In the summer of 2008, I traveled to Japan for two weeks with my high school and home-stayed with a family near Tokyo. I was assigned to the Aoki family, and went to high school for a week with my host sister, Honoka. I had a wonderful stay and Honoka and I quickly became like sisters. We were so much alike – we liked the same music, clothing style, activities, etc. We even acted alike! It is crazy to think about having someone so similar to you half way across the globe.
When it was time to leave, I didn’t want to part from her. As an only child, you long for that sibling bond and I had found it in Honoka. But we were to meet again. She stayed in a town only two hours away from me in Virginia for that following year and we met up a few timesand it was great. Honoka and I said “see you again” at the airport in Washington, D.C. in June 2009. We had no idea when we were to see each other again, but we kept in touch via Facebook and Skype.
Four years later, in June 2013, Honoka arrived at the airport in Arlington, VA for a week stay with me. I awaited right where she would come out for baggage claim. She wasn’t expecting me to be there. When she saw me, her eyes lit up and she screamed and ran towards me. It was an amazing moment in our reunion. Throughout the course of the week, it hadn’t had felt like we had been apart for four years. It was like we picked up right where we left off, even though so much had happened. I had gone through my four years of college and grown so much as a photographer. She just completed her second year of college, which required her to travel to The Netherlands. Honoka has become quite the traveler, exploring most of Europe in her year there in college. She has also visited many other countries.
Of course, we had to do a portrait shoot together. What better way to document her visit than a portrait photo shoot in one of my favorite parks in Annapolis, MD.