Manifest Destiny, That Atrocious Ideal

A Wintertime Visit to a Onetime Nuclear Test Site Reveals the Lengths Americans Go to Own Whatever They Please

On the outskirts of Tularosa, New Mexico, I drove among sacred mountains. It was three days before Christmas, 2014, and it was over 70 degrees. With the A/C cranked, I passed the cookfires of shantytowns, children with strings of meat hanging from the ends of sticks, their parents drinking Coca-Cola from cool glass bottles, mezcal from plastic washtubs. Sheep grazed at the road shoulders. Skeletal motorcycles sashayed around buses laboring up the slopes.

My mouth was numbed with spice from pulverized chiles. So many outdoor comals, toasting so many tortillas, extracting …

Longing for L.A.

How Nostalgia, Memory, and Jet Lag Connect Me to the City

I ran away from home at 14 years old. I didn’t grab a backpack and go sleep at a friend’s. I didn’t steal away in the middle of the night. …

The Purpose of Traveling

A 100-Mile Walk Through Scotland Was Neither Business Nor Pleasure

I hop on planes a lot because life is hard. I don’t mean that I jet off to Cancun or Bermuda to recuperate from the burdens of the daily grind. …

Bogotá, My Home Away From Home

I Began My Trip to Colombia as a Teen Feeling Lost, and Ended With a New Sense of Belonging in the World

After finishing seventh grade, I found myself at the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, where my mother put me on a plane headed to Bogotá, Colombia.

It wasn’t as …

How Living Abroad Brought Me Closer to Home

As a Californian With Korean-Irish Roots, I Felt More Like a Global Citizen—Until I Lived Outside the U.S.

In the summer of 1997, days after my 20th birthday, I was making my first international trip alone. I was going to Kuala Lumpur for the summer to intern at …