How Did I Get Here?

Exploring the power of travel to shape a person’s outlook on life, perception, and identity.

When I began traveling internationally, I became fascinated with lifestyles and the inherent differences and similarities between us: something customary in one place is absent elsewhere, a pursuit here is forbidden there, rituals in one culture are performed differently in another, and some circumstances have no frame of reference whatsoever. I learned a lot from talking with people, seeing how they lived, walking their streets. Looking at a collection of photographs and journals from places I’ve traveled over 20 years, and seeing them together as a single journey rather than individual trips, got me thinking—how does travel shape someone’s outlook on life, perception, and even identity?

How powerful are the people you meet, places and experiences that are so different from what you know, things that happen along the way?

How Did I Get Here? explores the relationship between foreign travel and identity. Over 900 photographs serve as a starting point for visual communication, and a “wall” of images suggests a cumulative effect of travel. On a podcast series, stories and conversations with people who are from some of the countries I’ve visited reveal personal truths. A narrative created on Instagram (@EverywhereCyndie) adds new context in the digital, social space. Viewers can share stories and memories or their own travel experiences through a short form on the website.

The ultimate goal is to create a bigger conversation that becomes a catalyst for connection, inquisitiveness, and more understanding between people everywhere. This project is a first step.

Project website