• Travel

    Scratch-Off World

    During a road trip this summer, I crashed at my friend’s apartment in DC. Years ago, she and I were roommates in rural India. When we caught the seasonal fever, I threw up in the bucket we shared for washing clothes, and she didn’t get mad. You could say we’re pretty close. On her wall, there was a large map of the world. It was one of those scratch-off maps you see on Pinterest and gift guides for travelers: once you visit a country, you scratch off the plain brown overlay to reveal a brightly-colored map of that nation. The idea is to keep track of all your travels and show…

  • Food,  Travel

    Thankfulness in a Himalayan Bar

    I don’t know what most women do when they’re seven months pregnant, but I ended up cooking a French-themed Thanksgiving dinner for my extended family. Totally reasonable, right? I’m not often home for the holidays—and usually in a country that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving—so I guess you could say I was a little enthusiastic this year. Though it included gratin dauphinois and haricots verts rather than the typical Midwestern jello salad, this Thanksgiving was all-American to me: no fighting to find ingredients, no Skype calls, no expat friends standing in for flesh-and-blood family. It was the perfect American holiday. Yet, I have to admit, my favorite Thanksgiving story is far from this American perfection.…