“to travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.”
-Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
I find that I keep saying this over and over as this year heads towards it's end, but it just becomes more and more true. I have travelled more this year than I ever have in my entire life. Definitely not my entire life combined, cause I've always been a bit of a restful (not restless) adventurer. When I was 19 I was so sick of Art school that I decided one evening in October that I would be studying abroad in Spain in January. The sign of a homebody? Nope, not me.
Sometimes I think about where I got this travelers heart from. I usually claim it's all the Sagittarius in my chart or the fact that I moved a little bit when I was young. But ultimately I think it's because I've never quite felt at home here in the United States. You see, my family is super foreign. My father was born in Manila, in the Philippines, and my mother is the only person in her family to be born in the U.S., everyone else, including her older siblings were born in South Africa.
That makes me first generation on my dad's side and second generation on my mom's. I grew up with grandmothers that had thick accents that to me, sound like home. I was surrounded by foreign languages: Tagalog and Xhosa. Languages I can more understand than speak, but that also bring a sense of comfort to my sometimes seemingly displaced heart. They were especially spoken when the adults in my life wanted to talk about us children right in front of us or about something too adult for our American grown ears.
On my dad's side, my grandparents, aka Lolo and Lola, never had bread, ever. Naturally, instead rice was served with every meal. Lola made traditional Filipinx food for every party or event, that would, in true Filipinx fashion have no less than 100 people. I would attend Filipinx cultural school on Saturdays and learn traditional dances and customs. And on my mom's side we'd use Xhosa phrases for things instead of English ones, and we didn't quite celebrate Christmas. And at the end of every band concert or group event, including graduations, all the women in my family would belt out the Tribal call of the Xhosa people louder than any of the other parents' cheers and applause.
I reflect on my upbringing often and how it shaped me into the citizen of the world I came to be. My Lola took me to the Philippines when I was 10 and it changed my life completely. (I mean how could it not!?) Aside from Canada, I had never been out of the country before. Which, if you're from Detroit like my family is, doesn't quite mean the same thing since it's within view across the Detroit river. That first international trip sparked in me the first of many adventures and lessons in respect to travel that I am so grateful for.
And maybe it's because I grew up in somewhat of an in-between, in-between South African and Filipinx, in-between an immigrant up-bringing and an American one, in-between two divorced parents, but I feel at my most alive and most at home when I'm discovering something new. A new place, city, friend or country. I travel to document love stories, but also to feed my soul. All of this to say, that I will be sharing more stories (travel and love story) and photos from these adventures along the way that I'm blessed enough to document. I also love meeting new and old friends during my travels. If it's for an elopement, portraits or just to connect, please reach out!
Travel Dates 2017/18:
December: LA, Fiji, Christchurch, Oahu
January: Detroit, Washington D.C.
February: San Francisco, Seattle
April/May: Paris, London, Scottish Highlands, Barcelona, Madrid