Three hundred miles from the North Pole, the boat could go no further. "It's just ice and cold. Cold and ice. There's not a whole lot up there."
From the warmth of the Caribbean Islands to the frigid waters of eastern Russia, Vendor of the Week Gabriel Lorenzo has traveled far and wide. "I love it. I meet new people and it makes it so I don't want to sit and give up."
Most recently he traveled to Mexico. "I woke up one morning and said: 'I'm going to go somewhere again.' I'm spontaneous; I'll go whether I have money or not. I planned it out, bought some camping gear, and rode a bus down to the border. I hitchhiked across, didn't speak a lick of Spanish and sold jewelry along the way. I got a job in a backpacker hostel and met a lot of people from all over the world. I take it day by day, like I do here."
In Mexico he fashioned silver into jewelry, enriching his craft with knowledge from people he met. "The silver comes in long strands of different gauge. You braid or intertwine the silver and then you have a piece of metal, something flat, and you hammer it into each other."
For Lorenzo, art is a means of self-expression and realizing the possibilities inherent in his hands, heart and mind.
"It brings out potential in me I didn't know I had. I'm always finding I can do more things and better things. It's my way of talking without having to say a whole lot."
At the moment he sells Real Change in the streets of his birthplace, Seattle. "I grew up in and out of foster homes and ended up out on the street mainly due to medical issues. I have epilepsy and had a car run over my head and lung surgery so it's been hard to get a job that will take me on due to insurance policy issues. It's been difficult to find work but I have Real Change and it's been a godsend."
Lorenzo enjoys being in nature. "I can be at peace. I can be alone. I get creative and lost in thought. I just feel free."
He hopes eventually to go to South America, but in the near future is looking toward Montana. "If I can get somewhere I'm there, this is the only chance I got."