Waking up at 4am to climb a mountain is my kind of jam, and luckily I have friends who don’t mind to tag along. This was only the beginning of what would turn in to a 10-hour day traversing a beautiful ridgeline covered in tons of fresh snow, all under a perfectly blue sky.
When I drove though the heart of the Canadian Rockies on my birthday, 1,5 years ago, and saw Castle Mountain rise beside the road in Banff National Park for the first time, I fell in love. It sometimes makes me wonder how many car accidents are actually caused by the simple beauty of these mountains…
The pain associated with getting up at 6 in the morning is rapidly eased when this is what meets you outside the door.
I spent some magical days in a tiny Italian village on a hill near San Miniato earlier this year. I have always dreamt about experiencing the true countyside life of Tuscany and by meeting Daniele, another rock climbing globetrotter, with his roots deep down in the Tuscan soil, I suddenly found myself living that dream. Fantastic locally grown food and wine, gorgous views and lovely people – Just what I imagined, only slightly better.
Happiness is when late October delivers 18 degrees and sunshine. I got into may car as soon as I was off work, drove into the uncivilized Kananaskis Country south of Canmore and climbed a mountain. There is something so satisfying about the sound of nothing but the wind and the birds.
When I thought I could never get enough of the stunning peaks surrounding Banff, then suddenly they doubled. Soon enough snow will be covering the ground but this month has delivered sunshine and colors beyond my expactations and I’m loving it.
I love this place. And I love how the randomness of travel brought me here through friends I made in Central America. A place I probably would not have been taking the time to get to know if it wasn’t for that little coincidence. Spent quite some time here last summer and another week around midsummer this year, which is when I snapped this photo.
Such a beautiful part of the world, both for its nature and people.
I love September. The air, the light, the temperature. Just what I was designed for. What better way to enjoy this month than being taught how to multi-pitch climb under a big, blue, beautiful sky, surrounded by snow covered peaks? If I could marry a country I’d be very likely to pick Canada, holy shit I love it here.
About six weeks ago I thought I was going to die from frustration. I wanted to start working and got a surprising amount of cool job offers but the work permit just kept on taking forever to get ready. I’ve applied for a few study and work visas before in my life but I’ve never expereinced a slower process than in Canada, not even near. Something to keep in mind if a year of working and traveling in Canada is on your wish list – Apply. In. Effing. Time. Unless you’re Australian!
However, looking back at it all I would not have wanted my summer to turn out in a different way. When I realized I still had weeks of waiting ahead of me I left my river raft guiding friends behind in Canmore and took off to Golden. After a massive improvised detour up to stunning Jasper and then down to a boiling hot Kamloops, that is.
I spent about a month in Golden last year but after coming back this time I realized I had only scratched the surface of what the place really has to offer. I’m deeply in love with it’s people and surroundings. Especially the Blaeberry Valley, a 15 minute drive from dowtown, where I found myself living among buffaloes and wildlife, waking up gazing at mountains in every direction, the sun my only alarm clock.
The Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch is the name of this magic spot, where I’ve been helping the ranch owner and buffalo expert Leo as a photographer and a little of everything in exchange for wonderful, local, organic food, and the best bedroom the Rockies has to offer, if you ask me.
Now my frustration has shifted to another issue; The fact that not even a lifetime, or five, will be enough to fully explore all the beauty this part of the world has to offer. Knowing that I’ll have at least a little over a year from now on to work on it makes me pretty darn happy though.
Not long ago I witnessed what must have been the most mesmerizing moonrise in my entire life. I had just finished off (I thought) one busy evening chasing the light along highway 93 between Lake Louise and Jasper when I turned left and drove down towards the lodge next to Bow Lake.
I literally screamed out loud in a mix of amazement, happiness, panic and excitement when I saw what was about to happen. The full moon rising behind this purple tinted peak of the Rockies as the sun splashed its last bit of light on it.
On my last attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean around midsummer, the employees at the airline company I was supposed to fly with decided it was time to strike for better working conditions. Fair enough, but when I got these news I was greatly looking forward to be back in Canada two days later, so I freaked out a little.
However, flexible as I am most of the time it turned out that they could reschedule me to fly out that same evening, “but unfortunately”, as they put it, I would have to spend two nights in Reykjavik before I could continue on to Vancouver. Unfortunately my ass, I was beyond excited and told them to reschedule me right away. A free trip to Iceland!!!!!
The two days that followed I got to experience the night life scene of the capital, hitchhike the entire Golden Circle, feel the heat in one of many geothermal hot springs and generally fall in love in this rather small but highly fascinating and friendly nation in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. So wild and untamed…
Sure thing is, I will be back for way longer next time.
Landscapes of amazing colors
Hiker at Þingvallavatn
The rift valley of Þingvallavatn, where two continents drift apart
I ventured off to Calgary earlier this week to pick him up. A Canon EOS 6D. Full frame. My dream camera, finally mine. Some people may wanna assure they have a job and some sort of income before they burn their last bit of savings, but too much safety was never my thing.
Here’s a couple of our first performances together. Expect many more to come.
Especially when the view changes every other night or so.
I’ve been reunited with my dear mobile home and spent the last few days around different lakes in a sunny northern Idaho. Reading, swimming, meeting new people, drinking whiskey, watching the stars… A feeling of freedom that everybody should get to expercience on a daily basis. I might be crazy poor measured in money, but I’m in love with my life.
I’ve never really been that tempted to travel around Europe. Being from the same part of the world, it always felt like my backyard. An unexotic place, (too) easily reached by a short flight. But years of traveling to faraway lands have brought me perspectives and slowly changed my way of looking at it. Especially last year, while voyaging from the Peruvian Andes to the Canadian Rockies during 11 months.
The stunnigly beautiful Andes in Peru. The start of one long, mind-opening journey.
There are similarities in between the European countries for sure and Madagascar will always be more exotic than Slovenia to me, but my previous assumption that there wouldn’t be much of interest for me in Europe has heavily been disproved.
I left Canada last fall to spend a couple of months home with friends and family with the intention to head back after Christmas. Somehow that didn’t happen I ended up on a last minute flight down to Málaga in Spain. That was the beginning of four amazing months in the same backyard I’d previously neglected.
As always, I’m beyond grateful for all the experiences I’ve gained and beautiful moments I’ve created with people I’ve met along the way. I wouldn’t change my decision to stick around in Europe for anything in the world.
Now I’m sitting in the airport in a rainy Reykjavik, watching the raindrops slowly slide down on the other side of the window. Time has come to finally head back to life as I left it in Canada. I don’t know a lot about what’s going to happen over there, but I’m beyond excited.
So long, Europe, it’s been a pleasure.
Below, a little collection of photos from Budapest, one of many great, impovised nights, with equally great people.
Pola and Dan
Sunrise and left-over beer
Buda and Pest
What to do when your energy fades and the hostel is too far away
That slightly euphoric feeling when your biggest passion in life finally pays off. First travel photography assignment sealed and done. Thanks for the light show Italy, and to all of you who believe in me.
After one rainy but great last night in Barcelona, drinking Sangria with new found friends until the early morning hours, I packed my backpack and left the pickpocket capital of Europe behind. Pockets intact.
One week in Spain quickly turned into two, then four, then suddenly two months. Time will probably never be enough, and that’s why we need to make the most out of it. Thanks for this time Spain, the memories, the climbing, the wine, the tapas.. it’s been beyond fabulous.
Last week I was helping out at a local tourist activity center in Costa Blanca, Spain. One morning when I went to feed the animals this colorful guy pulled off an extended show to impress his one and only lady. While she didn’t really seem to give a shit and rather focused on her breakfast, I partly died from fascination. I’ve seen peacocks before but never from such a close up perspective. His feathers were litterally in my face but he acted as if I didn’t excist, a photographer’s dream.