks, I noticed a trend: someone posing to have their picture taken in front of a landmark, but not like a tourist poses, like … a model....

October 18, 2019

The Amalfi Coast is a land of legends. According to Homer, it was on the islands surrounding the Amalfi Coast that Ulysses met the Sirens, those mythical creatures of the sea that seduced sailors with their lovely voices and then led them to their demise. But it’s no myth that the area has long been a siren call for the rich and famous, from Roman...

October 11, 2019

Once I learned, as a novice child flyer, that I wasn’t going to fall out of the window when the plane banked, I realized that a window seat is the best place to be on an airplane. Watching the world pass by below, looking like a model in a museum, was exciting and also kind of magical. 

Nowadays, practicality too often wins out over pleasure. On a l...

September 6, 2019

A few years ago, I traveled over the Andes in a chain of back-to-back connections that went like this: bus-ferry-bus-ferry-bus-ferry-bus. I’ve yet to top that transportation chain. But last month I gave it a run for its money with this combination: van-plane-train-subway-train-feet. (Yes, I’m counting “walking” as one of the connections.) It took a...

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Mockingbird Travel, LLC

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