A little on Halle Murray 

 

How do you feel when you travel somewhere new?

Traveling somewhere new makes me feel connected to the human experience. When I'm very far away from home, I find immense comfort in the mundane bits of life going on around me: a chattering group of ladies laughing and gossiping, a mother shopping for groceries with crazy kids in tow, someone reading a book on their train into work, friends out for drinks on a Friday night...

My first moment like this was on a college trip to Ecuador, while I was staying with a Native American family in the mountains outside of Quito. I was feeling pretty isolated and homesick; it was most foreign place I had ever been, smartphones/the internet hadn't really permeated our lives yet, and my Spanish left something to be desired, the latter leading to some awkward silences during our first dinner. Then, the grandmother (who also knew only a little Spanish, second to her native Quechuan) asked me, "¿...tienes un novio?".

I laughed in recognition - this was just another grandma asking if I had a boyfriend! In these moments (moments that demonstrate that we aren't very different from each other - grandmas inquiring about boyfriend was something I knew very well), I feel comforted by our similarities, hopeful about our differences, and ultimately, more human.