Travel is built on connection.
It is a connection that might get under your skin, into your heart, under your fingernails. A bond that could pull you into unrequited love, as Rachel Pieh Jones beautifully describes in her Chasing Demons story, Borama, Somaliland: My First Heartbreak.
It might be a connection that manifests in a moment. For Tania Amochaev Romanov in the Human and Nature photo feature, Into a Disappearing Deep, that moment was the grace of a young man in Myanmar as he took an elegant leap — following an arc of tradition that spans thousands of years. Or, perhaps a connection that is formed through a hands-on experience, as Hudson Lindenberger discovered in Scalded, Sanded and Smeared: a Quest to conquer a ritual of renewal in a Moroccan bathhouse.
And, of course, it can be a connection to history. For Louisa Deasey, it was discovered during a year spent exploring artifacts from her father’s past and following hundreds of clues across an ocean in our Time Travel piece, A Poet, A War, and the Letters from Saint Clair. For Jodi Cash, those layers of history were complex, delving into stories of guerillas, cartels, poverty, and gardens built on hope in her Portrait piece, The Beauty and Violence Beneath Our Feet.
In the end, these connections can unite cultures, nourish soils, cleanse bodies, and maybe even change the course of our destiny. This is the power of travel.
A special thank you to all of our readers, who share our dream of powerful storytelling, and to our contributors, who send us stories worth sharing.
Yours in wanderlust,
Sabine Bergmann and Sivani Babu, Hidden Compass Co-Founders
Liz Shemaria, Hidden Compass Editor-at-Large