Mary Ann Thomas: Brown Queer Travel Writer
Two Wheels, All Heart: A Bike Tour of India

Two Wheels, All Heart: A Bike Tour of India

At the end of 2017, I biked more than 3,000 miles from the Himalayas to the southern tip of Tamil Nadu. Over four months, my bike tour of India took me through 12 states, and I passed Buddhist monasteries with prayer flags waving on mountaintops, Sikh gurudwaras serving free communal meals, towering minarets of mosques,… Read More >>

Bike Touring: An Obsession

Bike Touring: An Obsession

Sam and Shirley rolled up in a silver minivan. The 80-year-old couple inched out of the car and waved us over. The opened their trunk, loaded our bicycles and gear, and drove us up a thousand-foot mountain on a windy gravel road while joking that Sam, who was driving, was legally blind. That night, they… Read More >>

On Preparation

On Preparation

It was when I was lying on the floor at yoga class and the instructor said, set an intention, that I put my boyfriend and our impending distance aside because that’s not an intention. I put the stress and fear of an upcoming adventure aside; stress and fear are not intentions. I put my body… Read More >>

Road Trip in a Red State

Road Trip in a Red State

Last November, in a red state surrounded by people who voted for Trump, I silently grieved for my country. My body was brown, deflated, minimized, isolated, invisible, hypervisible, and hiding from what cannot be changed. I felt like a fire dumped with water, unable to fathom what was happening, or if the future I’d imagined… Read More >>

Sleep Under the Stars: Why Camping is Good for You

Sleep Under the Stars: Why Camping is Good for You

Three years ago, I didn’t even own a tent. But when I decided to go on a cross-country bike trip, I found out camping was the easiest and cheapest option for where to sleep. In the past few years, I’ve camped in the backcountry, on solo trips, out of a car, and with a group,… Read More >>

Today, I Fly

Today, I Fly

I unload my green backpack onto the airport security’s conveyor belt and remember the knife and the mace. The weapons given by strangers while hitchhiking across the country alone as an eighteen-year-old brown girl. The six-inch boot knife from a thirty-something white trucker who knew I’d have no idea how to use it, but thought… Read More >>

Stethoscopes & Suitcases: Life as a Travel Nurse

Stethoscopes & Suitcases: Life as a Travel Nurse

My closest aunt and a lot of my cousins are nurses, but for the longest time I had not thought of nursing as an option for myself. For a lot of Indian immigrants’ kids, becoming a nurse isn’t enough because we’re pushed to become doctors. But I always knew that I wanted to travel for… Read More >>

Rules of the Northern Lights

Rules of the Northern Lights

I squat on the dirt road and widen my stance to avoid the inevitable splash of pee on hard earth. When I have a solid stream running, I look up. A beam of light, like a spotlight directing aimless crowds to the next hottest award show in Hollywood, shines straight out of the dark horizon.… Read More >>

Biking through Small-Town USA as a Brown Woman

Biking through Small-Town USA as a Brown Woman

When I decided to ride my bicycle across the country, my family and friends were worried for me. How would a small brown woman be treated? How would a daughter of immigrants bike across Small Town, USA, and landscapes pockmarked with xenophobia? It was 2014 and I was about to embark on a six-month, 6,600-mile… Read More >>

The Ice Beneath My Feet

The Ice Beneath My Feet

  “That’s the moraine!” Julie says, furiously waving her finger towards the pile of rubble to our left. “Moraine. Man, that’s a word you only hear up here, only hear when around glaciers and mountains and rocks,” I tell Kasey in the backseat. I turn my head and shut up. The moraine to our left… Read More >>