Outside of the tiny town of El Bolsón in the Argentine Patagonia, five hours down a rocky path to a canyon in the Andes Mountain range, I met an 18-year-old Hawaiian girl named Julia Douglas.
Julia is a tall girl with cropped blonde hair and sharp blue eyes. She’s quick-witted, incredibly well read and she smiles totally unreserved, like she’s never tried not to.
Julia didn’t follow the prescribed trajectory of entering university right after high school. The year before I met her, she was finishing up her senior year and working the night shift at a McDonald’s in Honolulu. She worked from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. during the school week with the express purpose of saving enough money to last somewhere for a year on her own. While friends packed dorm kits, Julia loaded a backpack.