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Who I am is where I’m going

Two people laying on the ground with a quote.

When I travel, I feel like my head is in the clouds, whether I’m daydreaming about the lives of the people around me or trapped in a fog of anxiety over lost keys. I can’t help but view every new place through my own unique haze, and the beautiful thing is no one else can either. The people around me are doing the same. We may share adventures together, taste new foods, sway together in a crowded concert hall…but we all experience it differently. And each time I leave a new place, I feel a little bit different. Like maybe I got a glimpse of a new world for a second, the fog lifted, and my eyes will never see the same.

By sharing journal entries I’ve written while traveling and combining them with photographs I’ve taken, I hope to showcase the vast inner narratives we weave while out of our comfort zone.

The mist drapes over the trees like white velvet, softening even the thorniest of views. A muddy Labrador stretches herself across a stony base and I can tell this is on elf them. The moments. The places I’ll remember in unique clarity. There’s no getting rid of me amongst this. What I mean to say is that I do think of Instagram after I take the photo. What I mean is that the slick and waxy leaves of the papaya tree feel like his skin after a shower, and when I learn about how drastically the climate has changed–how bananas never used to grow this high up, how the cocoa farmers have started to hand pollinate in the absence of bees–I think of time. My time. Not my future children. Time for kissing, and dive bar pool, and more Ariana Grande albums and muddy hikes that lead me to a cave, where I leave a trail of thoughts in my wake. But can you blame me?

There comes a moment on the first night, feet glittered with fresh mosquito bites, skin sticky with the day’s sweat, when you’ll start to worry. Don’t.

Every time a new person looks at me, I become a new version of myself. I walk like I know where I’m going, I’m hardened and brave. In the bar on the corner, I keep my nerves to myself. In the parks, I soften like clay. I let faraway drums mold me into a new form. A new beat to walk to. Will my footprints look different?

Irish girls taught me how to contour.

I got my patience from Ireland and my confidence from Nashville. Brought curiosity back from New Orleans, and resilience from El Salvador.

When they ask me where I’m from, I get to decide. Wasn’t I born the first time I saw stars in Montana? Wasn’t my first breath the one I took before introducing myself to that band in Belfast? And the friends I’ve made along the way–are they not the ones who raised me?