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A Letter from the Editor

I’m lost in an alley somewhere in Milan — on my own, journal in hand, walking as deep through the narrowing streets as I can manage — to get away from the flocks of wayfarers and the friends I’ve traveled with. It’s in this instance that I find myself vanished enough inside the maze to rediscover the satisfaction that being alone in a new place provides with only a cold bottle of Verdicchio in my reach. I learned this trick, or in my case urge, when I was eighteen visiting Europe for the first time.

It was 2005, and I was in the backseat of a silver Renault Clio with my seventy-eight year-old grandfather at the wheel. I spent three weeks in the back of that car, driving through the majority of Western Europe as my grandma chirped and “Ron”-ed at every turn. I like to think that I learned some form of patience on that trip. But moreover, I learned how to get lost wherever I could. To decompress, and to find me again.

And so, I find myself lost again in the company of my consciousness, reflecting on why it is that I love this place so much. It’s not a simple reason to ascertain. But here’s what I know. Every place is different every time. And it should be. Whether you enter the city from a new direction, or sail instead of drive, or find yourself atop a Venetian terrace in the most perfect lavender sunset. It is different every time.

This is what I love about Europe. Sitting here at a place I’ve never been, drinking a bottle of wine I’ve never drunk. How else will I earn enough reason to pause and let my thoughts reverberate through my body? The importance of this process is the reason that this month, we’ve decided to take you with us on our journey through Europe. So that next time you find yourself on a European voyage, you will have no excuse to defy different.

Jordan Philips, Guest Editor