Hello and welcome to the 69th issue of Place! As the days of summer settle in around us, we are feeling the need to get outside, reset, and take some time to reflect on all that Place has sent out into the world so far. Which is why this week we are continuing our summer series – dispatches which, instead of introducing topics entirely new, will bring you back to several stories we’ve already published, all connected by a common thread. Our fifth summer series is a collection of three different dispatches focused around the process of travelling - from on-the-ground navigation, to the strangers we look at in airports.
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At Place, we believe that the experiences, sensations and conversations we have as we move about the world stay with us, stacking up as the years go by, forming who we are and the way we view the world. If you’re the social type, follow us on Twitter (@place_letter) where you can share your favourite pieces and Instagram (@placenewsletter) for a visual feast. Yours, The Place editorial team.
Summer Series #5: The travelling kind
Going back to this collection of essays feels a bit like stepping back through time - when the idea of starting a travel-based newsletter was something easily attainable, because travel itself was (relatively) easily attainable. And yet, re-reading them at this stage of summer, heading into September, feels right. To many, the Fall can be a ‘reset’ season, a time to make plans for the coming year, or settle back into routine after summer holidays. We hope that by scrolling through these essays you are not only reminded of the joys of travel, but the complexities of it, and the way that place fundamentally changes around you when you are moving through it for the first time, or at a different pace.
For Place editor Karis Hustad, returning to Morocco after years spent away felt nearly like second nature, until she remembered the technology in her pocket that had not accompanied her there before: Google maps. In her essay ‘Serendipity Beneath Satellites,’ she questions the nature of relying of navigation while travelling, both the ease it brings, and the distractions that may come with it. “The blue dot was the most certain verification of my presence, and it was the one thing that distracted me from where I physically was,” she writes.
Our experience of a place when we travel can also be shaped by what we consume while we are there. For Place editor Kylee Pedersen, this always comes in the shape of a book. “If traveling is an exploration of other lives to in some way make your own more full, a book must be a similar immersion - every step along a new street and every turn of the page becoming a meditation on parts of you - or the world - that you did not know of before.” In her essay ‘On Reading While Travelling,’ Kylee explores the three books she read in three different destinations and how both the pages and place she read them in became inextricably entwined.
The last essay in this summer series is the only one written about travelling post-pandemic, and as such, looks at travel through covid-coloured lenses. In anticipation to break back into the world of exploration, we must not overlook the minutiae of travel, writes Place contributor Madeline Bazil in her essay, ‘Little Pockets of Limbo.’ From observing strangers in the departures wing, to seeing the world from above in an airplane, Madeline pens a sort of ode to the at times most arduous part of travel itself: the journey.
We hope you have a chance to revisit the stories in our summer series this weekend - or perhaps even read them for the first time.
By Karis Hustad
By Kylee Pedersen
By Madeline Bazil
To be ‘made’ somewhere,
getting up close and personal with tree planters,
and places of democracy.
Join us next week for another journey.