The question I get most is, what place do you like the most? It is one of those easy questions that always makes me look like an idiot.
"Um, good question. Norway. Or maybe Ireland. Austria is beautiful. Er, but the Canadian Rockies. No, wait, New Zealand, or New York, or Sydney, or Tokyo or London, or you know what is unbeatable? Yosemite, or Glacier, or the Tetons. I guess, as probably doesn't need to be said after all of the blathering, I have a hard time deciding."
After this or similar monologue, I am usually met with best efforts of acting like I am not a split personality.
The problem is that we love wherever we are. I don't know how to express it any better than that. I always threaten mental cliche when I try. "We live in the moment," is the usual crap that sprouts.
There are definite challenges to how we have lived our last year. We have been through monsoons and blizzards, ice storms and heat waves. We have been together for all except two weeks. I do not mean together as in we are live at the same address, with school and work, and life to separate us.
I mean we have lived in the same space; tent or car or cramped hotel room.
We have home schooled our children. We have driven 24 hours without stopping except to fill up. We have boarded a plane after 36 hours of being stuck. Not being with extended family has been hard.
But, what life is not is monotonous. We have been in 27 states, 4 provinces, 19 countries and 4 continents. We have driven over 30,000 miles and flown even more. We have gone to sleep in a different place than we woke up one out of three days. At times, I have struggled to remember if I am in Atlanta or Austria, California or Calgary.
We have climbed mountains, trekked across prairies. We have bathed in hot natural water, and freezing rivers. We have enjoyed both the rising and setting of the sun over the Atlantic Ocean, and likewise over the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea. We have dipped out toes into the Indian Ocean and the Norwegian Sea.
Most of all though, we have been among friends.
In Norway, we met a sweet woman who had been on the Norwegian tourism board. She asked how I found Norwegians. I replied, "Warm, and open." She thought that I was putting her on. Norwegians are closed and private, she informed.
But, we are fortunate. We were invited into Norwegian homes, and supped with one of the nicest families that we have met.
We love photography. We love making pictures. But we really truly love the doorways that photography opens. There is something so intimate and intense about taking pictures. We count among our close friends Americans, Norwegians, Irish, English, Canadians, Austrians, French, Japanese, New Zealanders and Australians. I do not mean casual acquaintances, I mean friends. True friends. As in, try to shake us. We dare you.
It is freaky, really. We have had homes opened to us in all of these places. We have shared meals, and stories, and lodging and kinship.
It has been an amazing time. Thank you for sharing it with us.
What Norway looks like in June:
BLUE LILY | Lifestyle Photographer | Salt Lake City, Utah