I am such a sucker for studies about kids’ behaviors. The footage of a little girl trying to avoid eating a marshmallow? Empathy tests involving a room of toddlers? Aw, such charming little subjects. One such study that has stuck with me for years was watching preschoolers choose a sticker-festooned rock over a cupcake.

What researchers set out to prove was that kids prefer foods bearing the likeness of characters, particularly familiar ones. I didn’t have children at the time, but I remember filing it away: “Stickers on carrots! Stickers on broccoli!” (Say what?!)

With Thanksgiving approaching, I was thinking about how to get the visual-appeal-voodoo working on all of us for that post-holiday car ride home.

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It was nice to come home to Oaxaca and think, “yes, finally.”

I was a little worried, actually, I have this bad habit of getting sick of places, or wanting the next, new, big thing. After a month of travel from Spain to Thailand to Japan and back again, I felt relieved. Happy. This is my place.

And as someone on my Facebook wall said, “If you like it so much, you should have stayed.”

Indeed. But then how would I know?

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