Dear Scouts,

Scout - - INSIDE SCOUT -

Need­ing to take time off to find your­self is a common trope that’s been thrown around in­creas­ingly th­ese days, es­pe­cially among young peo­ple, and it’s one I didn’t nec­es­sar­ily agree with. I be­lieve that who you are is the sum­ma­tion of the choices you make, each one slowly chip­ping away the parts of your­self you’ve grown out of, re­veal­ing some­thing new and less brit­tle un­der­neath. But after putting to­gether this is­sue, I’ve come to re­al­ize that get­ting away from ev­ery­thing you’ve ever known, deal­ing with this pri­mal fear of un­fa­mil­iar­ity, and truly spend­ing some time alone or with com­plete strangers can ex­pe­dite this process.

Ad­mit­tedly, it’s not an ex­pe­ri­ence I can per­son­ally vouch for my­self—ev­ery va­ca­tion I’ve gone on has ei­ther been with fam­ily or with a care­fully planned itin­er­ary (with pocket money!) on a press jun­ket. While I’m al­ways in­cred­i­bly grate­ful for any op­por­tu­nity to travel, I’ve never thrown my­self head­long into any­thing re­motely ad­ven­tur­ous, un­like the writ­ers for this month’s Travel is­sue.

From Vinny Ta­gle’s spon­ta­neous backpacking ex­pe­ri­ence around South Amer­ica to Amanda Lago’s many close calls, be­ing stranded and pen­ni­less in a for­eign coun­try, the sto­ries they’ve brought back from their trav­els are ex­hil­a­rat­ing, at times frus­trat­ing, and sort of make me feel that I haven’t lived yet.

This feel­ing was re­in­forced dur­ing my in­ter­views with de­signer Jo­hann Manas and our cover girl, the be­guil­ing June Marieezy. Though com­pletely dif­fer­ent in­di­vid­u­als with to­tally dif­fer­ent sto­ries, both share a common ex­pe­ri­ence of de­cid­ing to leave home in or­der to take root in places where they dis­cov­ered they could be them­selves. Be­fore mak­ing the move to Tokyo, Jo­hann was the owner of a food cart business in Manila, and when June left Dal­las, Texas for the Philip­pines at 15, she was a reg­u­lar Asian-Amer­i­can teenager in high school. If they hadn’t left home, would Jo­hann have dis­cov­ered that he could be a de­signer with his own la­bel? Would June even­tu­ally find her­self on­stage at the 2012 South by South­west Mu­sic Fes­ti­val?

So if you’re start­ing to feel that you’re stuck in a place be­tween go­ing after what you want and do­ing what other peo­ple think you should, or if you’re start­ing to feel you’re in a state of cre­ative stag­na­tion, book a plane ticket and get lost. As the voices in this is­sue will tell you, it’s not as scary (or ex­pen­sive!) as it sounds, and more of­ten than not, you’ll come back with an­swers to ques­tions you didn’t even know you had.

and the Scout team We’re al­ways look­ing for in­terns and new con­trib­u­tors for the mag­a­zine! If you want to be part #TeamS­cout, shoot me an email at scout­ We love read­ing your emails, and do our best to re­ply to each one. This month’s ed­i­tor’s note fea­tures travel pho­tos sent in by Lito Espina (riza­le­nio.tum­, Kisty Mea (@kistymea), and Kimee Lao (@kim­lao09). Keep those let­ters com­ing!

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