Mary Ann Thomas: Brown Queer Travel Writer
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 >>

Nine Ways a Brown Jersey Girl Stands Out in Alaska

Nine Ways a Brown Jersey Girl Stands Out in Alaska

At the age of 25, I left the East Coast and drove to Alaska. As a queer brown woman from central Jersey, I was in culture shock for weeks. After three months of living here, I’ve pinpointed the ways that I stand out from Alaskans around me in style, manner, and politics. 1. I talk… Read More >>

The Practice of Forgetting

The Practice of Forgetting

After four glasses of wine, our slurred words form questions we don’t want to remember. “So, what are you going to do next year?” Jesse asks me. She looks out the window as she washes dishes. Only without eye contact can I tell certain truths. “I want to go to India,” I answer. “And do… Read More >>

Pedal Strokes in the Dark

Pedal Strokes in the Dark

It’s on the other side of a Wyoming mountain pass, biking with the flow of water east, that striations of burning red rock demarcate the passage of time on earth. Some rock formations rise against gravity; they don’t appear hard, like the granite peaks of the Grand Tetons, but seem soft, like a good rain… Read More >>

August on the Haul Road

August on the Haul Road

Anchorage raises my blood pressure. As I pull out of my apartment complex, I swing the car into 50 mph traffic and within seconds slow to a halt. Red lights, four lane city streets, and two left turn lanes at every light mean I’m constantly starting and stopping and changing lanes. I’m new here and… Read More >>