Beautifully Human / Mark Holcomb

Updated: Nov 27, 2020

We are starting a new weekly series today called Beautifully Human...

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Focusing on the beauty of humans and the power in their stories…

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Through telling their stories we hope to connect this world. To spread some love and humanity...

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To show a common thread of beautiful humans…

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This is my good friend Mark Holcomb and his story is incredible and powerful...

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Let’s all be beautifully human… 

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Subscribe to our blog and follow us on Instagram (@wanderlustmoonduo)  for our weekly Beautifully Human posts to hear other beautiful stories...

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Beautifully Human is now a podcast! Tune in to hear more beautiful stories!

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#beautifullyhuman #markholcomb #periphery #wanderlustmoonduo #stayhuman


Mark Holcomb / Austin, Texas



Tell me a story that shaped your life...


- Up until the age of 9, my family and I lived happily in the Philippines on a military base. In the summer of 1991, a nearby volcano called Mt. Pinatubo erupted. I vividly remember the enormous mushroom cloud of ash, the constant earthquakes for multiple days, the sun being blacked out by ash, and my family and I hiding under the table while our entire house shook and we lost electricity.

Even at 9, I realized what was happening was going to change things in our lives permanently. One of the most surreal things was venturing outside for the first time after the eruption and seeing mountains of ash piled up everywhere. It felt eerily akin to what seeing snow for the first time feels like. The eruption caused a withdrawal of most US military forces in the country, which resulted in me, my brother and mom having to be evacuated to the US.



Tell me a story that almost ruined your life…


- The fallout of the evacuation caused a rift in my parents' marriage, as my Dad stayed behind in the Philippines to assist in recovery efforts while my mom, Jeff and I relocated to the states. We grew apart as a family very quickly, and when my parents divorced in the following years, it destroyed me. I saw my family as perfect growing up, and this was the first glimpse I had in my life that things within my family were far from perfect.

It gave me this sadness I had never felt before; a sense of grief over losing what I thought was the ideal upbringing. We weren't rich or anything as kids, but I remember us being so happy. The energy in our household felt light, loving and open - and the events that the volcano set into motion just felt cruel and unfair. I think I grieved over my parents' separation for longer than I realized. In retrospect, it didn't come close to necessarily "ruining" my life but it gave me some weird hangups and baggage that I unknowingly carried with me for a long time.



Tell me a story that enriched your life…


- I moved to Spain from California in 1999 at the age of 17, as my stepdad, who was Navy, got stationed at a naval base in southern Spain called Rota. I was a shy, dorky awkward teenager - and I was terrified of living in such an unfamiliar place. When we got there, I wasn't open to meeting new people, I was resentful of having moved there and was just miserable at first. However, I soon began to realize that all of the other kids in my school were in the same boat: all military kids, fish out of water, nervous about living abroad, eager to ease those nerves with connection, and most importantly, none of us were in our comfort zone.

I came out of my shell, and for the first time in my life, I didn't feel awkward - I actually felt like a belonged and that I had a place in life. I also began to take guitar more seriously, and that helped me gain confidence for the first time in my life. I eventually met some of the most incredible people; the most important of which was my girlfriend whom I began dating in September of 2000. I'm married to her today.