Home sweet home

Julia Carter - Brazil

September 24, 2012

Throughout the past three weeks, I have lived in three different homes. Whether it was a dorm, a hostel, or a local’ house, I knew I had found a home in each place because I knew without a doubt that I belonged there.

My time at Stanford was spent meeting 92 amazing people who all share a love for travel and philanthropy. My fellow Fellows and I were able to get a small taste of college while having the opportunity to attend amazing seminars to help us on our up coming travels. From Stanford came Salvador, the capital of Bahia and home to the Afro-Brazilian culture. From samba to reggae tone, I was able to discover the true beauty that makes up this poor but special city. From Salvador comes Capao, a town inside the national park of Chapada Dimancina National Park, located in the interior of Bahia. Dirt roads and mountains at every corner are just two of the many amazing things that make up Capao. The town is unique and I knew the moment I got here that this place was magical. Capao was best explained in a circus performance I attended with another Fellow. The super heroes of capao, I learned, are not your normal ideas of Superman, Iron Man, or Batman; rather, they are super vegetarian, super tranquil, and super hippie.

Traveling is unique. It provides people with the chance to find a home in the most unexpected places. I love entering a new place and not knowing where I’m going to sleep that night.  “Home is where you put your hat at night.” During my past travels, I found this phrase echoing throughout my head every time I entered a new place. At first, when I heard it, I didn’t fully understand the meaning of such a simple and straight-forward phrase. But once I started referring to hotels and hostels as “home,” I began to understand. A home can be something as simple as a mattress on the floor of a friends house, or as big as a five star hotel. In the end, what matters most is that feeling of belonging and sense of being in the right place at the right time. It is then that I know I have found a new home.

Julia Carter