Year: 2020

“Out of Africa” outfit

“Perhaps he knew, as I did not, that the Earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road,” – Karen Blixen, Out of Africa Before I left for Kenya, I read Karen Blixen’s (nom de plume: Isak Dinesen) book, Out of Africa. Taking place at about this time 100 years ago, the Baroness owned a coffee plantation just outside of Nairobi. Her book is ripe with the soul of the country and its people, with less of the entitled colonialism than I expected. Karen wanted nothing more than for her bones to lie in rest in Africa. She did not get her wish. Her coffee plantation suffered locusts and other acts of God, and she was forced to leave the land she loved, later dying of malnutrition in her Dutch estate. A minor tragedy of dislocation. On the day I took this picture, I wanted nothing more than to make it out of Africa. I’ll likely process the full scope of traveling during the outbreak of a worldwide pandemic over time—peeling off …

“Safari in the time of Corona” outfit

In Swahili, safari means journey. Less than 8 hours before I departed on a two-day trip through the Maasai Mara, the US declared a level 4 travel advisory, urging all Americans overseas to return home immediately. Borders are closing. The unthinkable is happening everywhere. I could have to shelter in place indefinitely—no matter how far that place is from home. TMI, but I threw up all night from the stress. I had a ticket home through Paris in five days, but a 20-hour layover there (the original reason I bought that particular flight) in a European epicenter of COVID-19 (where even citizens must have a permission slip to wander outside) now sounded like a level of hell. My dad talked me into buying another return ticket through Dubai a day earlier, the best option we could find. I decided to still go on the safari. I chose the cheapest camp, and while the rest of my crew stayed at a luxury resort up the dirt road, I was the only person at the thatched-roofed, canvas-tented …

“Social distancing in Hell’s Gate” outfit

As the entire world entered into a certain sort of hell while I am in Kenya on an ill-timed vacation, I decided to go to Hell’s Gate, a national park near Lake Naivasha. I figured the wilderness was the most social distancing I could achieve while on this fated trip. Hell’s Gate has few predators, so you can bicycle through it alone. I passed by giraffe, zebra, warthogs, gorillas, and so many other extraordinary creatures great and small. Lake Naivasha is populated by hippos and thousands of birds. Paradise on earth. Even when the world goes to hell. no-label tropical greenery swim top – $3 (came with bottoms, too), ReStyle thrift store | Jones New York bronze silk skirt – $4, Idaho Youth Ranch thrift store | Spense white jacket with gold zip – $5, Savers thrift store (why I didn’t wear this during my bike in Hell’s Gate the next day where I got a wicked sunburn is beyond all comprehension)  Cheep it in the wilderness.

“Contagion” outfit

“Banish the ghost of coronaaaaahhh…” Before my trip to Kenya, I went to Passport Health, a traveler’s clinic for immunizations and fear needling. There, I was handed a terrifying brochure filled with the potential dangers of my destination. Typhoid. Hepatitis. Yellow fever. And a long list of other shit-inducing diseases borne of filth and mosquitoes and the social nature of human existence. It totaled $1500 to completely mitigate the fear of the unknown. I paid $500 to slightly assuage it, which my Kenyan friend found baffling and idiotic. I also paid dearly for taking the live Typhoid pills that made me vomit for hours on end over the course a week. I took off into an exponentially panicked world. When I left one week ago, the novel coronavirus drifted in and out of the public consciousness. It still felt like a somewhat foreign concept. Other people’s problems. A few days after I landed, COVID-19 did too. Blessedly not via the conduit of me. Since then, it feels like the entire world has screeched to a …