(AKA other moments of courage—big and small)
Finishing the roadtrip by myself: Across Spain, I faced some of the most terrifyingly tight streets of my life. I got lost. I attempted reading highway signs in Basque hieroglyphics. I ate alone in rest stops and restaurants. I arrived to cities where I knew not a soul. I drove my first rental car. And I completed our culinary roadtrip 100% solo—something I never would have had the guts to do a year before. Every time I wanted to give up, I kept going.
Being open about my family and our trip: This is the story of why I felt so sad when COVID struck. Why I turned to writing the essay about travel testing me. Why I really struggled when my mother, the person most deserving of a vacation, ended up in bed—not on the beach. Sharing these photos feels like exposing the highs and lows on an even more radically vulnerable level. But I wanted to pay homage to the person that inspires me to be strong every single day—and to always savor every bite.
Tatiana Gallardo is a writer, illustrator, and photographer. She’s currently working on a cookbook featuring her mother’s Cuban recipes and beyond. You can read her award-winning photo essay about her mother’s caregiving commitment here.
Thank you for daring to be so open! I confess to getting teary eyed. Somehow I sense this is not the end - you and your mom will conclude this trip in the future. Before writing my comment I was thinking this story would make a good film - although I don’t know if we know the ending yet. Then I saw Marley’s comment, and I totally agree
Tatiana! I love photo essays and this was so good!!! I thought it was just spectacular! You’re a great storyteller and sorry that your mom got sick and couldn’t finish the trip together but I know you will finish what you’ve started.