WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO return to something that’s been forever altered? That’s the question that’s been on our minds as we continue to adjust to the idea of getting back to a “normal” life. As we all attempt to move back out into the world, what will it mean to travel? To explore? How can we get back to the business of living — seeking out experiences that will thrill and challenge us — with the understanding that the world we live in is now a decidedly different one?
This past year, life changed in unimaginable ways. In some senses, things ground to a halt. But elsewhere, it seems a new energy has taken hold, with unprecedented ingenuity and creativity born out of necessity. We’re now entering a new phase with relief and gratitude, as well as big plans and aspirations. And in its sparkly new iteration as an online publication, Departures is returning in a new form. As a dynamic digital experience, we will share thoughtfully curated content specifically geared toward expanding your appreciation for the new and the now, with personal stories, captivating images, covetable objects, and unexpected perspectives from all sides of the world.
Many of us are chomping at the bit to get out of the house, out of town, to see, hear, and taste new things. Remember new things?! In the new Departures, we’ll be bringing you a lot of them — the best, the brightest, the most fascinating. In the coming months we’ll also be sharing advice and inspiration, how-to guides, and must-have products to take your travel, dining, and entertaining (living, in other words) up a notch.
To that end, the theme of this issue is Returns. We consider it an opportunity to bask in the vibrancy of this unique moment, to celebrate continuity with the past, and to reclaim space to dream about the future. In it, we feature beautiful spaces and places around the globe, diverse makers and small business owners, and dispatches from vibrant, inspiring corners of global culture. Whether it’s a filmmaker rediscovering his roots in Vietnam, an artist taking stock of the vibrant landscapes in his own backyard, or a photographer taking a new look at her unconventional childhood home, we celebrate what it means to consider one’s origins and view them again through fresh eyes. This issue celebrates the complicated beauty of returning — not only to where we have been, but also to where we can now go. We honor tradition by tracking its many fresh iterations, and we celebrate — finally — the dawn of a hopeful new day.
Many happy returns.
Skye Parrott Writer and Photographer
Skye Parrott is the executive editor of Departures. A magazine editor, photographer, writer, and creative consultant, she was previously a founder of the arts and culture journal Dossier, and editor in chief for the relaunch of Playgirl as a modern, feminist publication.