I started the year in Brussels, Belgium.
This set off a life goal to spend every subsequent New Year in a new city.
The home of my favorite donut.
One of my favorite pieces of street art in Budapest. I passed it often and continue to reflect on it.
In the Brody Social Club, I participated in my first Story Slam.
I recounted a near death experience and detailed (with comedy) the way in which I slowly lost my resolve.
Oh, the joys and thrills of Retox
Terve was one of my favorite Hungarian hotspots.
This scene: a man offering his hand to comfort his pup continues to offer solace in a way that I haven’t been able to fully articulate.
Anna D. and I put the names of five cities in a hat.
In my mid-terms, finals, daily stress I taught myself a new talent.
I then offered to share it as often as I could. Thank you Alesandra for capturing this moment.
I remember this moment vividly.
It was a Monday. Anna and I waited on line to get into this bar for just about an hour. Once inside, we danced and danced, and danced reminding each other we are beautiful and deserve the best.
Reinvigorated with Na, the beauty.
I returned to Budapest, feeling like... this...
Khadim nominated me for the Posse Scholarship.
He saw potential in me that I hadn’t yet realized. We went to high school together. We went to university together and we continue to succeed together. Reunited in Budapest, I realized how far we’ve both come.
I passed this small window every day when entering and leaving my home. There is something incredible about the small things that don’t lose their beauty.
Vibe became a huge part of my time in Hungary.
Light: hitting just right.
I love this photo something fierce.
We danced into the morning. As we were walking back to our Air BnB, we found this magical little park. We laid in the dewy grass, reveling in the love for adventure we have always shared.
Back at the Air BnB
I was reminded of my beauty.
Patience, patience, patience.
The photo isn’t so gloomy, but the moment was. A short time before, I was viscerally reminded of the way in which homophobia operates.
The ever present Danube. Majestic.
Me and Jessie:
Just before seeing a standard sized refridgerator floating down the Danube.
Literally and figuratively, I found refuge on the edge.
As per tradition, every time I visit Vienna I get a tattoo.
This was the first of 2017 and at that point, my third in all.
Quintessential ‘I’m in Paris’ photo
LMAO, this was after one of the last times both Jason and I went to Alter Ego together. The end of an era.
My beard was looking hella luscious, inciting great romantic panic in Barcelona ;)
“Karl, what are you wearing?” // “My experiences”
Reunions and introductions in Barcelona. Wow. What a time.
Back in Budapest:
I met a US Army man with Jason. He described his job as ‘dropping the bombs on the bad guys.’ This is one of his tattoos lmao.
I DID THAT!!
So much love.
Successfully defended my Master’s thesis and awkwardly asked for a photo with my two advisors haha.
A reminder of a reminder that kept my procrastinating ass in check.
Always dancing our way through it.
Celebrating departmental success with two of CEU’s leading ladies <3 <3 <3
What a moment.
Every Thursday during the Fall term at CEU, Sama and I would go to a hookah bar and debrief our week, our experience, our anxieties. She is incredible.
LOL, Vaishnavi’s face says it all.
Second tattoo of the year,
because I graduated and was unknowingly, knowingly walking through the door of the unknown into something that brought about the best kind of fear.
My first apartment: two floors, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, balcony, hot tub. I moved out on this day.
I went out alone in Belgrade to a strip of clubs that were nested on the bank of a river. I danced all night and watched as the water went by and the sun rose.
I returned to Budapest bureaucratically refreshed and in a new flat with Vaishnavi.
LOL, the night of K-Pop Fight Club.
Consumed by stress, and needing release I asked Vaishnavi to walk on my back.
23. Happy. Pensive. Surrounded by growth.
Reunited with some of the best in in an unfamiliar (Amsterdam), familiar (Mansfield LOL) place!
Like a renaissance painting
Visited Liam in London and my heart grew three sizes!!
Returned to Budapest and found this photo among the 20 some odd that I took during the weekend and was quite viscerally reminded that I have a gorgeous group of friends #nuggets.
Swomley came to visit!! Still beyond thankful for a friendship that is bold and true.
Given that Jason and I were both banned from Alter Ego, we found a new space and community at Habrolo.
I finally got contacts.
The ~dream team <3 <3
I brought my family with me to Vienna!!
Third and final tattoo in 2017. It was a story time but damn, the sun always seemed to come through.
Sitting in Salzburg, listening to Jason play and sing.
Omfg, Munich. Play ‘The Weekend’ by SZA and just stare at this photo. *rolls eyes loudly*
JASON, KUBA, AND ANDY!!!! Though my time with Andy and Kuba was short, their friendship feels like its already a decade old.
Casually, spontaneously accompanied Kuba and Andy as they returned to Warsaw. What a weekend that was.
Quite possibly the wildest night in Budapest <3
My last night in Budapest at the diviest bar. HA.
Last time visiting Habrolo… for now!
Back in the Surveillance State with my loveeeeeeeeeee!
Went out to a bar. This woman said she liked my shirt, and I liked her’s… so we swapped.
Flew to the Bay Area (my new home), and saw Blood Orange solo.
Mura Masa!!! Shortly before this photo was taken, the man beside me started having a seizure. A night to remember, for sure haha.
Mashrou’ Leila!! I wrote it on Instagram, but I’m holding onto the belief that one of Hamed’s many winks on this night was meant for me :’)
I went to see Chet Faker, or Nick Murphy, or whatever?
I stayed for maybe two songs and couldn’t deal. Unfortunately, one of my least favorite concerts but it felt so good to have finally experienced a spectrum with which to compare the experience.
After walking home in West Oakland with my freshly washed clothes. Much needed.
In the summer of 2016, I was very, very, very, very, very close to the edge. I listened to Noname’s mixtape Telefone on repeat and I can honestly say it quite literally saved my sanity. To see her live, and understand that the artist behind the music was truly an artist made my heart soar.
Because I’m still not over how many pigeons in the Bay Area are 1) unafraid of people and 2) missing feet.
My lovely friend Doka and I reunited for the first time in years for a Friendsgiving. I am so incredibly grateful for her.
West Oakland: I scrubbed these walls. I scrubbed this tub– more times than I should have had to.
Reunited with Doka… and with no years in between the last time :’)
James Blake, Day 1
Day 3… because I couldn’t get enough.
West Oakland (for a brief time.)
Violette!! We were able to reunite in the Bay before her return home to Italy.
El oh el… Again decided I needed some change, so with some assistance from my friend Eloisa, I made my hair gold and then lavender. I am my own.
Moved from West Oakland to San Francisco proper. Thankful.
Smizing for our lives in Portland- the city where I ended and began.
This photo wasn’t taken in 2017, but because I include it in this review because I think it sums up the year pretty accurately.
Cheers to loving myself first and as a result feeling greater love from those around me.