Drinking fountains, civilian firearms, ethnic diversity—I remember every detail of that first day back in the United States after I had spent 18 months in Eastern Europe. It was the most patriotic day of my life. A month after my return I started school again, and a month after that I got engaged. Another year passed and I was itching to travel the world again. My new wife and I left our desert home for an island vacation in Oahu and then took a 6,000-mile road trip across this sweet land of liberty and back. But that still wasn’t enough. We needed to get abroad! We booked a flight to Moscow and stayed there for four months. And while we were there, we visited Scandinavia and the Baltics.

Unfortunately, that sort of reckless abandonment isn’t sustainable for paupers like us. However, since we’ve been stuck at home I’ve learned about a new kind of travel. Even though I can’t spend six months out of every year learning foreign languages among the natives, I can at least hear about the vast travel experiences of the people around me and live vicariously through them. This has proved a satisfactory, albeit temporary, substitution.

We at Stowaway realize that our readers long for travel. Naturally, we can’t visit Sweden or Estonia for you, but we can share the firsthand experiences of those who have been there. In fact, this is exactly what we strive for. We put about 4,000 volunteer hours into each issue of Stowaway, and we use this time to create a sense of transport for our readers. Since a magazine isn’t a plane ticket, we try to stir up wanderlust with our words and photos. I hope that as you thumb through this summer issue, you’ll feel an urge to find yourself at a station or a terminal you’ve never seen before. If that happens, every minute of those 4,000 hours will have been worth it.

For this issue of Stowaway I am pleased to introduce you to two new additions. First, we’re including playlists at the end of selected articles. Each of these playlists has a QR code that links you to our Spotify library. Second, we’re introducing a new department that highlights useful travel apps. This issue’s app article shows you how you can read Stowaway anywhere, anytime—with or without Wi-Fi.

Besides our app article, there are a few other articles I’d turn your mind to in particular. One of our features explores Bali and suggests three ways to visit the same place—something to consider wherever you find yourself. Our “Off the Beaten Path” article describes an almost mythical marathon on the mysterious Easter Island. And in the “Eats” section you’ll discover the true meaning of entomophagy.

But no matter where you start, you’ll find clean prose and sharp images. Welcome to Summer 2013.

-Bert Fuller