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Where am I?

I’m Piia Mustamäki, an academic wanderluster, a Finn, and a New Yorker, currently based in Abu Dhabi where I teach at NYU Abu Dhabi’s writing program.  I’ve visited 90 countries and lived in 6. These are my essays:  blog posts, some longer essays, some a bit experimental.  Most are about traveling. There are 1001 worlds out there to learn from and to explore.  

Featured Posts

Chilling in Zanzibar
“Chilling in Zanzibar” was a phrase I used already years ago, dreaming about the place with a friend, who lived in Uganda at the time and was planning a trip there. Looking back, I didn’t know much about the island and I’m not sure what I imagined Zanzibar would be like and why I associated …
The Beauty of Darkness
I woke up in the middle of the night by a pressing need to go to the bathroom. But the problem was that I couldn’t see anything, and by anything I mean absolutely nothing. I blinked and realized that it made no difference whether I had my eyes open or shut. I had left my …
A Nomad’s Homecoming
Sweating in a tiny sauna, by the Baltic Sea in Southwestern Finland the other night, I was thinking about the meaning of home. I used to use the word to describe New York City, where I lived about as long as I ever lived in Finland, until moving to Shanghai. Traveling the world, I often …
Lunch and Dinner at Opposite Ends of South Korea
In a tired haze the previous night — after a sauna and mineral baths combo following a day of hiking in the mountains — I had made a ridiculous plan to travel in one day from the Northeastern edge of South Korea to the southwest corner to the port town of Mokpo. I made the …
The Spell of Lapland
As much as I’ve traveled, perhaps one of the most exotic places I’ve ever visited, at least to other people, is the Finnish Lapland.  Why I don’t quite notice its exoticism as quickly as others is because I go there every single summer.  In fact, I’ve been there every summer without fail since I remember, even though …
The First Time I Saw a Savannah
I had already visited Uganda once, but that time I never went on a game drive. This might sound strange as safari is one of the biggest reasons people travel to Africa, but I was happy just visiting my friends, who had recently moved to Uganda, and going road tripping with them and Danny. I was also happy …
Beyond Tacos and Burritos: Mexican Food Globally
I live in New York where we’re blessed with amazing food from all around the world: you can get Syrian falafel, the best sushi I’ve had outside Japan, Georgian kachapuri, Vietnamese pho, Chinese dim sum, you name it. Mexican food is no exception. Yet recently I had visitors from Finland, who were upset about the …

Where I’ve Been

Meridian: The APWT Drunken Boat Anthology of New Writing

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