In the middle of putting this issue together, a friend texted me from the airport. The news had just broken that the mask mandate on airplanes was lifted. A cheer went up at the gate where she was sitting—but only a handful of people actually removed their masks. The past few months have been a lot of that: a collective sigh of relief to be in safer territory, mixed with that lingering notion that we should remain cautious. Traveling, whether it’s to destinations near or far, may not feel as risky as it did even six months ago for a road trip, but everyone is still on their own timeline.
As for me, I’ve been on the road a lot lately—the key word being road. Long car rides are still my preferred method of travel (I’ve got a running list of pods on standby) and it was at the end of a recent one when I was introduced to the charm and solitude of Daufuskie Island. I’ve been going to Hilton Head Island since birth but somehow hadn’t found my way to this small, neighboring sea island which is only accessible by ferry—perhaps that’s why.
After getting to know the island’s long, somewhat tangled history, as well as a number of its residents, I get the sense that while they welcome visitors, there’s an element of Daufuskie that wants to remain hidden, twisted up in the Spanish moss and overgrown woods that blanket the island. It’s not an overnight destination for everyone, but for those ready to put in the effort, there’s so much to be gained from getting lost on Daufuskie for a few days.
This issue, especially, has me anxiously awaiting the start of summer road trip season. After reading Jennifer Justus’ piece, “Simplicity in the Eccentricity”, I’m craving a trip to the Southernmost point of the US, the Florida Keys—especially if I can get my hands on novelist Joy Williams’ travel guide, which Justus highly recommends, in advance.
Assistant editor Jacob Hollifield took a trip along the border of West Texas in search of solace, art, and color—read along to see what he discovered. We also introduce a new column called Worth the Drive in this issue: From a historical inn and village in North Carolina to a sprawling Asian Market in Virginia, our writers take you off the black ribbon of highway toward a few noteworthy detours.
Throughout the issue, you’ll also spot a few QR codes. We’ve recently partnered with Road.Travel, which offers curated itineraries for travelers, and through these QR codes, you can download the itineraries from our pages directly to your device. We’d love for you to follow along the next time you get behind the wheel.
Erin Byers Murray, Editor in Chief
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