Hometown: Lancaster, S.C.
Favorite place she’s traveled: Dublin, Ireland
Before her first birthday, Rebecca Johnson had already traveled out of her home state of
South Carolina. Her family took frequent trips all across the country, she said, and as of today she’s been to 49 states, with only Hawaii remaining.
Johnson said her travels have taught her that no matter how many unique places she’s been to, people all seem to have similar experiences. “You can travel all across the country, and there’s still familiarity there; it’s the same with people, too,” she said.
She sees more similarities than differences in people, she said. Through writing and photography, she said, she tries to bring people together by framing these commonalities in order to show the breadth of human experience. “I want to make the world smaller so that people can see just how large it is,” she said.
She has traveled to 29 countries, stretching across every continent except South America, Africa and Antarctica. She’s never been afraid to travel alone, and that confidence and independence is her greatest journalistic strength, she said.
While in the Czech Republic she had an internship with Transitions Online where she wrote, edited and published daily news stories related to post-communist countries in the area. She said the social and political environment there made her focus more on journalists’ role as a watchdog.
She decorates a wall in her bedroom with pictures she’s taken from the places she’s visited, and she wants to travel more after graduation to expand her collage. She said she loves how photography can capture texture and emotions that may be difficult to convey in words, and that by keeping these pictures she can relive her favorite moments abroad.
“You live every moment twice as a writer and photographer,” she said.
– Damian Dominguez