Musician Sasami Shares Her Heart With California (and Maine, Vermont, Australia . . .)

The artist, producer, and composer has found home again but is also dreaming of distant destinations. And tacos.

Sasami Ashworth in a forest

Sasami in Hope, Maine

Photo by Kyle Thomas

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, musician Sasami Ashworth muses on the diverse spots around the globe where she’s found inspiration.

What place is calling you back?

It’s interesting because I very recently moved from L.A. to the small, coastal, rural town in Marin County that had been calling me back for years, so a sense of deep belonging has replaced an ever present feeling of restlessness. However, on these long and rainy winter days, I do sometimes dream of a mythically paradisiacal land of so-called Stradbroke Island, or Minjerribah, or known affectionately as “Straddie.”

On the eastern side of Moreton Bay, near Brisbane, Queensland, Stradbroke Island is a magical place I was able to visit shortly on an Australian tour years ago. Shannon Logan, the very cool and exceedingly charming owner of the record store Jet Black Cat Music, whisked my bandmates and me away and across a sunny sliver of the Coral Sea for an overnight journey that included run-ins with koalas, goannas, quails, skinks, spiders, snakes, and kangaroos. Although humans have left indelible scars through our reckless development, Straddie is one of those places that makes you at least feel like you can picture a time before us. Prehistoric in its freshness and verdure.

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

I have become highly endeared to southern Vermont and parts of coastal Maine over the years, as my touring band (Brattleboro-born metal band called Barishi) is located there and somehow convinced this Cali girl to be a New England–based band. I have spent a couple autumns and summers on Deer Isle, Swan’s Island, and other junctures of mountain and sea energy on the Maine coastline, and it is where I nourished a deep love for fungal, algal, and plant ecologies. The salty swirl of pine-spiced seaweed forever lingers in the heart of my nose and the nose of my heart.

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

I am planning to visit my family and hometown of Los Angeles just in time for Dodger season to ramp up. I will be eating a lot of home-cooked Korean meals, doing some music studio sessions, and probably eating Angel’s Tijuana Tacos’ perfect al pastor tacos with a gorgeous caramelized slice of pineapple on top. The long line in front of Eagle Rock Target is a great place to smell scorched pork while pondering the multiplex folly of human existence.

Sasami, musician whose latest album is Squeeze

Read more from our Reconnection Travel series.

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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