What is H(a)ere?

So what is h(a)ere?

H(a)ere came to be when I was translating the word “traveling” on Google and found this beautiful Maori verb: haere. I liked how it sounded classy and chill at the same time. But then I thought the word can be tweaked in some ways. I looked at the spelling and realized that if you take away the “a” in “haere”, you get the word “here” – the English adverb used to introduce something or to describe being present somewhere.

That was when the idea of how h(a)ere essentially describes this site hit me.

Some of you may have known “A Photographic Storyteller” – which has been a brilliant outlet for me to write about my travels and in turn, it has led me to certain opportunities I’m grateful for. h(a)ere is essentially the next chapter of it  – the chapter focused on more adventures, more food, more connection with more people, more stories, and – all in all – more travel.

If haere is the Maori word for “travel” then why is the “a” in parentheses?

The main purpose is that aside from travel, I will also feature content from places around where I live. Essentially, regardless of wherever I am – be it traveling or at home – I will always be present in the place and moment – “here”, wherever “here” is at the time and introduce the things I experience, see, and feel while in that place.

I travel and I’m “here” at wherever I’m traveling to. I’m back home and I’m “here” at home. I haere and I’m here. And that’s how h(a)ere came to be.

Who are you?

If you’ve read “A Photographic Storyteller” before, hello again to you! I’m glad you found me again here.

If you’re new to this site, hello! My name is Mary, a 22-year-old content writer/brand strategist and the lady behind the photos and words here. I’m a human being with immense wanderlust in my blood with a passion of immersing in and capturing the world around me through a camera viewfinder, scribbles on notebooks, absorbing conversations, and savoring different tastes of food and drinks. Also, I’m a Catholic who falls in love with God more as she experiences more things and my beliefs may show up from time to time in what I write. Don’t worry though, I won’t preach to you.

The love for traveling and exploring the world began pretty much when I was two, sat on my grandfather’s bed with an atlas propped open as well as photos of places from around the world, demanding him to tell me where everything was and what he could tell me about them. I grew up surrounded by travelers and naturally, was taken on adventures as well, growing wide-eyed at everything from excursions to grocery stores with my uncle to plane rides through mountains to Sumatra. With an upbringing of traveling rooted less on taking beautiful self-portraits and more on actually being there, I wanted to share that spirit of conscious and responsible travel with everyone.

I also have a knack of saying “yes” to too many things – which often leads to new adventures or at times simply too much stress – and I lack hand-eye-feet coordination. Essentially I am clumsy in every aspect of life – from walking on sidewalks to making decisions. But hey, where do you think do most of these things I experienced came from if it weren’t for saying “yes”?

I hope that I can change the world one day: that I’ll help bring peace in the world, be a voice of gender equality, change people’s mindsets about their own bodies, help people in their stressful times. But that sounds too ambitious for the time being so for now, I hope that I can remind you that the world is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people that we all need to explore.

So, my question to you now is are you haere? Whether it’s a yes or a no, the second question is one of utmost important: are you here?





E-mail: enquiry.storyofmary@gmail.com






2 thoughts on “What is H(a)ere?

    1. Well, I think you should keep just write about it. Life is too short to keep all those stuff for yourself. Free your mind and just write. 🙂


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