Beginning from the Beginning: Swedish Heritage in Illinois

Krista Westerlund is our spiritual + historical correspondent. This missive is from her travels to the midwest —and back in time— to trace her Swedish family’s journey in America.

Little Sweden

Little Sweden in America. All images via KW.

I have been really, really remiss about writing about my travel experiences lately. I have traveled a lot and thought about writing about it, but the pen has not gone to paper or rather the finger has not gone to key. I’ve been to a lot of different kinds of places and also, I have spent my fair share of time in my sleepy little patch of routine daily life dreaming about places farther afield and the world beyond my window.

A while ago, I talked about how travel is not a competition. Well, for me, it still isn’t. There are plenty of other people out there who travel far more frequently than I do and who can tick off far more boxes on their bucket lists. Yes, there are places that I’d like to see and certain goals when it comes to travel that I would like to accomplish, but ultimately I don’t travel that way. I am fairly ordinary and on an ordinary budget in life. What I have, and I wouldn’t presume to say that I have far more of it than others – but I do definitely have it, is curiosity. Continue reading

Hop a plane, it’s the New York Times’ 46 Places to Go in 2013

Rio as ring of fire, via

Rio as ring of fire. via

It’s an east-coast jetsetter’s favorite time of year — when the Grey Lady releases her randomly-numbered roundup of trending places to travel. This year, the NYTimes has given you 46 places to check out in the next twelve months, which should more than fill your calendar. And your beat-the-crowds journey would take to you to such varied locales as Jackson Hole, Singapore and the Falkland Islands. Unexpected mentions: Changbaishan. The Adirondacks (?) Anyway, if my math is correct, you could cover it in a little more than a trip a week. Better get packing…

What do you think of this year’s list? How many places have you already hit?

Weekend warrior: Road Food from 101Cookbooks

You curate your carry-on —- why wouldn’t this exquisite taste extend to your in-flight meal? image via

As one of today’s most prominent philosophers once pondered, What is the deal with airplane food? Sometimes you really just don’t want to go for that mini pack of chips or (shudder) that lukewarm microwaved burger. Heidi from 101cookbooks is here to help: a health-conscious cookbook author who’s frequently on the go, she has a store of healthy recipes that travel well, from croquettes and muffins to sandwiches. This weekend I might just make a trial batch or two before we hit the road in earnest for the holiday season. So what are you doing this weekend?

RoadReads: “Death of the American Hobo”

“Stay down and don’t let anybody see you.” image via

We managed to jump over a couple strings of cars and get out of the yard and were wandering past suburban houses when two cop cars rolled out of nowhere. A bald, angry-looking officer swaggered over to us. “Cat-and-mouse game, huh? Looks like we win,” he scoffed. The other, a soft-spoken “good cop,” asked us a lot of questions about ourselves, and we managed to build up a friendly rapport. The bald one narrowed his eyes and glared at Jackson: “You’ve got a wedding ring on and a nice-ass camera around your neck. So what are you doing out here?”

What, indeed. Aaron Lake Smith rides the rails for Vice, from Walden Pond to Reno, NV to the Hobo Convention. (Read it in full here.)

Time Travel with Paris 3D

History buffs who love exploring the French capital will geek out over this new project, Paris 3D, from Dassault Systèmes. With a click of your mouse, you can wander through any moment in the city’s 2000 year history, from the Roman conquest in 52 BC up through the construction of the Bastille and the Eiffel Tower. Travel/history nerds like myself can get lost in this comprehensive Paris via browser or iPad app. Bon voyage…

Pack Your Bags: The Scent of Departure

Perhaps your departure is usually the wrong kind of fragrance (stale cabin air and microwaved food) — but The Scent Of Departure is better than that. TSoD knows you miss Abu Dhabi, Toyko and Bali before you even set foot on your return flight, so they kindly captured the essence of these major destinations in perfume for you. London/LHR will remind you of strolls through Hyde Park with its notes of moss, jasmine and bergamot. Istanbul/IST is a cross between the pink peppers at the spice market and the sweet lokum stuck in your teeth. And LAX transports you straight to the Cali coast with the bright scents of grapefruit, gardenia and amber. Best of all, the $45 price tag will still leave plenty of room in your suitcase for extra souvenirs.

 

Bon Voyage Beats: Tablethotels.com’s Tunes

You’re probably well aware of Tablet‘s well-curated selection of swanky stays around the globe — but did you know their impeccable taste extends to sound? Yes, when they’re not providing you with great deals and special extras on your unforgettable hotel experiences, they’re culling down the best of the latest in tunes and building a playlist for your travels. Tablet Tunes is built monthly on 8tracks, and volume 27 is out now.

What do you listen to when you’re on the road?