Using a broader lens to search outward (and inward)

Sitting on the Willamette waterfront one last time, wasting time with close friends soon to go off on their own adventures to colleges and around universities around the US, soaking up the comforts of home in Portland, Oregon before I embarked on a journey far bigger than myself. This was one of the most exciting and terrifying conceptions yet.
  I have had the joy and the privilege to be involved in queer history classes, critical race studies, philosophy, psychology, and many different arts classes throughout my high school career, but absolutely nothing could have prepared me for the notion of traveling to experience a foreign place for 8 months before college.
  Or maybe, college won't be an aspect of my future, which I have grown content with that idea.
  Finding my own connection with this place we all call home has been what drives me forward, since the day I can remember. I tried almost every sport, played a variety of instruments and took a few languages in my middle school years, almost all of which have become nearly insignificant to me due to the pressures of high school. One of which grades and proficiency in high level core classes I had little interest in, was highly expected of students.
   But I'm not here to write about that. I'm here writing this blog because I decided to drastically change my perspective on my life and my future by travelling to Florianopolis, Brazil. Leaving nearly everything comfortable and familiar behind, creating new relationships, trying new foods, and working on the neurons that form a new language in the brain have been the challenges I'm so eager to tackle from now until April (and hopefully beyond).
So follow me on my journey in Floripa, this beautiful island city just off of southern Brazil. Me, my Nikon camera, and the intense passion I have for saving our incredible planet will be the storytellers here. Welcome one and all, to a journey I had no intention of taking just a few short months ago.