“The Places We Find Ourselves” in World Hum


This month’s travel featured story in World Hum, a New Orleans dispatch called “The Places We Find Ourselves,” was written by my sister Kristin Van Tassel. Kristin, who teaches American Literature at Bethany College in north-central Kansas, has written about literature for American Studies, mothering issues for AlterNet, and the environment for the Prairie Writers Circle — but this is her first published travel narrative.

In an essay that subtly examines several layers of a New Orleans travel experience, Kristin meditates on the unexpected surprises of life as an adult, juxtaposing the displacement of travel with the displacement that local residents were feeling after Hurricane Katrina. Recalling a series of enounters — at a Bourbon Street gay bar, at Louis Armstrong Park, at a Royal Street mask shop — Kristin moves us along toward her oddly wise epiphany, which is moving not because she’s established herself as a person who is well-traveled, but because she’s made it clear that she isn’t.

I’m tempted to outtake the final paragraph of her essay here, but I’d reckon it simply won’t have the same effect unless you read the rest of the essay first.

[On a tangential note of trivia, that really is Kristin and her mask in the photo. I should know: I took the picture and added the Photoshop effects myself.]

Posted by | Comments Off on “The Places We Find Ourselves” in World Hum  | June 16, 2006
Category: Travel News

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