When you’re far from home you need the occasional visit home to reboot. Family is invaluable. And the friends you leave back home are some of the best you’ll ever have. Maintaining these friendships have remained so important to me because I have made some of the best of friends in that crazy city.

When I first moved here I felt like Maryland and everyone there didn’t exist anymore, as if I left and moved into another world. It was the strangest feeling. Visiting home and seeing my people helps me refrain from feeling that way.

And of course I get the occasional dad and gramma selfie just so I know she’s okay. These photos make me smile from ear to ear, knowing she can still have a good time despite the nursing home life at 84.