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What We’re Reading: 8 Great Travel Reads

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Meet the overwhelmed psychiatrist in the world’s happiest country,” Star
In Bhutan, a country that sets its national priorities through a Gross National Happiness Commission, at least one man isn’t happy: Dr. Chencho Dorji, Bhutan’s first psychiatrist. After 14 years of working “non-stop”—864 patients were treated in his minimally staffed psychiatric department in 2012—he says, “I feel emotionally drained and professionally burnt out.” How did that happen in the Himalayan Buddhist kingdom renowned for its happiness? —Derk Richardson

Paul Bowles, inside the cafés and salons of Morocco,” Little Star
It’s always a good time to read Paul Bowles. He’s a great observer and thinker. These pieces, on cafés in Morocco, paint indelible scenes in your mind and take on themes familiar to every experiential traveler: feeling like a foreigner, finding ways to penetrate local life, and thinking about the inevitability of change—often not for the better—in places you love. —Jeremy Saum

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Then I Went to Tunisia to Kitesurf,” Fathom
I have a hard time sitting still when I travel so I often plan trips around learning a new sport or skill, and often in the most exotic setting possible. After watching German filmmaker Marko Roth’s video about his kitesurfing trip in Zarzis, Tunisia I know where to go on my next adventure. —Jen Murphy

Inheriting the Family Apron,” The New York Times
How do chefs become chefs? In the U.S., children of food-industry parents are increasingly heeding the call of the kitchen. David, Dennis, and Daniel Lee of Namu Gaji in San Francisco grew up working in their Korean-born mother’s restaurant in Massachusetts. Much to her initial chagrin, the brothers, who were pushed to become doctors, decided to stay in the culinary world. In addition to their popular Korean-fusion restaurant, they now run a farm that grows Asian herbs and vegetables. While older generations saw cooking as a means to a better life, now it’s the life that a new generation wants. —Lara Takenaga

A Week of Love Letters to San Francisco’s Quirky Bits,” The Bold Italic
For me, there are few things more gratifying than feeling like you’re getting to know a new place. San Francisco and I might have just been introduced, but I’m already starting to understand some of the city’s little peculiarities, many of which were featured in the Bold Italic’s “Week of Love Letters to San Francisco’s Quirky Bits.” Some of my favorites: Having a million roommates, gentrified bakeries, and commuting from the East Bay and back. —Liv Combe

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20 Things Every Smart Traveler Should Know,” LandLopers
The more we travel, the more we adopt our own “rules of the road”—tips and tricks for getting out of a bind, or sleeping longer, or communicating in a country where we don’t speak the language. Matt Long’s list covers all of the basics, from the art of haggling, to changing a tire, to the proper use of chopsticks. Rule number one? Knowing how to wash clothes in a sink. —Kim Fortson 

The Benjamin,” Esquire
The sign of a good story—well, one sign of some good stories—is that it makes you care about something you didn’t think you were interested in. Like how the new 100-dollar bill was created. This story, by Chris Jones, is all about the Benjamins. And it’s money. —Jeremy Saum

Best California Wineries to Visit,Food and Wine
Since I’ve moved to San Francisco, the number one question I get asked by friends and family is: What are the best California wineries to visit? I’ve now got the ultimate cheat sheet to share with them. Food & WIne’s Senior Wine Editor, Megan Krigbaum, has compiled an exhaustive and super fun list of the 75 best tasting rooms in California, including some of my favorites such as Banshee in Healdsburg and Foxen in Santa Barbara. —Jen Murphy

Photo courtesy of Phil Bowen/AFAR

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