A compilation of tea, thoughts, and travel stories over two days.
I made a small post on Instagram about my struggle deciding to take my sister to Morocco or Croatia next year after her high school graduation. Nicole, who I had yet to meet (at least have a conversation with), made a comment about meeting for tea and tell me her experience traveling in Morocco. Without hesitation I accepted and we ventured out together a few days later to Dobra Tea on Haywood in Asheville, North Carolina.
It didn't take long for us to jabber on about the pleasures of traveling and what we're doing to stay occupied here in the area. Though she's not originally from the area, she's been living in Asheville 18 years and watching her greet passing friends from the window of the cafe illustrated her ties to the community.
I enjoy tea more than I do coffee. I know many can't live without having coffee as their start to the day, but I feel the same way about tea. I'm not after the caffeine, just the soothing warmness down my throat and the aromatic leaves and flowers that float out of the mug. After one sip my fingers, lips, and cheeks were tickled by cinnamon; my body was warmed with "The Smell of Jerusalem" tea and my soul captivated by the presence of a beautiful person and her story telling. We cut the air with our dancing hands as we relived moments of joy and fear during our travel and personal journeys. We spoke about fabrics, tastes, and future vacationing. I spent a moment illustrating Tuscan sunflower fields and I listened as she rooted her memories back from Portland, Oregon.
Willkommen! Benvenuti! Karibuni! Bienvenido! Welcome! My name's Leah, an Army brat by birth and a traveler by trade. I'm scooting across the world to illustrate my experiences through photographs and short stories. I hope you'll find a personal connection, inspiration, or a spark of desire to go and explore as well! Photograph by Nathan Chesky.
FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM @leahbeilhart
HENRY JAMES, Portrait of a Lady
To see Nicole McConville's work, visit http://www.nicolemcconville.com/
I shared that no matter the amount of people I have met and spoken to, that I'm cruddy at holding a friendship because of my busy schedule and introvertedness. Despite how much I jibber-jabber, I don't find myself having a large social circle. I'm not sure if that's something I prefer, but I know that communication is important to me and I take the time to listen and understand people around me. I live for those opportunities and I appreciate the intimacy of conversation over food and drinks. Take a moment to find someone to sit with and I'll guarantee you'll learn something new about yourself each time.
I learned that morning that it's okay to be honest and I shouldn't shelter myself because I don't fall under the same qualms of another human being. I've always loved the little quote that goes, "Be yourself, everyone else is taken."
Thank you for your company Nicole. I look forward to more sunlit rooms, laughter, tea, and polaroids.