Mars on the Road

Marmarah Similien had never been on a road trip.

“So we’re just gonna drive to another state?” Similien said when she learned her family would be hitting the open road.

She couldn’t believe it. She was excited by just the concept of a road trip.

Similien, who was born in Haiti, says road trips are a luxury in Haiti. While some can afford the cost and time road trips require, others like her family were too busy with work to take road trips.

When Similien emigrated to Boston, Massachusetts, she was 5 years old and shortly after arriving she was able to take her first road trip. She and her family went to Philadelphia to visit her aunt and uncle.

All along those 320 miles she’d ask her parents: “Where are we now? What’s this? What’s that? Can we stop and do something in whatever state we’re in?”

Similien said, “I liked just knowing we were crossing state lines.”

She was excited and looking forward to this journey, a far cry from her first few days in the United States, when she was so devastated about leaving Haiti she kicked and screamed at the airport before leaving her home country.