In my late teens, I was bitten by a travel bug from which I’ve yet to fully recover. I spent my young adulthood on-the-move, visiting and living in a variety of settings both urban and rural, across the U.S. and abroad. Along the way, I learned, grew—and ate! I found that delving into different cuisines offered an accessible, informative, and visceral opening through which to explore new cultures in general. No place I’ve ever lived has provided more culinary cultural windows than the intensely diverse city of Chicago, where, after a long ride north on the CTA Red Line, I first encountered phở. After just a few noodly slurps of this fabulous dish, I found myself flushed, near tears, and tingling from head to toe—in short, I was in love.