My Futile Struggle for Stillness

Belen Fernandez in the New York Times:

When in mid-March “Quedate En Casa,” or “stay at home,” became the coronavirus rallying cry for the Spanish-speaking world, I had just arrived from El Salvador to the village of Zipolite on the coast of southeastern Oaxaca State in Mexico.

My plan was to continue on to Mexico City and then, over the course of the next couple of months, to Turkey, Spain, Greece, Lebanon and Madagascar.

I left the United States upon graduating college in 2003, after the giddy launch of the war on Iraq had convinced me that America was not any place I needed to be. I began hitchhiking, inaugurating a habit of haphazard and frenetic international movement that would characterize the next 17 years.

The itinerancy was, it seemed, because of a mix of acute commitment-phobia, an aspiration to omnipresence and a deep envy of people who possess more of a culture than our soul-crushing consumerism and military slaughter-fests.

More here.