Letter from the Editor: Voyages & Discoveries

By Rachel Brandt
In Culture

THERE’S A MINDFULNESS PRACTICE that instructs the meditator to walk slowly and deliberately, placing one foot in front of the other, heel to toe. You’re directed to act as if your feet are kissing the ground, and take note of what each step feels like. It can be infuriating and, at the same time, exhilarating. The challenge of being so present in a moment is intense.

Imagine if everywhere you explored, every voyage you took, was approached with the same attention to detail. Years ago, as I walked through the ruins of a Cistercian monastery near the Rock of Cashel in Ireland, my breath caught in my chest as a cool breeze blew up my back and I shivered as I felt the weight of history in that historic place. I moved through the castle noticing every stone, imagining the masons in 1269 laying each rock and wiping the sweat from their eyes. Days later, and minutes after my plane touched down at LaGuardia, I hustled through the airport, ducked into a yellow cab, breathed in the driver’s secondhand smoke and craned my neck out the window as New York City flashed by. There’s not always a chance for reflection and reverie.

Libby Callaway. Photo by Attilio D'Agostino

Libby Callaway. Photo by Attilio D’Agostino

In this issue, we recognize the excitement travel can bring and juxtapose that with the quiet discovery that can happen when one explores with an open mind. Writer Sarah Kendzior and photographer Attilio D’Agostino met Nashville through the eyes of Libby Callaway (page 48). On a contemplative tour of Callaway’s top spots, Kendzior unpacked the intimate details of Nashville’s creative class and the revitalization of the city’s entrepreneurial identity. Pair that with a striking photo essay from D’Agostino and you’ll never see Music City in the same way again.

Buckle up with cocktail connoisseur Matt Sorrell for a rambling weekend on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail (page 62). At more than a few joints built off the beaten path, he samples, discovers a bit about himself and gives new meaning to Mark Twain’s quote, “Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” Take a deep breath as we turn the page on fashion, and present silhouettes ripe for adventure in “Shape Shifter” (page 30). Then meditate a moment as we fly from the Midwest to the Middle Kingdom, with a striking photo essay from Jennifer Silverberg. Her moody China series evokes a gamut of emotions (page 22). Finally, don’t forget to save some time on your voyage for writer Deborah Taffa’s intimate recounting of a time in her life when wanderlust ran parallel with romance like flesh and blood (page 20).

So pack this magazine into your new favorite bag (page 16) and prepare for your next voyage of discovery. Open your eyes, put one foot deliberately in front of the other and go.

Love,

Rachel signature

Find more from Voyages & Discoveries in our online issue, or at select locations around St. Louis. Once you take it all in, tell us what you think using #ALIVEvoyage for the chance to be featured.

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