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What We’re Reading


Way Out and Back,” Outside
Matthew Power’s story from last year on the Northern Territory in Australia is a great short read. He takes you on a visceral journey through sweltering crocodile country to Ayers Rock. “It occurs to me that the Australian preference for infantilizing nicknames—truckie, brekkie for breakfast, footy for their sadistic version of football—might be a linguistic defense mechanism for living in such a harsh landscape,” he writes. I’d love to go, with plenty of water and sunscreen, of course. —Ariel Ramchandani

World’s Weirdest Lamingtons,” Frankie Magazine
By now you will have read AFAR’s article on the lamington, an Aussie dessert icon. You will also have heard of AFAR Experiences’ upcoming sojourn to Sydney and will understand our recent obsession with all things antipodean. So it should come as no surprise that I can’t stop looking at these weird lamington recipes. (White Blood Cell Lamingtons? The Lamingtini?) —Jessica Silber

The Quiet Ones,” The New York Times
So many things in this story about traveling in the “quiet car” on Amtrak resonated for me personally. The “quiet car” is the last bastion for people seeking refuge from technology and the accompanying noise on public transit. I’m not comfortable calling out people who violate the rules but I really appreciated the dialogue here that does just that. —Laura Simkins

Why Do Grandmothers Exist?” The New Republic
The venerable magazine has relaunched under the watch of youthful Facebook millionaire Chris Hughes, and the website is a thing of beauty. The site is responsive and smart—look what happens if you highlight some text on a story. And the content is as provocative as ever, as in this story which wonders why female humans keep hanging on beyond childbearing age. —Davina Baum

The Most Beautiful Record Stores in the World,” Flavorwire
Since I spend much of my spare time “at home” in independent record stores, If I could afford to bring back music from every trip abroad, then in addition to the curbside and marketplace cassette stalls, these are some of the places where I’d shop. —Derk Richardson

36 Hours in Marin County, Calif.,” The New York Times
This story was a fun reminder that a great trip is possible right in your own backyard. I hit Mount Tam that weekend, exploring some new spots in the park I had never been to and had a coastal picnic of my own. —Ariel Ramchandani

The Places You’ll Go,” The Atlantic
A co-founder of Google Earth’s prototype plots out the future of our relationships with maps, and explains why we feel so helpless—like a fifth of our brain has fallen out—when our map tools malfunction. He describes Google Earth’s immersive, engaging model as something that has made discovering geography a joy: “like you’re dating a planet and you want to know it, to hear all about its past and hopes.” —Jessica Silber

Brazil Travel—Visiting a Favela,” 2 Backpackers
For sports fans, Brazil will be among the top destinations in the world over the next four years, culminating with the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Here, guest blogger Chelsea Schmidt writes about the increasingly popular favela tours, and touches on the inherent conflict for the visitor—how should we feel about exploring a favela community as tourist? —Bryan Kitch

It Takes Planning, Caution to Avoid Being ‘It’,” The Wall Street Journal
I loved this story about a group of grown men maintaining a game of tag for the past 23 years. The fact that they are dispersed around the country from California to Boston makes it that much more challenging (and interesting). —Laura Simkins

 Photo: Tony Redhead on AFAR.com