At this point, we all know the virtues of self-care. How taking breaks from our screens, making space for creating, and spending time alone adds balance and reduces anxiety. But lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the additive value of community. In this era of self-care, have we forgotten to also care for one another?
You’re limiting your expansion if you don’t take the extra step of getting to know a local community.
Travel is easily one of the most valuable things you can do for yourself: In exploring new places, you’re expanding your mind, pushing your body, and taking a break from the grind of the everyday. But you’re limiting your expansion if you don’t take the extra step of getting to know a local community.
The writers and editors that contribute to Here have an advantage—they’re armed with an excuse to cold email or DM interesting people and then meet up with them in their respective countries. But I’d guess that most people who receive a flattering message from a stranger in a similar industry would be willing to give you the time of day. If you’re a writer traveling to Berlin, reach out to a freelance content creator to show you around the city. Ask a bartender where else to drink in the neighborhood, then invite them to join when they finish their shift. We have more ways than ever to connect with people all over the world—why not use those tools to also connect IRL?
There are so many people connecting with their own communities and looking to implement change.
This applies in the place where you live, too. In this issue, which marks Here’s second anniversary, there are so many people connecting with their own communities and looking to implement change. When she’s not touring her latest album, Legacy! Legacy!, or collaborating with Chance the Rapper, cover star Jamila Woods spends time teaching at Young Chicago Authors. The artists of New Orleans have always banded together—whether in the rebuilding years that immediately followed Hurricane Katrina or right now, when it’s a wave of tourism and gentrification that threatens to push them out. And in Shanghai, restaurateurs and architects are resisting the city’s technology boom in favor of real-life connections.
Of course, IRL connections are what travel is all about—following a vintage store in Rome on Instagram is not the same as shopping there. Community starts with a connection; let’s build a community that spans the world.