The object that most defines my story is my passport. I came to New York City in 2014 for university. I originally come from Sri Lanka; an island situated 8,711 miles away. My parents both lived in America for short periods of time in their youth. They most appreciated the different opportunities that could be pursued and the independent mentality that drives most Americans and it was always their dream to give my sister and I that same opportunity. This passport represents my hard work to get into a great college and see my parent’s dream come to fruition. The passport also captures the scattered nature of my family. With a father living between London and Dubai, a mother living in Sri Lanka and a sister living in Washington DC the passport represent the dispersed nature of our family. Yet it also reminds me that regardless of our physical location, we are still bound to each other by our ties to Sri Lanka and that home and each other is only a flight away. It serves as a reminder to not be rooted for too long and be complacent. It is important to try new things or challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone. New York feels like home to me and I would never have realized that if I hadn’t taken the risk to leave my island comfort to come to America. Ultimately my passport reminds me to appreciate and respect my journey in life.
– Dhanya Madugalle