Photo by Pascal Meier on Unsplash


As the smoke fills my lungs I am transported back to a cold day, December in New York City. Old snow crunches under my boots as we walk through Central Park, talking politely after months spent apart. You told me about your roommate’s strange relationship with Tupperware; why is this the only detail I can remember? That is, in addition to my memory of you, arms slung casually over the fence as I take a photograph — a bird flying over the lake and you, glancing over your left shoulder at me, a grin on your face — captured forever, thanks to my iPhone 5.


As the smoke leaves my lungs and the fog clears I can see that I am in my room, alone. At least I’ll always have that photograph.

Thanksgiving is the holiday that is always the saddest for me when I am not in America (as I usually am not). Christmas is easy to celebrate in other countries, because this is a fairly universal holiday (if not for religious reasons, at least for capitalistic ones!) But Thanksgiving is only celebrated in the US, so when I’m not there, I miss it.

Last year, I was in Hanoi on Thanksgiving, and of course the day passed just like any other. …

One of many short stories about my wild year working at a luxury resort in rural Sri Lanka

Photo by Esteban Bernal on Unsplash

A lot can happen at a resort on a beach in rural Sri Lanka, more than you’d think possible. One of the more dramatic stories was the “wine fiasco” in January of 2019. The hotel I worked at didn’t have their liquor license yet (quite common in Sri Lankan hotels, so I’m told — it’s a quota system, and in order to receive the license you must know someone, who knows someone, who pays money, etc.); therefore we were not allowed to “officially” sell alcohol to guests. This was a pain, as the guests were not happy and the hotel…

Photo by Saksham Gangwar on Unsplash

Experiences I’ve had over the past year living in Sri Lanka and traveling through India and other Asian countries have granted me slightly more awareness about what it means to be a woman in many parts of the world — and it isn’t half as good as 79 cents to the dollar.

By way of introduction, I recently finished a contract in a management position at a luxury hotel in eastern Sri Lanka, and I am now backpacking through India and on through Asia.

In the ~2 years that I’ve been living and traveling in the eastern hemisphere, I’ve faced…

Glacier National Park, where many glaciers are melting and more have already disappeared

Recently I read this New York Times article that broke down global warming, and in particular how it is affected by aviation, into digestible information that alarmed me.

Did you know that one passenger on a 2,500-mile flight is responsible for melting 32 square feet (or, for those who are metrically challenged: 3 square meters) of Arctic summer sea ice cover? Now we both do.

This article popped up on my Facebook feed shortly after having a conversation with a friend about this exact topic (the creepiness of that deserves its own post — I digress). In the time that…

Plants after a storm, that’s one of my favorite smells.

Remember that night you came home from work and I was in tears, fighting a mental breakdown? I was in the midst of a steroid treatment, one week out of the hospital, and it was all feeling a bit overwhelming.

You walked in, saw me, and turned around to take an ice pack from the freezer. Steering me outside to a seat on the terrace, you put the ice pack on my head and then went back inside to get me a big glass of water.

We sat quietly, and…

Sarah Gottshall

keeping track of all the beautiful interludes // interested in people, ideas, travel, nature, culture, food, art

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