It started as a seed that had been planted long ago; my first busses were actually books that transported me to new worlds and far away places. Engrossed in these stories, I was propelled into the world, first the imaginative and later, it gave way to a hunger for the real thing: our magnificent, wide world in all its physicality. It seemed that one trip only fueled my excitement to embark on another, to learn a new language and open up new channels of understanding to this globe, our vast and vibrant home. The seed was blossoming, and giving way to more stories, stories that were now mine to tell of beauty and movement and complexity.
It was through some of my first forays out of the country to France that I had discovered my fascination with language, so I decided to pursue the study of French and Spanish through the department of Romance Languages and Literature at Harvard where I studied as an undergraduate. I immersed myself in global literature, reading and learning and traveling through my own mind, arguably one of the most interesting journeys of all. I found world literature especially fascinating in our “postcolonial world” and I realized that language and literature are also world-travelers. They tell the stories of the horrors of colonization and the violence of contact between culture, and yet also of the vibrancy and resistance of peoples who have endured and continue to thrive and adapt. There is continuity and change in these stories.
But I couldn’t content myself with a solely internal and academic journey. I longed to see the world, touch these far-off places that I had read about and studied. So in the spring of what would have been my junior year at Harvard, I took off for a semester, freewheeling it for an eight month journey through India, onto Nepal, Thailand and finally Malaysia before I returned to the United States to complete my degree. It was an epic journey. I had never detached from the structures around me in such a long-winded way. I had never even been out of school for that long! But travel is dangerously addictive, and this trip had given me the taste of something good. After graduation, I knew my life was going to change. I have embraced this life on the road, always seeking out the unknown, the adventure and the new people and places, all of which I’ll share with you here as I continue to tell the stories from along the way.