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Codeword Presents Volume 5: The Vacation Guide

July 28, 2023

Headshot for Mary von Aue

Mary von Aue

Senior Editor

Codewordians have the rare privilege of writing, designing, and creating new worlds for our clients daily. Volume is our chance to write something for ourselves. It’s a digital zine where we look at that moment’s zeitgeist or the most meaningful conversations to us, from the changing discourse surrounding DEI to remote work to the gray area between humanity and machines. We get personal. Sometimes we get a little weird. My favorite is when we get a little weird.

Volume 5: The Vacation Guide reminds us to take our PTO and engage with a new environment. Many articles in this issue come with personal photos from the author. It was a joyous thing to edit a piece and then arrive at a picture, report card, or recipe. Sometimes it felt like a plot twist in the story, sometimes the grand finale. I edit stories all day. Rarely do I get to see a picture of the writer looking lightyears out of their comfort zones in the moments that inspired their work.

I’ve lived in six countries and traveled to over 30. I have the pictures and passport stamps to prove it, but none I was ready to share. It’s too vulnerable, revealing the times you felt out of place in your life. An observer may read your story or look at your photo and think ah, what a standard American standing in front of a standard attraction. No one else needs to know how that moment felt. How it may have changed you.

Given how personal the subject of vacation can be, I’m immensely grateful to our contributors who regaled me with their memories, perspectives, and wit. Thank you Yasmin Belkhyr, Gabie Kur, Ella Cathey, Liv Allen, Jordan Hart, Dalton Puffer, and Olivia Exstrum, for being thoughtful but also so damn funny.

I worked with a dream team who brought Volume to life. Tessa Lorentzen, Alexis Koedam, Andrew Lux, Ella Cathey, Emmy Wallace, Maureen Barron, Monica Sarmiento, Nicholas Di Giuglio, Noah O’Connor, and Yasmin Belkhyr worked tirelessly and under tight deadlines to make sure reading Volume would be a dynamic experience just as thrilling as a vacation. Thank you for making this zine beautiful and accessible.

This issue of Volume celebrates what we have craved for far too long: a new relationship with our surroundings. You deserve one. It’s a departure from what’s in front of us. Those departures arrive in new cities, old haunts, and even nights in a graveyard. We defied time and space (and glossy travel ads) to offer this guide to one of life’s greatest, most elusive muses: the vacation.

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