Editors’ Choice

Editors’ Choice Articles

Nirvana’s Horizon: Discovering the Soul of the Golden Land as a Buddhist Monk in Myanmar

travelers-tales

By Kevin Dimetres

He was seeking a new level of travel.

The reflection in the mirror was virtually unrecognizable; the spelling of my name remained obscure; what might happen next had become a perpetual mystery.  Before I could make sense of it all, Burgundy-robed monks whisked me away, up a dusty spiral staircase, to their secluded 5th floor rooftop. With endearing fervor, the monks excitedly pulled out their smartphones, gathered around me as a group, and began snapping selfies, with me, against the backdrop of the Yangon skyline. Had I stumbled down the rabbit hole, only to arrive in Myanmar? I peered over the ledge to the chaos of once-familiar city life below; I became as dizzy as the moment was surreal.

White Water Death

travelers-tales By Steve Gardiner

A drowning in Yosemite National Park

A park ranger on a horse rode up behind Terry Rypkema and me and pleaded for our help. “You have a climbing rope,” she said. “Bring it up to the bridge, please. We have a possible drowning.”

The Elevator in Rome

travelers-tales

By Bill Zarchy

Stuck on a hot day.

“I’ve gotta get out of here!” shrieked the voice from the corner. “You don’t understand. I’m claustrophobic!” It was a warm summer day. Susan and I had boarded an elevator in a poorly air-conditioned archaeological museum in Rome, along with a dozen people from our tour group, and Rachel, our English guide.

Making the Great Migration

travelers-tales By Sarah Enelow

An American woman makes a pilgrimage to Mississippi, where her black family lived during slavery and segregation, then retraces their 1941 exodus to Detroit by train.

I stared up at a concrete obelisk streaked with black dirt. It bore an etching of a confederate flag and read, “The men were right who wore the gray and right can never die.” A dozen people, black and white, milled around on a sunny, 60-degree afternoon in January. This tiny town consisted of a central square, a few roads leading away from it, and not much else.

The Remnants of War: A Meditation on Peleliu

travelers-tales

By Anna Vodicka

On Peleliu, the roads are paved with coral—a once-living thing, a hardy animal. The coral came from the inland ridges and valleys of this two-by-six-mile speck among specks in the island nation of Palau, in western Micronesia, an almost invisible scene in the shadow of bigger acts in the Pacific, where land itself is a kind of debris, cast from the ocean by tectonic clashes and shifts that left things topsy-turvy, bottom-up, fish-out-of-water. Before: an underwater reef, an ecosystem of competitive individuals. After: a coral atoll bleaching into a future island paradise. Something new under the sun.