Reading List: Travel and Self-Discovery

image

Emily Perper is a word-writing human for hire. She blogs about her favorite longreads at Diet Coker.

“One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things,” wrote Henry Miller. Travel changes the traveler, obviously. Here, authors look at themselves, their societies, and their conceptions of home.

1. “Fat and Happy: Living Body Positive in Indonesia.” (Emily Anderson, August 2013)

I’ve followed Anderson’s adventures as she’s navigated the weird waters of serving abroad and intersectional feminism. Here’s her latest, a beautiful, articulate exploration of how fat is treated in Indonesia.

2. “Last City I Loved: Abu Dhabi.” (April Xiong, The Rumpus, August 2013)

A dreamy meditation on travel and what makes a home. Xiong studies film in Abu Dhabi, but isn’t sure if she’ll ever belong there, or anywhere.

3. “On Seeing England for the First Time.” (Jamaica Kincaid, 1991)

“My nose was pressed up against a glass window all right, but there was an iron vise at the back of my neck forcing my head to stay in place.” Kincaid describes the problematic relationship between her Antiguan childhood and England’s colonization thereof.

4. “Nine Airports.” (Armin Rosen, August 2013)

Rosen documents his adventures in different—you guessed it—airports in Africa and the Middle East, from the eerie Somalian stopover to the grandiosity of Jordan.

•••

Get the Top 5 Longreads free every week

Photo by Kate Ter Haar