What is homesickness? In today’s world, the traveler need not be without family and friends: a quick Skype call can have you face to face with loved ones in seconds, and Facebook means you can keep tabs on the lives of even casual acquaintances from nearly anywhere in the world. No, I suspect that the homesickness most suffered nowadays is they type that I have felt lately: an ever-present tightness, just inside the ribcage- some sort of fanatical and deep-seeded devotion to the particular landscape that I call home.
The key of course, is to allow the heart its desperate clutching of familiar scenes. To gracefully divide the body in two, allowing the brain the freedom to explore the new: to breathe in the thick sulfur of fireworks being lit haphazardly in the square by anyone with the pocket change and guts (or booze) to deem it a good idea… READ MORE
Traveling by bus we are like ghosts. Our faces reflect back at us as we are whisked past behind safety glass. We are saucer-eyed and consumed in our own thoughts. Real people look up and we catch eyes and don’t share anything. We are anonymous, sallow faces passing through and they are as far away as actors on TV.
Traveling by bicycle we feel everything. The desert’s dry heat cracks our skin and the cool mist of the early morning makes our bones ache. We get sand in our hair, and we smell of cheap soap, of dirt, of fallen leaves, of salt spray or street food and nights in the open air.
We choose to get out because it is uncomfortable. Because we never know where we’ll sleep, or what we’ll eat, or who will be around the next twist of the road. Our steel frames carry the essentials and become a part of us. They stand like sentinels while we sleep and roll proud through small towns as people wave when we pedal by. They carry our weight when it is all we can do to slouch over the handlebars, and they become wings as we dive down cliffs that curve along the ocean’s edge.
We choose to live a life of action. We have no time to gaze at ourselves while the world rushes by. We travel because we must move forward. We must talk to strangers. We must climb the mountains. We must eat strange foods. Our choice is simple: try something new, or starve.
-2012, by Morrigan McCarthy
Selections from Sea Goddess. Photo essay by Morrigan McCarthy. Since 1948, each summer twenty young women gather at the Maine Lobster Festival to compete for scholarships, the title of Sea Goddess, and the chance to represent the Maine lobstering industry at events throughout New England.
Morrigan is currently cycling around the world to document what life is like for twenty-somethings all over the planet. You can learn more about the project by clicking on the title above.
The only people for me are the mad ones. The ones who are mad to love, mad to talk, mad to be saved; the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.
Selections from Shy Girl: The Making of an 18-year old stripper. Photo essay by Morrigan McCarthy.