Acknowledgement – this is the part where I formally wrap up the series and thank everyone. It’s a little lengthy so please bare with me! A small note before I continue, there are so many faces missing in the collage below. I’m bummed I don’t have pictures with everyone but if you’re reading this and you don’t see yourself below, just know that you mean so, so much to me.
To every soul I met on this journey, whether it was a first meeting or a reunion of some sort – thank you. You may have made room for me in your home, took me out to try local cuisine, made me fresh home meals, offered a bed/sofa/floor to sleep on, drove me around or took me on adventures around your city. You connected me with relatives or friends or even friends of friends…the list goes on. For some of you, it was the last time I’d ever see you. If I knew that then I would have hugged you a little longer. But I believe our time together happened for a reason and I’m forever grateful.
To the strangers who became friends – thank you for being my companion in sketchy areas and situations. For carrying my bags when I hurt my back, for giving me crazy nights to always remember, for the conversations that lasted only a bus ride but memories that will last a lifetime, for checking in on me even after we separated ways, for being a shoulder to cry on or lending me your ear to vent. Thank you for teaching me to go out of my comfort zone and to say yes to once in a lifetime opportunities, for being a friend when I needed one and for saying yes to my crazy wishes like getting ice-cream for the 50th time in a day or walking side by side in silence as we embraced our glorious Mother Earth.
To my friends and family that joined me for a mini adventure along the way – thanks for being patient with me. I know I could be difficult but you stuck along and I appreciate you. Thank you for joining me in the first place – though I never admitted it openly, you each were a dose of home that I very much needed. The memories we made will live with me until the end of time.
To family and friends who could not join me but checked in every now and then – thank you for showing me you care. I think my love language is a mixture of things but hearing those words of encouragement pushed me to move forward and trust myself and the process. I owe a bit of that push to you all.
To my parents – thank you for trusting and supporting me, not just on this crazy thing but for every crazy thing I do. It’s not easy what you both did. Sure I’m a full grown adult but I can’t imagine the worry/stress/joy you felt over the last year. I know my intention of leaving in the beginning rooted mostly from anger, isolation and feeling unwanted. But if there’s anything this journey has taught me it’s that I was wrong. Thank you for being my source of confidence, making me feel like I can do whatever I put my mind to and follow through until I achieve it.
Lastly, thank you to YOU. Yes you! When I arrived back home after my final trip away, I was bombarded with messages all asking me to write a book. After debating with myself whether to do it or not, I decided to move forward with the idea. But then it got overwhelming and I started to question my writing abilities, my photographs and felt like I wasn’t good enough. After deciding to scrap the idea, I received one more message pleading me to share my stories and memories. I went to sleep that night only to wake up at 3 am with the idea of “adventure logs” – I took this as a sign from the universe. The next day, I dug out all the photographs, videos, notes and travel journals and began drafting out the idea. When I hit publish on the first entry, the feedback was insane! I told myself I couldn’t let you down. So I kept writing and the supportive messages continued to flow in. But today, ”Adventure Logs” comes to an end. Thank you for (unknowingly) pushing me to share my stories. It’s helped me in ways I cannot describe.
I want to leave you with one thing. Your dreams are worth chasing, even if it feels so out of reach and people tell you it’s impossible. If you had the heart and energy to create a small spark, you are entirely capable of following it through and calling it a reality. When I got back, I quietly began working towards my next dream. There are some changes coming my way – big changes and it’s exciting but also scary because everything is so unpredictable. When things settle into place, I hope to share some of these changes with you all. So……until then,