CUTTINGS

essays

 

Pondering a Less-Mobile Future (Washington Post, June 2020)

A writer rethinks faraway travel while observing close-by beauty.

What gardening taught me about the London elite (UnHerd, December 2021)

You can tell a lot about modern Britain from certain backyards.

 

A Future Without Long-Haul Vacations (The Atlantic, September 2019)

As a global climate crisis deepens, even professional travelers should cut back on their air miles.

 

My Mountain Obsession (National Geographic Traveler, April 2019)

Why the world's most daunting mountains inspire me.

 

Letter of Recommendation: Spider Webs (New York Times Magazine, January 2019)

On the underappreciated beauty of spider webs, and the spiders that make them.

 

London Doesn't Love Us (Current Affairs, October, 2018)

A lament for London, a city that knows the price of bricks, but has forgotten the people who give them value.

 

Jeremiad [Monthly Column] (Medium, 2017-2018)

A series of essays on our insane political moment in time.

 

Grenfell was no Ordinary Accident (CityLab, August 2017)

Why the Grenfell fire is a symbol of all that is squalid about modern capitalism.

 

Apocalypse Soon (Medium - members only, June 2017)

The keepers of the Doomsday clock have moved the minute hand 30 seconds closer to midnight.

 

All liberals are hypocrites. I know because I am one (Quartz, February 2017)

Why liberalism in the age of Brexit and Trump is teetering on feet of clay.

 

Boldly Go! Why that Faraway Trip may be safer than you think (Aeon, August 2016)

Discussing the perception gap between perceived and actual risk when considering foreign places.

 

Letter of Recommendation: Bogs (New York Times Magazine, November 2016)

Extolling the often overlooked beauty of bogs, one the world's least known, and most wonderful, landscapes.

 

Tropical Triple-Whammy (Vox, November 2015)

I caught three tropical diseases in six months. Here's what it taught me about my love of travel.

 

The Death of Awe in the Age of Awesome (Vice, April 2015)

On why you should consider binning your bucket-list.

 

The Changing Face of Syria (National Geographic Traveler, October 2015)

Remembering Charlie, my one-legged Syrian friend, in the months before the war.

 

I'm a Travel Writer with a Deathly Fear of Flying (Vice, August 2015)

For aviophobics like me, take-off plunges you into a world of pessimistic hypotheticals.

 

 

commentary

 

What is we all Vacationed at Home Again? (New York Times Sunday Review, May 2020)

Maybe a summer trapped at home could be just what we need.

 

An Unexpected Upside to Life in Post-Brexit London (Citylab, January 2020)

Since the Brexit, my home in South London has lost value. So why am I happier than if it had gained?

 

Why Admitting You're Wrong Should be the New Right (The Guardian, May 2018)

Exploring the disastrous impact of the political imperative to save face at any cost.

 

Weeks After the Grenfell Fire, London’s Shame Endures (New York Times, July 2017)

The fire exposes how London's middle-class majority sublimates its apathy over the maltreatment of the city's poor.

 

For England, World Cup Success Brings Respite (NBC News, July 2018)

The Engand team's Word Cup journey marks a break in the dour national mood.

 

I railed against the mortgage industry. Until I bought a house (Daily Telegraph, June 2016)

House-hunting permits you to see how millions of discreet bits of greed coagulate into something ineluctable and insane.

 

The 'Narrative' Derails Proportion after Terrorist Attacks (Colombia Journalism Review, September 2016)

A prerogative to report the facts does not necessitate a relentless, macabre chronicling of violence.

 

How Brexit Reawakened Britain's Dormant Imperialism (Quartz, March 2017)

In order to understand the forces propelling Brexit, it helps to examine the emotional residue of lost empire.

 

Britain's referendum was not a triumph of democracy (TIME Magazine, June 2016)

Brexit was an ugly populist fiasco—a race to see which side could achieve the right crescendo of rage at the right time.

 

The Crisis of Liberalism (Los Angeles Review of Books, January 2017)

Social liberalism, neoliberalism — po-ta-to, po-tah-to. In this election, there was no ideological distinction. 

 

Why the Brexit Vote is so Close (CNN, June 2016)

if voters elect to leave, it will be xenophobia, as much as rational facts and forecasts, that will have carried the day.

 

You don't have to be poor to feel marginalised by poor-door London (Vice, February 2015)

It boils down to a simple market equation: if you're poor, London is inviting you to quietly fuck off.

 

When Tourism turns into Narcissism (Vice, October 2014)

Travelling isn't making you interesting. It's just confirming your position as one of the crowd.

 

 

features

 

The Light Fantastic (Wanderlust, May 2020)

Exploring the remote valleys of West Mongolia's Altai Mountains.

 

Off the Tourist Track (New York Times, April 2019)

On the new train-route from Addis Ababa to Djibouti.

 

Journey to the Roof of Afrca (Medium, March 2018)

Exploring Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains, one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world.

 

Undiscovered Europe: A Vacation Like No Other (Wall Street Journal, May 2018)

Discovering Rusenski Lom Nature Park in Bulgaria, a rare blank on the map of Europe.

 

An Unmissable Summer Holiday in the Baltics (Wall Street Journal, August 2018)

 Lithuania’s Curonian Spit offers pristine beaches, pine forests, outdoor sculpture gardens and a ‘Hill of Witches’. 

 

Ruins, Casinos and Abandoned Construction Marks Cyprus (Washington Post, August 2015)

Discovering the good, the bad, and the ugly of travel in Northern Cyprus.

 

Growing pains on Sri Lanka's secret coast (Daily Telegraph, September 2015)

Reporting from the Kalpitiya Peninsula, an idyll once hidden behind the fog of civil war.

 

The Terror Attack that Destroyed Tunisia's Tourist Industry (Vice, August 2016)

Investigating the parlous state of Tunisia's tourist industry, one year on from the Sousse massacre.

 

In Congo, a Climb up to the Mouth of Hell (Washington Post, October 2014)

A journey to the summit of Mount Nyiragongo, DRC, home to the world's most spactacular lava lake.

 

Deep into the Dreamworld of Kyrgyzstan (New York Times, May 2014)

Mountains, horse-treks and alcoholic mare's milk in the heartlands of Central Asia.

 

Rebuilding Warsaw: Five Ways to see a Resurrected City (TIME Magazine, April 2013)

Exploring the Polish capital's limitless capacity for reinvention.

 

Africa's Path Less Sailed (BBC World, November 2014)

Crossing Lake Victoria on an old Glasgow-built cargo ferry, in the footsteps of Paul Theroux.

 

Fruits of the Forest (Geographical, June 2014)

Once a hotbed of political unrest, southern Kyrgyzstan is now home to an innovative ecotourism initiative.

 

From War-Zone to Paradise (Outside Magazine, January 2015)

On Sri Lanka's ongoing tourist boom following the end of the civil war. 

 

© Henry Wismayer 2020

Background image: Nanda Devi (top right) viewed from Gorson Top, Uttarakhand, India.