Foreign Safari

IMG_0068 (1)S: This month, I went to New York (Manhattan and Brooklyn), New Jersey, Maryland, Washington DC, and finally Puerto Rico. Here is what I knew. I knew I wasn’t doing any international legs on this trip, but I was wrong about how foreign everything would inevitably feel, no matter where I stayed.

A: From my travels over the years, I faintly knew the east coast and could roughly navigate, but I was wrong on where I thought I was going or what I would achieve. As I immersed myself in the beginnings of video production and editing projects in New York, I knew I was going to learn from prominent filmmakers, but I was completely wrong about what they would teach me.

F: Here is how I felt during most of my trip through these seemingly foreign places; like a sponge in gravy.

A: I met people whose passions have brought them all over the world. They either do it on a shoestring or extravagantly, yet they all have their own creative ways of getting by. One woman refused to stay anywhere else than 4-star hotels oversees but happily shared stories of having machine guns held to her head through taxi cab windows. Another man also opted for 4-star resorts on the beach, yet I couldn’t help but notice the dozens of abandoned homes bordering the road the hotel was on. I learned everyone has a different form of travel, and I saw a little of all of it.

A: So, I experienced something universally brilliant for anyone. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to hold diamonds, or rather sand that shines like diamonds, in the night while kayaking under a waning gibbous moon, then go to Vieques’s Mosquito Bay, one of the brightest bioluminescent bays in the world. Brilliant.

R: There is no right way to travel, or frankly do anything. This much I’ve learned. We each have passions and interests that bring us from our place of familiar into the unknown. I guess we each have our own way of keeping it real.

I: In a way, visiting my own country was like traveling around the world.

(c) 2015 Jess Rowell


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