Space Scientist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein’s Travel Plans? Stick to This Planet

This physicist who studies the history of the universe is dreaming of ways to return to her own origins here on Earth.

Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, author and physicist

Courtesy of Bold Type Books

Revenge travel is out (in fact, it never really felt “in” to us). Instead, this year we’re all about reconnection travel, which is proving to be the top reason for travel postpandemic. After a tough few years, people are going out into the world again with real excitement—and purpose. So we interviewed 11 globe-trotting celebrities to find out what “reconnection” means to them, whether that’s hitting the road solo, feasting through Italy, gallivanting with old friends, paying tribute to loved ones who’ve passed, or making an all-important visit to mom.

Below, theoretical physicist and Substack star Chanda Prescod-Weinstein—whose book, The Disordered Cosmos, is changing the way we think about the universe and about the scientists who study it—shares her thoughts on earthly travel. We have many more interviews for inspiration.

What place is calling you back?

I’ve had the opportunity to visit Detroit a few times recently, and I am totally in love with it. One place there that I visited and loved was the African Bead Museum. I’ve never been anywhere like it. Dabls, the artist behind it, has turned the building itself into an extraordinary work of mosaic and sculpture. And his love for the beads and the community that his space serves shines. I loved talking to him and hearing his stories about Detroit—he even told me a few about my hometown of Los Angeles.

What place feels like home even if it’s not where you’re from?

I lived in Toronto with my ex-wife for a couple of years while I was in graduate school. I think that even though it’s definitely not where I’m from, it’s a place that felt familiar immediately. I come from a Caribbean family and grew up in a very multicultural environment. Toronto had everything I was used to, but more. Every time I go back, I feel right at home, even though gentrification threatens a lot of the communities that have made it such a great place.

Are you planning trips to reconnect? If so, how?

I’m Bajan, and it’s been far too long since my last visit to Barbados. I didn’t grow up there, so I don’t feel like I know it as well as I should. I’m hoping to find time to make a trip with my mom soon. It’s been hard during the pandemic. I want to be careful with her health. But when we go back, I want her to take me to the village where she grew up. I’m old enough now to appreciate the significance of the history of the island in context of the last 500 years and specifically my family’s own journey and relationship to the land.

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, PhD, theoretical cosmologist, particle physicist, and author of The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred (Bold Type Books, 2021).

Read more from our Reconnection Travel series.

Kaitlin Menza is a Taipei-based writer who covers lifestyle, politics, pop culture, and social issues. You can find her work at
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