“And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under our sun has been written by one hand only.” – Paulo Coelho : The Alchemist

Oh, how exquisite the people we meet in this life are – no two souls the same. Some of them have the power to introduce us to ourselves when we have been taught our whole lives to be someone else, to make us feel at home when all we have ever felt was out of place, and some of them even save us when everyone else is watching us drown.

It’s the kind of friendship when ‘goodbye’ really means ‘see you soon,’ but it still hurts like hell when the last embrace at the airport is over.

This entry is going to be about the people who gave me life right before it was about to start.


Seventeen. Senior. Searching.

Growing up in a town with not much to offer, I was always searching – searching for people who didn’t make me feel so different, searching for anything to do that actually brought me joy, searching for my place, my purpose. Little did I know, I wasn’t going to find them in that town. But what I did find, or maybe she found me, was someone who gave my life.

She was my (first) once-in-a-lifetime person.

When I say she gave me life, I mean she was the kind of person who opened the door to all of the possibilities my future could hold. For the first time, I actually felt like my dreams were attainable, and I could finally see my life unfolding in a way that was pleasing to me.

The friendship started with curiosity. Who is the new girl? What language is she speaking? She’s from where? And that was it. Just what I had been waiting for – someone different, someone like me. Sure, I had met people from different places, but I had never seen myself in someone else – my passions, my ambitions, my desire to see the world. But there it all was, staring at me from the eyes of the Italian girl sitting next to me in Physics class.

I was seventeen, and I had never known how it felt to have a friend reciprocate the kind of friendship that wasn’t a competition, that was happy for my happiness – it was empowering. It was as if I could say what was really on my mind without fear of judgment, I could reach my full potential without someone trying to make me feel like less of a person than I was, and FINALLY someone who understood that sometimes our family is the one holding us back. She showed me I was free. I could be my own person.




Seventeen. Senior. Searching. (pt.2)

Everyone has people in their lives that comfort them, encourage them, love them. But, the friends who aren’t afraid to tell you ‘no’ when something isn’t right are the ones doing you the biggest favor.

I found my ‘no’ friend.

No, Jordan, that’s enough to drink. No, Jordan, that boy isn’t going to be nice to you. No, Jordan, don’t stop trying to learn Spanish. No, Jordan, you can’t drop out of college. No, Jordan, you can’t leave everything and move to Spain even though I haven’t seen you in two years.

It is difficult to process when someone puts you in your place or tells you something that you didn’t want to hear. But once the moment passes, you feel eternally grateful to the person who helped you find your way again.

It’s not very often that we find truly selfless people, let alone selfless friends. And I mean selfless in the way that they want the absolute best for you without anything expected in return even if it means video chatting until 3 a.m. because you’re in a different time-zone but they want to hear about your first week of class, or watching the life of your best friend unfold through that same screen and never once fall short of pure excitement at the other’s happiness, and even patiently walking you through your journey of acquiring a second language no matter how frustrating and arduous it is at times.

Sometimes a ‘thank you’ just isn’t enough to express gratitude that you feel after every phone call, every laugh, and every reminder to do, say and write without fear. I believe that real friendship stems from the truth, even if it is vexatious.

Gracias por decirme ‘no’.


Eighteen. Eyes wide. Excited.

Have you ever encountered someone who you envied so much that you literally wanted to be them? I did.

I found the kind of people who make you hungry for life – the ones who make you want to do something with your time.

There haven’t been many people in life with whom I would trade places, but somehow, a thirty-one-year-old interior designer living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania put a fire in my heart – in the best way. He showed me that I have time to build my life how I want it. If I want to move across the country and change my last name, I can. This concept of utilizing my free-will was taken to a whole new level.

I was introduced to people of all colors, backgrounds and walks of life. My mind bloomed like a flower. Seeds were planted, some plants were watered, and all of the negative thoughts instilled by my culture, guilt given to me by parents’, and all things close-minded and ignorant were ripped out right in front of me so I could see them for what they were – weeds.

All it takes is one moment for your whole world to change.

Danke, dass du mein Wendepunkt bist.


Twenty. Tenacious. Thankful.

Sometimes you meet someone and somehow you feel as if you already knew them – and not the way you know a face from a party your freshman year of college, nor the way you know the cashier that always takes care of your groceries, but the way that feels like two souls are meeting again like old friends.

It’s a crazy feeling, really.

It’s like you can see clearly that every decision you have ever made has led you to this exact moment – sitting by the water watching the moon change as the night grows older, jamming in your best friend’s bedroom until the energy is pouring from every pair of lips, or dancing – dancing like you’ve elevated into the next dimension.

I’ve always been one to feel things very deeply – happiness, excitement, sadness, anger, mourning. But, sometimes we meet someone who makes us feel like our ‘deep’ is just a puddle next to the sidewalk. They show you the endless depths from the ocean floor to edge of the ever-expanding universe and tell you that even in the midst of all the wonders of creation, you have a purpose.

And for once, you believe it, too.

Gracias por existir.

Although I intend for this blog to share my travel experiences, I felt that I need to give credit where it is due to the people who have given me life, showed me my way, and brought an indescribable joy to my heart simply by their existence.


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