I’m fourteen years old and I have been gone for the entire summer, shuttling around the country on a luxury bus with forty other teenagers. I walked the starkness of Alcatraz and gazed at the height of Mount Rushmore. I camped in tents in Nebraska. I rode a horse named Caramel in Bryce Canyon and went waterskiing in the glow of Lake Tahoe.
Everywhere I went, I had with me a bulky camera and a notepad that turned into a journal. I wrote down what I saw and how each thing made me feel. I bought postcards and scrawled happy messages on them and mailed them home to my mother and my father. The postcards were sent to different places since my parents hadn’t lived in the same house for almost a decade.