Mark Twain said that the best way to eliminate prejudice is to go out and see the world for yourself. I’ve taken that to heart, and I rarely jump to conclusions about a place unless I’ve seen it for myself. I’m quite lucky that I’ve had the opportunity to see all these places in America, and especially after such a tough year around the world.
I’ve made memories that I’ll hold on to for the rest of my life. Seeing all shades of the country from poverty on the streets of the Rust Belt to the extreme extravagance of the strip in Las Vegas, I’ve come to realize that it’s nearly impossible to capture this country’s complexity in such a short photo series. I hope I was able to document a moment in history that was special and in the meantime inspire more people to see more corners of such a unique nation.
It always blew my mind how many Americans haven’t seen most of the states. There’s only six people I’ve met in my life that have seen all 50 states, and their outlook on the country is much different than the rest of America. Obviously, there are corners of this country like Hawaii and Alaska that are a little harder to reach than others, but it isn’t stopping a guy like Adam from travelling from state to state on busses and trains over the past six years. He’s a vagabond, and rather than falling under the umbrella of homeless, he calls everywhere home.
There’s many just like him, wandering around the country going from place to place. Adam is one of the kindest people I’ve ever come across in my journeys through America. If you put a suit and tie on him and a new pair of glasses on him you’d think differently about him, despite the fact that he is one of the most articulate people I’ve had a conversation with. That is how we’ve been trained to think especially in this country, the surface level judgements based on how we look.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” - Mark Twain