Thin Places

I’ve been meaning to post this article forever. For months, I’ve kept this tab open, waiting for the 10 minutes needed to copy and paste the link. It’s an article from the New York Times called “Thin Places, Where We Are Jolted Out of Old Ways of Seeing the World.” At first read, the article really spoke to me and what I look for when I travel. Not so much the достопримечательности, or tourist attractions, that most guidebooks list as the main attractions in a place. Instead, I look to find those places that “relax us, yes, but they also transform us — or, more accurately, unmask us.” Those places where “we become our more essential selves.”

The article lists airports, bars – places that in a geography class I took were described as “non-places.” I can’t describe the feeling of calm I feel when I land in the Milwaukee airport, though – either on a trip to D.C. or home to Minnesota, I spend every layover in that terminal in the Chili’s with a drink and a book. It’s a feeling of suspension, a place I’m forced to deal with the fact that I am, in some way, homeward bound.

Thin places: trains; Adalar; the bookstore by Eastern Market; behind the Braşov sign;
Thick places: the Tidal Basin during cherry blossom season; Sultanahmet neighborhood in Istanbul; Yalta

It’s funny that whether these places are thin or thick depends on the season, the time of day, my mood while there – no thin place is permanently thin.

Read the article in its entirety here.


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