Why anyone can travel, and write about it.
When did you first know you were a traveler?
I was five when I first took an airplane from Boston to Tucson. My three sisters and I were dressed in matching dresses and white gloves. The planning, the packing, the trip to the airport – a journey felt momentous and significant. It still does.
What’s one place that has moved you or changed you in a significant way?
This is a true story. When the great conductor Arturo Toscanini first saw the Grand Canyon, he started clapping. I get it – it’s not worth even wasting your breath on a triviality like “Wow!” Morning, evening, north rim, south rim, I’ve never been jolted, silenced, convulsed and healed like at the Grand Canyon. You do wonder what Coronado and his merry band had to say to each other when they stumbled upon this, instead of gold for Spain. Arizona, in spite of its weird and sometimes distressing political landscape, is a staggeringly beautiful state. I think they have the lock on suck-your-breath-away places in this country and maybe anywhere on earth.