This is our Valentine's Day gift to you--some very very short stories from some of our stellar writers. You can read each one in a single breath. We hope there is love in your life---humans, pets, any kind that makes you feel cherished and important.
Pamela Blair, in the Sudan on the final leg of a long train voyage over a hot and empty desert had prepared herself to be bored. It was what she hadn't planned on, however, that would forever change the way she saw the world and herself in it.
After emerging from a sweltering jungle trek in Costa Rica, Dina Lyuber saw herself in the mirror for the first time in three days. Her face was sunburnt and sweat-stained. She felt achy, exhausted, and surprisingly exhilarated.
Executive editor Judith Fein went to Hiroshima, Japan, where the first nuclear bomb was dropped. As nuclear threats are once again appearing in the news cycle, Fein reminds us about what a nuclear bomb and its aftermath were really like.
On a fateful day in 2003 when Canadian expat Chris Pady and his wife Michele befriended a young stray dog on the streets of Tainan, Taiwan, they never imagined the many ways their new best friend 'Flea' would change their lives forever.
Three weeks after the presidential election in Honduras, a winner had yet to be announced and tensions were high as the country plunged into political crisis. In this essay, expat Jill Dobbe reports on living in a country in chaos and what it means for the strong and resilient Hondurans who pray for peace.
The morning of a late-night flight from Mexico City to Rome, Ashya Griffin was ready with passport, wallet, and flight information organized in her favorite red leather cross-body purse. So, no one was more surprised than she was to suddenly find herself at the check-in counter unable to put her hands on an essential document and unable to board.
In a world that seems to be spinning out of control, Ellen Barone is surprised to find that she is still full of hope. Like everyone else, she has moments of disgust and despair, but then, almost miraculously, a ray of light shines through. How does this happen? She blames it on travel.
Early Monday morning on October 9, 2017, Katya Miller was roused from bed and evacuated from her Sonoma County home by raging wildfires. She takes you with her on her frightening journey, and tells how you can help.
For Elyn Aviva, an American expat living in Catalonia, the Spanish government's heavy-handed response to the October 1st Catalan independence referendum ignited a complex emotional turbulence and the decision to temporarily flee Catalonia.
Against all logic and advice, Maureen Magee was committed to her plan to travel the world alone. It hadn’t been easy to quit her job and sell her house. But, the hard part was behind her Or, so she thought...
When Jules Older received a Farewell Party invitation from a friend in Santa Cruz, California, he made the trip not only to say goodbye to an extraordinary man but also to discover the hometown that his friend so dearly loves.
About six months ago, Judith Fein received an email from a mother that mentioned her non binary teenager. Intrigued, Judith wanted to know more about what it means to be non binary. So, she asked. Then, she asked to share the answers with you. This Q&A is the brave and honest discussion that followed.
Dorty Nowak has lived part-time in Paris for years, though you wouldn't know it from looking at her photo albums. She'd been too busy enjoying Paris to stop and document her life there. But now, when she thinks of the photos she wished she'd taken, she has regrets.
When an elderly woman's stumble turns disastrous on a small-ship cruise in the Galapagos Islands, Sally Moir, a nurse on vacation, suddenly finds the traveler's life in her hands. Fortunately, all ends well, but Sally is left to wonder about the line between adventure and recklessness.
During a tour of India, Carolyn Handler Miller discovers that she'd accidentally left behind an important purchase. Disappointment is soon transformed to surprise and delight when a feisty stranger steps up to save the day.
In the weeks leading up to a trip to India, Carolyn Handler Miller imagined all she'd see and experience: elephants, camels, monumental architecture, gorgeous saris and mysterious rituals at the Ganges. What she didn’t envision, however, was an unexpected aspect of the culture that left her questioning her ideas of privacy.
For American expat, BJ Stolbov, one of the most interesting and informative things about living in the Philippines is observing cultural norms. In this insightful essay, BJ reflects on Filipino attitudes about looking foolish in public, a topic which he's very familiar with.
A 10-day recovery period of face-down immobility was a nasty surprise for Thomas Gump when a visit to the ophthalmologist quickly transformed into retinal eye surgery. Suddenly, the unexpected ordeal left him as dependent as a child and wondering what a life without sight might be like.
Melanie Kitzan booked a trip to Iceland for New Year's Eve with a man she had just met, but when he bailed at the last minute, she decided to go alone. Darkness and loneliness threatened to ruin the adventure until a chance encounter with an old scientist and tales of Icelandic elves changed everything.
Past and present collide in unexpected ways when 80-year-old Gary White embarks on an arctic adventure to celebrate his wife's birthday and is forced to face his perception of the arctic as a dangerous and primitive place, a deeply embedded fear, he realizes later, formed as a ten-year-old boy.