Knowing about something and experiencing it are two completely different things. You can know about ice cream, for example, but knowing about it doesn’t equate to experiencing it’s smooth texture and creamy flavor. I’m all about the experience when it comes to nature. I don’t want to just know about things. I don’t want to just see a picture of it. I don’t want to just view it from afar. I want to experience it. I recently went hiking with some friends. As we hiked along the canyon floor, we came to a place where you could take short trek down an adjoining ravine. You climb up some rocks and into a 20-foot-wide gorge with a stream at the bottom, doggy paddle across a small pool, carefully maneuver the shallow water by balancing against the ever narrowing rock walls, go around a corner, and end up at a waterfall. I didn’t want to just know about the waterfall. I didn’t want to just see it from afar. I wanted to experience it. I wanted to feel it’s mist hitting my face. The pulsing of the water as it rushed from the falls and over my feet and legs. The sunlight […]
Travel & Adventure
Your friend comes back from traveling abroad and you sit down together at a coffee shop, freshly brewed lattes in hand. And then comes the age-old, well-meaning (but dare I say, dreaded?) question: “So, how was your trip?” I’m not bashing the question – I fully understand that it’s the first one that naturally comes to mind. I still catch myself asking it from time to time! But let’s be honest here – it’s broad and hard to answer. So much happens on trips to another country, and asking a question like that can leave people unsure of what to share and wondering if you are just looking for a general answer like, “It was good!” so that you can move the conversation along to another topic. Perhaps they were studying abroad, on vacation, doing a short-term missions trip, or away for a longer period of time. No matter what the reason was, traveling to another country and experiencing a new culture can be quite difficult to process, let alone summarize in a few sentences. As their friend, I’m sure you genuinely want to know how their trip was – you don’t just want a generic answer. And I’m sure […]
Right before the New Year I attended my first South African wedding. It was beautiful. And attending the wedding turned into being the wedding photographer with a few hours notice. So, I also photographed my first South African wedding. It was an adventure. I’ve been looking for new opportunities to learn more about the culture. However, I didn’t quite expect it to happen this way. As a photographer, I’ve photographed a few weddings over the past year or two. I know the general layout of a traditional American ceremony – what happens when, what details are important, etc. But this…this was a whole new culture. And to be honest, I was nervous because I had no idea what the order of events was or what details were important to capture. It basically boiled down to the fact that I felt like I had absolutely no idea what I was doing or where I was supposed to be at any given moment! And yet as soon as the festivities began, it was so easy to get caught up and swept along in the excitement and beauty of the day. Worry fell by the wayside as the moments unfolded with bursts of color, smiles […]
One year ago I wouldn’t have guessed that everything would be changing in 2017. Little did I know that something new was on the horizon. Little did I know that my Iowa roots were going to be transplanted to soil nearly 10,000 miles away. Little did I know that I would be so excited for this change to come. Sometimes new things are exciting. Other times they completely freak me out. But most of the time it’s a mix of the two – and both of them are simultaneously flooding my mind at the moment. You see, I’m moving to South Africa in a few months. Ever since coming back from doing a 5 month Discipleship Training School in South Africa in 2013, there was a part of me that simply knew that I would be back. I had no idea when, where, or for how long, but I knew that my feet would walk on African soil again at some point. During the years that followed I kept my eyes open for possible opportunities, but I didn’t realize that I was also getting quite comfortable and settled into life in small-town Iowa. It was during this time that I […]
The point of this post is quite simple…sending some smiles your way! A common situation I found myself in while in Africa was at the center of a mob of smiling, giggling children. Their joy was so innocent. Beautifully simplistic. And quite contagious. So today I’m sending some of it your way… Happy Monday!