Lady Bird said it best: “I have to get out of Sacramento … Because it’s soul-killing. It’s the Midwest of California.”
It was finals week April 2021, deep into online school. Sage Houston raced to finish her final essays for her history and political science courses. Mid-essay, her MacBook unexpectedly shut down and refused to boot back up again.
Sheldon Goldfarb has been the AMS archivist for the past 28 years — a job he is perfect for but took the scenic route to.
2022/23 GSS President Samsel Kenston is a doctor, father and lifelong advocate.
In the lead up to the trip, I was determined to take the opportunity to learn more about my heritage on my mother’s side and learn more about what life was like in Calabria.
The hardest part was probably the nerves and loneliness that inevitably comes with long-term, solo travel.
Rushing through the cobblestone streets, between rows upon rows of whitewashed wooden buildings, I thought I could easily spot the massive art pieces but somehow I managed to miss them all.
Taking a quick walk along the banks of the East River, we made our way back through Williamsburg, pausing to peer in the window of the Peter Luger Steakhouse, like a pair of modern Charlie Buckets.
“There’s only two kinds of people who have a $50 in San Juan. The ones who are leaving and the ones who are arriving,” he says as he pushes the bill back. “So which one are you?”
Our gaze reached across the volcanic mountains surrounded by lush green and to the towns nestled along the coast below, taking in a country forged in conflict.
What I expected to do in this solo journey to California turned out to be very different from how it actually went.
I said yes to Colombia. Unprepared, under-informed, and completely unsure of what I was getting myself into.
Instead of Portland trying hard to live up to expectations, I found a city trying exactly hard enough to be itself.
Iceland is a land of contrasts: behemoth glaciers sliding slowly past actively smoking volcanoes. The tranquility of the aurora borealis was interrupted by the roar of the deadly waves crashing against the black cliffs of the southern coast.
Driving through the winding village roads, past white-washed houses and pubs with gilt-edged windows and the rolling hills covered in a patchwork quilt of rye and barley fields, it feels like an illustration from a child’s story book. There is beauty in Northern Ireland’s apparent simplicity.
Montrealers laugh and chat on patios and in cafés, and throngs of students share bottles of cheap wine in Parc Jeanne-Mance — a quiet luxury that any self-respecting Vancouverite envies.
Shonan coast is a favorite coastal stretch among locals for its powdery sand, laid-back surf vibe and small eateries that line this section of the route. At its best, dusk at the coast can be the most glorious part of the day, with a light and tranquility that’s so hard to capture at any other time.
I was determined to see a little bit of everything: the sunshiney towns jam-packed with historical significance, the freezing tops of the Peruvian Andes, the sweaty riversides of the Amazon rainforest, the bone-dry beaches of the North.
Beijing revealed itself slowly: rising through the smog, the red sun of dawn creeping up through the haze and seeming to play hide and seek between the buildings, rose-tinted light rising higher and higher into the sky as we approached.