When I think about travel and its impact on my career, I think travel taught me how to observe. My parents would take my brother and I to Egypt frequently. I didn’t know what was going on half the time, but I had to pick up things quickly. I became a pretty good observer at 6 or 7 years old. And that’s a lot of what I do in my films. It’s a humbling position to watch and pick up context, especially when you don’t know a language and have to figure things out as you go. I had to focus on other things. I would focus on social cues, body language and gestures. I think that’s what travel did for me. It opened up my understanding of how people communicate. It was the first time I was put in the observer position because I was no longer the center of attention at such a young age. I had to watch other people.
Heidi Saman — Short Journeys