"Travel is little beds and cramped bathrooms. It’s old television sets and slow Internet connections. Travel is extraordinary conversations with ordinary people. It’s waiters, gas station attendants, and housekeepers becoming the most interesting people in the world. It’s churches that are compelling enough to enter. It’s McDonald’s being a luxury. It’s the realization that you may have been born in the wrong country. Travel is a smile that leads to a conversation in broken English. It’s the epiphany that pretty girls smile the same way all over the world. Travel is tipping 10% and being embraced for it. Travel is the same white T-shirt again tomorrow. Travel is accented sex after good wine and too many unfiltered cigarettes. Travel is flowing in the back of a bus with giggly strangers. It’s a street full of bearded backpackers looking down at maps. Travel is wishing for one more bite of whatever that just was. It’s the rediscovery of walking somewhere. It’s sharing a bottle of liquor on an overnight train with a new friend. Travel is ‘Maybe I don’t have to do it that way when I get back home.’"
Humans of The District
As some of you know, I’m a freelance photographer and one of my favorite past times is talking to people about existentialist topics. I’ve been following “Humans of New York” for a while now, and with the support and encouragement with my friends and family, I’ve decided to start the same documentation in D.C.
Make sure to “like” this project on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HumansOfTheDistrict
My first day could not have been more successful:
"People being compassionate towards one another."
"Do you find that people in DC are compassionate?"
"Yes, it’s inspiring to see when it’s not a dog-eat-dog-world."
"What do you mean by that?"
"Americans seem to care more about missing their next yoga class, than caring about what’s going on politically. Back in Colombia, we’re having a revolution. Right-wingers have been working with the CIA and other US authority figures to exploit natural resources and violate human rights. It’s time to admit that we need change.”
"Do you mind if I take your portrait?"
"I’d rather you didn’t include my face."
He was taking his 5 year old daughter to the Smithsonian museums.
"Where is she?"
"She’s back home in Korea. She wanted us to take this trip. We love you mom!"
"If you could go back in time and tell your younger self a word of advice, what would it be?"
"To enjoy life and not worry about the little things."
"Have you been taking your own advice lately?"
"I’m working on it."
“‘To thy own self be true.’ It’s Shakespeare.”
"What does that mean to you?"
"That you need to be honest with yourself. You need to take responsibility and not blame others for your own faults."
Sometimes, you hear the best advice when you’re least expecting it.
For instance, today a bus driver left me with these wise words:
"Stay focused and stay humble."
He explained that he had a hard life growing up in SE DC, finding it almost impossible to not get involved with drugs/crime. He openly admitted that these actions resulted in him spending twelve years in prison and after getting released, he spent the last twenty five years working as a bus driver in DC. Today he worked from 6:30 AM until 8PM, to give you an idea of this man’s hard work.
He then went on to tell me about his family and how proud he is of his four kids, all of whom are college educated and graduated at the top of their class. So what about him? How did he reward himself? Well, he just got back from his first cruise to the Bahamas.
It’s conversations like these that I appreciate the most. You can learn so much about people if you give them the chance to share their stories with you.