2014 Wrap Up

To date, 2014 has been the best year of my life.

I truly hope that doesn’t come off sounding conceited or overly confident… but it’s hard to look back and not think that. Hopefully 2015 will come close and perhaps even surpass the crazy and wonderful year that was 2014 – but we’ll see!

When I imagine my life as a reality TV show – more popular and less scandalous than ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ of course – I envision a time lapse against the nostalgic sounds that is The Cinematic Orchestra. So if 2014 ever became a video, it would show the transition I’ve had to make from the high school bubble I knew in Bangkok, Thailand, to the big bad world of reality. Depicting all of the changes that have occurred over the past 12 months, it would feature new and old friends/family in places familiar and new, state side and international.

It would begin with the class of 2014 seniors experiencing the ‘lasts’ of our high school experiences from arriving college acceptances and denials to the final wrap up of IB exams. Bittersweet feels at graduation to even bittersweet-er goodbyes to Thailand, constant boarding and arrivals at airport gates, landing in Michigan and working for the summer, arriving in Portland and gaining ‘real world experience’, setting off for NYC for the Wild Ones tour Internship, meeting amazing artists and people, returning to Portland and then FINALLY… * big breath of air * … flying home to Bangkok to reunite with friends after many awaited months.

Moving away from family & friends, adjusting to life in the States, actively seeking jobs & internships and stepping outside of my comfort zone were among a few of the ‘life lessons’ I’ve faced this year. Whether or not you’ve reached graduation yet, you’ve undoubtedly watched and read all about similar challenges presented in classic coming of age films (think the Breakfast Club, Boyhood, The Spectacular Now, FB’s Day Off, Perks of Being a Wallflower, etc.) While I’m fundamentally still the same person I was 12 months ago, these inevitable changes have no doubt made adjustments to the person I am today. So far, I’ve been incredibly happy with where my path since High school has taken me and better yet, I’m excited for whatever the future has to bring!

These events obviously don’t showcase all of the activities and travels from the whole year such as IASAS events, etc. but here are a few that stick out!

eary january

The fam and I spent a week or so in India before school opened back up again. This being my second time in India (the first spent in the Southern states), we focused more on Northern territory starting off with Kolkata, making our way to Darjeeling and ending it all in Sikkim. Can’t wait to visit this region again.


My favorite school trip to ever date, this one will be impossible to beat. For a week in February, I went off with my closest 20 friends to the mystical land of Bhutan on our yearly school trip known as GCW (Global Citizenship Week). Since we were seniors, we had first pickings on which trip we wanted to go on, thus it’s no surprise that this trip immediately filled up!

Traditional Bhutanese Doors

New Zealand
Early April

This was our last ‘big’ family trip before graduation so we decided to go somewhere we had always wanted to go: New Zealand! Sadly, we were only able to explore the north island and the weather was quite poor.. but no worries, we’ll get back someday. Also you can see how happy I was to visit Hobbiton.

early june

A whirl wind of events for all the seniors and myself! End of all IB exams *breath of relief*, senior pranks & breakfast, graduation, senior trip to Koh Samui for a week and then goodbyes to everyone.

Mackinac island, michigan
june – late september

First working experience, living on my own, beautiful summer nights on a resort island not too far from my family’s home in Michigan. Great way to kick start le gap year!

New york – Wild Ones Internship

Words cannot describe my time in New York. It was a reunion with old friends and a wonderful opportunity to make new lifetime long friends set amongst a breathing, living, bustling city. Not to forget.. so so many photographic opportunities.
Wild Ones video: https://vimeo.com/114466293

end of oct – mid december

Internship with PDX Arts Magazine
Not all the photos are shown here but the links to the articles are below:
written by myself: http://pdxmag.com/archives/3727

New botanical mystery on display at Faux Museum

Seeing Beyond the Stigma at J. Pepin Art Gallery


The week I got home from NY, I was surprised visited by my best friend, Leeann who came all the way from LA for my birthday weekend! I will admit that I hadn’t seen it coming at all
Happy 2015 – here’s to a new year!
– JM

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