by Lynn Kim Do

Returning to You, Puerto Rico


Pacific One Piece - Static Swimwear // Burgundy Bottoms - See U Soon // Nude Sandals - Melissa Charlotte x Jason Wu // Supernature Sunnies - Gentle Monster x TOME

I've traveled. I've been to many islands and several countries. But I have a confession. I didn't actually enjoy to travel until two years ago. Two years ago, I stepped foot into Puerto Rico with four ladies I never even spent more than 2 hours with at a time. During those five days in the year 2014, my life changed.

I remember sitting on the curb with my dear friend who I've grown closer to, by proximity and female to female bond, our feet were resting on several blue blocks that make up the cobblestones that line every alley and street in Old San Juan. "This is truly the Island of Enchantment," she said. And it was that moment, that very moment that brilliantly summed up the entire experience. An epiphany that lied within those two seconds. I glanced into her eyes and I can't remember if I said anything at all or I said something melodramatic, like "yeah," but we knew the truth, the weight of the accuracy in that statement. And that feeling has never left me.

On the flight back to New Jersey two years ago, I saw myself returning, again and again. I promised the island that I would return. I envisioned myself owning a home there. Hiding out there in several parts on my adult life. Building an oasis there that I can call my own. Maybe like Frida Kahlo's blue home in Mexico but pink or pastel yellow.

Fast forward to 2016 and now skin has been severely depleted of vitamin D. My mind has been restless and now operates on autopilot. My heart has mourned, is still mourning. I need Puerto Rico, so badly, the magic that lives in the salsa music flowing from open patios. And I wonder if it needs me. Oh, it does not matter because I am back. I am here. Sunsets over brick and concrete buildings have nothing on the sunset over the soft Condado Beach sand. The artwork screams volumes, giving imagination and voice to those unheard.

It's an island that gives without knowing that it gives. My skin soaks up each ray with full embrace. So much that I am burning, but all is forgiven. You just love me too much. I get it.

But I am back. I am here.

  Photos by Pedro Morales