Oh, the thrill of opening up the September issue of Condé Nast Traveler and finding one of its writers id’d as “Sara Tucker, author of Our House in Arusha; married to a Frenchman.” I cannot claim credit for the Frenchman (beyond having had the good sense to marry him). The book, however, is all mine, and the labor of bringing it into the world was long and hard.
After retrieving the magazine from my mailbox, I spent the rest of the afternoon on the porch swing, slowly turning pages. The September issue celebrates 25 years of publication, and it’s as sweet and ripe and juicy as a late-summer tomato. Kevin Doyle (my editor, xoxoxo!) wrote the cover story about Hillary Clinton, after hitching a 19,000-mile ride with her to China, India and Bangladesh. There's a story on extreme birdwatching by Jonathan Franzen, and an adorable piece about Couch Surfing by Bill Sertl (rhymes with "girdle"), and, and...well, you'll just have to see for yourself.
I remember putting together the first issue of Condé Nast Traveler. I was a roustabout in those days, working for two or three magazines at a time. I liked Traveler because it paid well ($15 an hour; Vanity Fair was only $12). Plus, it was a class act.
Moments like this—the arrival of the September issue—are bittersweet these days. Whenever I get good news, I want to IMMEDIATELY share it with my mother. Only she isn’t here any more. People say, “She knows.” But I miss seeing the joy on her face.
And she would be so pleased. My mother, though not much of a traveler, was a voracious reader, and she appreciated good writing. She was also a small-town person with a giant social conscience, which Traveler has. For me, the magazine is a great landing, and I’m proud and tickled to be part of its twenty-fifth anniversary issue.