I was only 9 the first time I traveled outside the United States. Like most 9 year olds my world was my home town which to me was only my family, school, the beach and the Dodgers. I cried when my parents told me we were moving to the Philippines. My world was shattered. I loved adventures, but this was too much. What I didn’t realize at the time was that this step would change my world in ways I could never imagine. My experience of growing up as what is known as a third culture kid would eventually open up doors to explore and understand the world in ways very few people experience.
The next time I remember crying so hard was when I left the Philippines to go to college in rural Kentucky. My teen years had been filled with experiences that let me observe and absorb events from the front lines. Political unrest, coups, revolutions and natural disasters happened right in front of me. My life story was shaped by these events and I felt life in the United States was not going to ever live up it.
However, I started a path in college that would integrate my career and personal experiences. I studied TV production which led me to visual story telling and eventually took me all over the world. My experience of living abroad and then the years of reintegrating into my native culture gave me a unique perspective to tell stories in a way that bridged the divide between the United States and the rest of the world. I went to Rwanda in the days following the genocide there, traveled to former Soviet states, walked on the devastated shores of India following the 2005 tsunami and travelled in Haiti after the earthquake there. It wasn’t all tragedies. There were journeys to Thailand, Korea, Brazil, Spain and Portugal. All told I have visited over 60 countries capturing stories that make these far-off lands accessible to people back in the United States.
During that time I couldn’t shake the fact that as time passed the United States was looking more and more like the rest of the world. The kind of events I experienced as a teenager, but never seemed to happen here began to happen here: 9/11, Katrina, economic collapse. The people living in our neighborhoods began to diversify as America became more integrated with the rest of the world. As technology and transportation continued to develop the world became more accessible to more people. I knew that this was just the beginning of a new world. I became more impassioned to use my unique experience and ability as a digital storyteller to create a narrative that showed a different spin on the global changes we are all experiencing. My desire is to tell stories that bridge the gap of understanding between people, cultures and issues. I believe these stories will build trust and understanding in a world that will only get better if we stop fearing and start embracing each other.
So that’s my Journey to Blue Dot. I hope this helps you understand me better and my passion for what this venture stands for. I hope you join us as a partner on this journey we will be taking together.