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The Best American Travel Writing 2021


Short stories cover some of the gamuts of traveling in a COVID environment. The theme in travel is connection. Turkish bathhouses that embodied the seductive prospect of seeing one another exposed, caught inside the particular vulnerability of enjoyment; food having little to do with traveling as a writer drives from CA to TX and backstopping to eat in places along the way- context affects flavor, a place, its atmosphere, the people within it, their mood… it’s the people- excited to show off their hometown, its restaurants, and their community who make travel worthwhile; relationships by connection; the people of Las Vegas (the ones who live there all year round); five oceans, five deeps expedition - a journey around the world and to both poles touching the under seafloor - the trenches; Water or Sky? – the best of the bunch on death, loss, the questions - how long did it take her friend to die? Did she struggle? And was the last thing she saw water or sky?; The hodgepodge of a you-utopian community in Georgia; travel as an addiction – but more for many people looking for diversions from their own life; Paul Theroux stating the riskiest, most crisis-ridden, enlarging his vision making them the most enlightening of all his adventures; a Wanderlust teenager heads to Alaska for adventure. Not all stories in the books are gems, usually aren’t… but there will be a few that will make you pause, put down the book, and make you long to get out on the world map of adventure, wherever and whenever that is.

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