Jis 0915 emily editor juehst

Image: Rachel Román

Doesn’t it seem as if there are times when everyone you know is somewhere fabulous, taking fabulous selfies and drinking fabulous piña coladas by some fabulous body of water? That’s how I felt in December, when it seemed as if everyone I know on Facebook had relocated to Hawaii or Israel.

Here I was — in a Seattle so dark that I’ve started to wonder if I’m developing glaucoma — putting together our second annual travel issue. It made me think: What is travel, and what are the many ways we can explore the concept of travel? There are personal quests and spiritual journeys, physical travel and time travel. They all start somewhere and bring you somewhere else. Hopefully, when you unpack your bags at the other end, you do so with new information, a more open mind, and a bigger heart. 

So rather than talking about some white-sand beach that you can read about in any travel magazine, we went a different route, so to speak, by bringing together four narratives of travel to unexpected places, both on the map and in the spirit. On the way, we’ll get a taste of the future, travel back in time on a lesser-known WWII journey, check in with Mexico, and take a musical journey with one of Israel’s most iconic performers.

If you’re like me, gazing at photos of friends splashing in aquamarine waves or sipping wine in the Judean Hills, there’s an upshot: according to a 2010 study in Applied Research and Quality of Life, the planning of a vacation alone boosts happiness. When vacationers come home, they return to “baseline happiness,” which is no different from the happiness level experienced by the poor souls who didn’t get away.

So snuggle up with our travel issue and think about your next journey. We hope you’ll be a little happier after you’ve traveled with us. 

Emily K. Alhadeff

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