Travel Story Hall of Fame: ‘As Long As We Were Together, Nothing Bad Could Happen To Us’
Travel Blog • Eva Holland • 02.04.13 | 9:49 AM ET
The latest installment of the Travel Story Hall of Fame, an occasional series in which we honor the best in travel writing new and old.
Title: As Long As We Were Together, Nothing Bad Could Happen To Us
Author: Scott Anderson
Publication: Men’s Journal
Date: August 2000
Nomination Speech: I just plain love this story. I first read it in “The Best American Travel Writing 2002,” and then again (and again and again) in the excellent Men’s Journal anthology, “Wild Stories.” It’s an old-fashioned adventure story about Scott Anderson and his brother, fellow writer Jon Lee Anderson, taking a Honduran river trip on a makeshift raft, at the tail end of their decidedly unconventional childhoods, but the yarn is spiced up by the contemporary frame: The brothers, now adults and reporters specializing in conflict zones and high-risk stories, being drawn back into danger again and again. It’s a great story about family and trust and risk—oh, just go read it.
I imagine that everyone’s childhood, no matter how unconventional or exotic, seems absolutely normal while it’s being lived. By the time I arrived in Honduras, I was only beginning to comprehend the downside of how we had grown up, the hidden cost that comes with not being from anywhere in particular. Jon, it seemed, had figured it out a little bit sooner. In the years ahead, we would both be caught up in a seemingly endless cycle of trying to fit in, failing, moving on. In a funny way, I think we both drew a certain comfort in the other’s inability to settle down—proof that there was at least one more misfit in the family.
Men’s Journal doesn’t have it online, but you can read the rest via Google Books.