“Solitude of Travel” documents a period of persistent travel: in the space of a decade, I passed through some 60 countries on 4 continents, often repeatedly and for prolonged periods of time. I traveled without any overarching reason or direction, but I think even then I suspected that the pressing impulse to board yet another flight had to do with confronting a stubborn (and maybe endemic to immigrants) sense of uprootedness.
Steady movement through national boundaries gave me an illusion of global familiarity: new places seemed immediately recognizable upon arrival, if only by virtue of sharing features and characteristics with somewhere else I’d visited. But, at the same time, each location felt distant and inaccessible. And the sense of separation spread to places where I had lived for years, so that my connection to any one spot weakened and faded. It was a liberating sense of disorientation, and a disorienting sense of liberty. It was also deeply isolating: paradoxically, as I grew attached to new places, I simultaneously felt connected to everywhere and nowhere.
The photographs I took during this time are a testament to the constant sense of remove. I think of them as a set of anti-postcards: whereas the typical travel photo celebrates arrival at recognizable destinations, usually in saturated color, most of the black and whites in this series document places that aren’t on the tourist map. Moreover, though the pictures ostensibly document places, in reality they capture my own sense of steady separation: they are invariably framed from a distance, and, in all of them, the ultimate destination I might have longed for—that is, the elusive sense of home and immersion—remains unreachable.