When I’m in a foreign country, unable to speak the language, experiencing the highs and lows of culture shock, I’m most fulfilled. The motivation that bridges that fulfillment is probably due to my growing up in a clean, safe, suburban environment. Although I am grateful for the absence of crime and pollution in my childhood, the clean and mundane left me craving something beyond clean-cut soccer moms and fast food chains. I would go to the library and devour books about gods and heroes, dragons, magic, love, war, and anything to take me away. One day, I opened a book that contained pictures of white-faced women with black hair pinned delicately high, wearing colorful robes tied together with a sash. Their every posture seemed so specific and foreign. Yet it seemed familiar. It seemed like somewhere I should be.