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?

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…