I remember sitting outside on the balcony at the beach last August in the heavy afternoon air, stress eating chocolate and crunching numbers on the calculator on my phone as it hit me that my plans to spend my fall volunteering in Bangkok might not work out after all. My flight was less than two weeks away, and I still had well over $2,000 to raise.
As I sit here typing, I’m finding it hard to grasp the right words to convey the depth and the sincerity of my gratitude.
I watched as good friends, people I’d met once, and people I’d never met, rallied together to support me. There’s nothing quite like the generosity of strangers to restore my hope in us, humans.
I want to share one of my most treasured memories from that trip with you. It seemed insignificant at the time, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot this year.
I was playing outside with one of the kids whose mom works with the ministry where I was volunteering. She’s a special kid and we’d grown pretty close. She picked a handful of weeds from the hot sidewalk and ran over to show me how “swy” (beautiful) they were.
There’s brokenness all around us. And a lot of beauty, too: the curve of an old friend's grin, the type of love that makes you feel like a giddy child again, the resilience of someone facing impossible circumstances. The strength of a woman who’s endured more pain than I can fathom, but who rises up each day in dignity and strength and love. The eyes of a child who has seen bad things, and still sees beauty in a handful of weeds.
There’s beauty in brokenness. In mine. And in yours. I don’t want any of it to go unnoticed. I want to dance in the sun and celebrate the fact that we’re met and heard and known and accepted exactly as we are.
You can read testimonies of the women I had the chance to work with here, more about the bar outreach we did here and here, and follow my adventures on Instagram as I get ready to go back to visit very soon! :)
Thanks for stopping by. A little about me — I have a latte each morning and drink about 7 cups of tea a day (not exaggerating.) I live in Atlanta where I'm going to law school. I like long distance running and I love my city and I love exploring our beautiful earth. I believe in following our passions & being free.
I started this blog to document and share my favorite moments while traveling. This is a place where I process my ideas, share the aches and joys of my heart, speak truth, and shine light on the beauty I see in the world.
I've realized that what I probably love most about traveling is the same thing I love about writing — the way it connects me to myself and other people. I hope as you read my words, you feel connected to our shared humanity.
Thank you for reading. :)
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