As you know, I've been on a trip for several months. Looking back on it, other than a few stops here and there, I've been on the move since I went to Yosemite with my mom in May.

You've seen where I've gone, and you may have noticed that a great number of my pictures do not have other people in them. Esthetically, I like to take pictures of either people or places - the only time I mix the two is usually for other people's sake. But I look back now, and though I miss the places I've been to, it is the people that really made a place worth visiting, it is the people (of course) that I went to see.

I have a tendency to be standoffish, somewhat cold much of the time. I don't choose to be that way, at least not most of the time; nevertheless, I am. So I am very lucky that I have friends who can see beyond that, that I do care for them, and that they, not the cities I visit, the books I read, the websites I look at, etc., are not what is important, though I often get distracted and confused into thinking they are. Though I really loved visiting the sites and shrines of San Francisco, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Kansas, Tokyo, Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Ise, and Hiroshima, it is the people I spent time with there that were important. When I was alone in Tokyo for the last couple of months, I really began to wonder what the point was, and one day I realized - you are nothing without the ones you love.

Not a new realization, but I forget sometimes, I guess. I think I can do things by myself, and very often I can because I've learned to be alone - but the grocery store you visit with a good friend is a million times more enjoyable than the greatest temple.

So I wanted to do a tribute to all of my friends. Sorry if it takes up all your bandwidth. I realize you don't all know each other, but know this: every one of these people is a magnificent human being, and I am grateful to know them. If your picture is not in here, I hope you won't be insulted - most of these are from my trip, and many of the pictures I took didn't turn out.

I start with my parents, because I've known them the longest, and am most grateful to them for making me who I am.

I love you all. I thank you so much.


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