I live in Spain. I was born and raised in the U.S. From July to October 2011, I returned there to travel across the country in search of inspiring stories.
At the time, my goal was to shed light to another side of the U.S., one that contradicted the often negative image of mass consumerism and profit-making. I had arranged several interviews, from a peace camp director to bicycle advocates to immigrant rights activists.
What I came to understand years after the trip was that the person I was really trying to convince was myself. All countries, like people, have contradictions, beauty and flaws. My cross-country mission was in truth really fueled by a painful end to a relationship shortly before, which forced me to look at my youthhood demons for the first time. These demons had left me with such shame and self-hatred that I did everything I could to get rid of it. I displaced it on my family, my friends, and ultimately the country I was raised in.
These images are a reflection, less so of the interviews scheduled and the initiatives I had the privilege to witness across the country, but rather of the most comforting encounters of a young man stripped of his defenses and running back to his roots to find solace, security and healing.