COORDINATES: THE VERY BEGINNING
I distinctly remember the moment I saw a map of the world for the first time. I was 5 years old, and a young woman was speaking to our class about the places that she had traveled. She opened up a map of the world, and for me, that was it. That was everything. I was hooked. I was in. Every decision for the rest of my life would be based on that defining moment of inspiration in my life. I knew exactly what I wanted to do at the age of 5 years old, I wanted to see the world.
I spent the coming years studying maps of the world and listening to my grandmother's stories of going behind the Iron Curtain. Growing up, my walls were filled with photos of all the countries, people, and experiences I dreamed of. Yes, I was one of those kids. I saved and saved and finally convinced my parents to let me go to Central America at the age of 14. Sitting on the plane, looking down on the city lights of Guatemala City, I suddenly felt the most myself I had ever felt.
I was traveling for the first time, and it was everything I could have hoped for.
This trip and the trips that followed exposed me to the great need for relief in impoverished areas around the world. I desperately wanted to be a part of ending the tragedy of war crimes, the unfortunate plight of refugees, and the inhumane conditions found in many informal settlements around the globe. I wanted to be a part of shedding light onto the stories that so often do not get told loud enough.
COORDINATES: THE CONCEPTION
Five years after visiting Guatemala, I found myself sitting in my Architecture Professor's office expressing an idea for a website/non-profit. The concept was for a website solely dedicated to telling stories and sharing photos from around the globe with a non-profit outlet for bringing awareness to humanitarian efforts worldwide. He and I spent countless hours talking out my ideas and concepts and piecing together my first website model. At the time, blogs, social media platforms like instagram and twitter, and smart phones were not what they are today; and consequently, my ideas just simply did not seem feasible.
I went on to spend the next seven years in college, studying architecture and design in undergrad and urban design, business, and international development in graduate school; and an additional 5 years in the work force. I had fallen in love with the field of architecture and design. I had dedicated literally every waking moment of my entire twenties to the industry. But I was still holding on to this dream of starting a website that by this time I had aptly named, COORDINATES°.
Around this time, I came across the following quote: "I wanted to do something. Anything. But I did not know what to do, so I did this. This is my something." I immediately laser cut this quote into a sheet of plexi-glass, and it has been sitting on my work desk ever since. I have looked at it every day for the past year as a reminder that COORDINATES° was my something; and all I had to do was to simply start somewhere.
COORDINATES: THE LAUNCH
For the past 10 years, I have been collecting stories, images, and experiences from around the world. Little by little, year by year, I have been refining my vision for COORDINATES° and developing my own style of story telling. For me, COORDINATES OF HER° is a platform in which I can share the experiences I have been lucky enough to have in an effort to inspire others to go out and to see the world. Every location on the planet has a story to be told and a beauty of culture and heart to be discovered.
COORDINATES° also allows me to share my passion for humanitarian work to bring about a deeper awareness for the need that is so great today and to hopefully spark real change in the world. I am launching this campaign (fall 2016) for the people I have met around the globe who do not have an outlet. I hope to share their stories and express their hopes, dreams, and passions for making their world and ours a better place.
I am eternally grateful for the people in my life that have pushed me, challenged me, and forced me to never lose sight of my dreams. You all know who you are and you have inspired me in ways I could never adequately express. I hope I can pay you back for your countless hours of conversations and support by following in the dreams you so appropriately encouraged towards.
COORDINATES° is a journal of my travels, the people on my journey, the architecture that holds me in the physical, the landscapes that inspire me towards the non-physical, and the defining moments that make me who I am.
THIS IS MY SOMETHING. THESE ARE MY COORDINATES°.