photo by madison perrins

"We're all from the same place."

Päivi’s Scandinavian accent swoops high and low, in and out of the syllables of her words as she reveals her feelings about her native Finland. It’s cold there, she says, and dark. I realize as she talks that our conflicted view about the places we are from is the same. While observing how her friends were content in Finland, she felt the call of someplace else. She says it was difficult for her friends to understand her decision. Stumbling slightly with pronunciation, she corrects herself in a dignified way. There’s a community of people for her in Mazatlan who like fitness and self-improvement.  When her friends from home saw photos of her in Mexico they said she looked happier than she ever did in Finland. Piavi has found a lot of like-minded people on her travels, saying a lot of them understand, and I also feel very connected in a way I can’t place but don’t feel moved to analyze because the formlessness is lovely. Charmingly referring to the universe as “the university,” she gestures around to the street, full of cars and people. “We’re all from the same place.”