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Conquering My Mountains

Sarah Miyahara
December 23, 2016

This past year has been one of the hardest for me, and to be completely honest, I didn’t know how I would get through it. Living with an anxiety disorder and depression left me lost and helpless. I couldn’t recognize myself, and I couldn’t even recall anything that could possibly bring me joy. I was so empty, hollow, and doubted myself in every possible way.

I know I’ve come back home better than when I left it 4 months ago. I have a better sense of self and self-confidence that I lacked prior to my stay in Morocco. I have found a change in myself and a newfound joy in life that I never want to lose. My time in Morocco was a time for me to become isolated from everything, which is exactly what I needed to come into my own and find myself.

Some of my fondest memories from Morocco came from times spent outdoors; particularly hiking in the mountains. Whilst hiking the Rif Mountains, all I could remember thinking was how incredible these mountains were, and how amazingly different this country was. My mind wandered to a humbling sense of gratitude to have been able to live in such an incredible place for 4 months, and merely a year ago, I had been in an entirely different mindspace. I’m so proud of how far I have come in bettering myself and learning to put myself, and my health, above all else. In that moment, I was happy, and I couldn’t remember the last time I had felt that way.

Though my personal process of self-discovery and self-help has been long and hard, it was in this moment that I truly realized how far I had come and actually started to believe in my own capabilities again. Which, is why I decided to get a tattoo in remembrance. I wanted something permanent to remind me not only of my incredible 4 months living abroad, but also of myself, my progress, my strength, and my journey. I never want to forget that feeling of pure happiness that I’d lacked for so long. I have found a change in myself and a newfound joy in life that I never want to lose. Morocco has helped me rediscover myself in a way I never thought possible.

Thank you, Morocco, for reminding me of all I am capable of. Thank you for proving to me that there is always something to look forward to, and a better day is always coming, regardless of how impossible that may seem. Thank you for giving me a source of joy I no longer thought was possible. I am so grateful to have had such a transformative experience with the most incredible people.

Until next time, Morocco; thank you for everything.

“It is not the mountains we conquer, but ourselves”


Sarah Miyahara

<p>Hello! I&#39;m Sarah Miyahara; originally Southern born, California raised, Chicago educated, and now Morocco living! Taking a break from life at Loyola University Chicago where I study International Studies, Political Science, and Peace Studies, to spend my first semester of my junior year abroad. I&#39;ve always loved photography, particularly because it&#39;s the only art I&#39;ve ever been good at, and now I can&#39;t wait to share my photos with you!</p>

2016 Fall
Home university:
Loyola University Chicago
International Studies
Political Science
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