Politics and History

Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Ngugi wa Thiong’o — the renowned Kenyan author — believes African writers should write in their native language, not the colonial language of English or French. He says the best way to decolonize the mind is to reclaim native languages.More

Half brothers Robert Lafayette Gee (right) and Henderson Gee (left)

Rev. Alex Gee is fascinated by genealogy. So he took a DNA test and discovered one of his ancestors was a white slave owner. Then he went down to New Orleans to meet his white relatives — and that meeting sparked a slew of complicated emotions.More

a son of Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings, is buried in a local cemetery.

Steve Paulson was surprised to discover that a son of Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings, is buried in a local cemetery. With the help of Erin Hoag of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, he searches for the grave of Eston Hemings Jefferson.More

Malcolm Gladwell

Journalist Malcolm Gladwell is famous for mining behavioral science for his work, and when it comes to better understanding the intersection of crime, violence, and policing, he turns over and over to criminologist Frank Zimring.More

Children in Addis Ababa.

Dagmawi Woubshet and Julie Mehretu were both born in Addis Ababa and then moved to America. They wonder what the city's explosive growth will mean for its unique character — one rooted in Ethiopia's history as the only African nation never colonized.More

the raven

Bad things happen when people lose their connection to the more-than-human world. "Animals know something that we that don't," says psychologist Sharon Blackie. That's one lesson you can take from the old shapeshifting myths and fairy tales.More

The Löwenmensch figurine after restoration in 2013

Shapeshifting images run deep in human history, going back to ancient cave paintings. Archeologist Chris Gosden says they're linked to the shaman's ability to cross into the spirit world where humans and animals merge.More

duality

Susan Cain is the author of "Bittersweet." She says the experience of sadness can help us feel whole. Cain said "bittersweet" is one of those words we use, but don't know what it means.More

"You're not ok, that's ok" yard sign

During the height of the pandemic, producer Charles Monroe-Kane made a yard sign — 300 of them, in fact. They read "You're not ok. That's ok." He put a few in his yard and the rest on his porch. Soon they were gone.More

The Maasai have lived alongside the Serengeti wildlife for generations.

Science journalist Sonia Shah, herself the child of Indian immigrants, has long been fascinated with the way animals, people and even microbes move. She says migration is both a crisis and an opportunity.More

Mahjong tiles

Board games are a tradition for a lot of us. But have you ever thought about where those traditions come from? Producer Angelo Bautista investigates the history of mahjong.More

A man with totalitarian ideas and conspiracy swirling around him.

Examining both historical and present-day moments of widespread loneliness, philosopher Samantha Rose Hill argues we must understand our feelings of loneliness — otherwise they could be exploited to control us.More

Conversation with Samantha, the artificial intelligence

To a certain extent, loneliness is part of the human condition. You can be lonely anywhere, even surrounded by friends. But modern life has exacerbated it, and that requires modern solutions. Indie game designer Jason Rohrer has one — an artificial friend named Samantha.More

A cruise ship in Norway

Journalist Elizabeth Becker, the author of "Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism," breaks down how we got to this moment in global tourism, and how we might nudge nations, companies and ourselves to become more responsible travelers.More

maps and guides

Dave Eggers – the writer and founder of McSweeney’s – has been all over the world. Along the way, he developed his own personal code of travel ethics.More

Helping hands while traveling. Illustration By George Wylesol (AFAR Magazine)

What’s the most uncomfortable you’ve ever been on a trip? Anu Taranath is a social justice facilitator and teacher, used to having difficult conversations about race, identity and privilege. She says those are issues that come up all the time when Americans travel abroad.More

Traveling in Canada

One of the most famous world travelers of any age was Barry Lopez, the explorer and writer who passed away in 2020. We wanted to remember him by re-visiting Steve Paulson's interview with Lopez about his memoir – called "Horizon."More

Illustration By George Wylesol (AFAR Magazine)

Unless you walk or bike to your next vacation destination, you’ll probably have to burn some fossil fuels to get there. Blogger Kathryn Kellogg is a guru of zero-waste living. She has a few tips on how to reduce your impact on the environment when you travel. More

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