Rucksack Magazine reached out to me while they were preparing their “Pursuit” Issue to write a little essay for them. Fun fact about me – I actually worked as a sports journalist before becoming a full time wedding photographer. I love writing and this was a great opportunity to share a bit about my story and my journey from the heart of Europe all the way to Portland Oregon.
Full story down bellow.
Danger called Dreams
It was beautiful weather outside; the sun setting behind the trees in the distance. Instead of enjoying the sunset in a nearby forest, something I always like to do to take a break from the chaos, I was stuck in my room. I was tired, drained and worn out after more than a year of planning and organizing a move taking me across the entire world.
Then it happened. Out of nowhere, I received an email of my residency approval and I fell into shock. Sometimes you just know your next adventure is not just another adventure; sometimes you know it’s for life. And sometimes you have to explain that to your mother; that she’ll only see you, see her grandchildren on Skype, or in person a couple of times a year. That kind of adventure.
I’ve never felt a stronger sense of purpose than I did in that very moment; when I first read that email as it pinged into my inbox that sunny evening. All that time and effort, all that money, all those relationships left behind, all for an investment in chasing this silly dream. All that risk. And just like that, when everything was set and I was ready to go, it was all worth it. I realized that it felt completely right. I swore in that moment I would never doubt the voice inside my heart again. I cried, journaled and prayed. I said goodbyes, and packed my bags. Within a week I was at my friends house in southeast Portland, paying him cash for a broken old Jeep before heading to Ikea to buy a mattress for my new place.
Beginnings are always challenging. I moved so fast; I had to. It was already summer and I had adventures planned, places to discover, photos to take, people to meet and projects to start. I dived right in without taking much time to process it all. Distracted by the natural beauty of the northwest in the best way possible, my eyes slowly started to open up to this new reality I’d chosen for myself. It’s so easy to be spoilt in Oregon with all its green beauty; it feels like I’m always on a forest walk or a beach watching a sunset. This time, though, I don’t have to travel anywhere to experience it, it’s one giant forest after all. With volcanos sticking out of the trees every few hundred miles and lakes angled so perfectly you always see two mountains instead of just one. A gift, I believe, from the Creator. Who would mind a little bit of rain, after all every plant needs to be nourished.
Throughout my life, the idea of pursuit has always been something to strive for. I’ve quit schools, jobs, projects and hobbies in the past if I’ve felt there has been a voice on the other side calling for a new adventure. This one though, moving from the very heart of Europe to the Pacific Northwest, this one was different. For so many years I was scared that, deep down, my intentions to move were simply selfish desires. Desires to see amazing places and do amazing things? Maybe. A desire to escape a world I was never fully connected with? Maybe. More than anything, though, a desire to find a mountain, climb it, conquer it, look around, feel grateful and find a new one, before doing the same thing all over again. All the while sharing it with others, showing them both sides of chasing dreams and passions, and hopefully inspiring them to do the same.
It has taken some time, but I’ve realized there is nothing selfish in that. When there’s a calling, whether big or small, there needs to be an action. Even if it’s a type of calling you don’t fully understand in that very moment. Maybe it’s not even a calling just yet; maybe all you have is just a small push, a passion that keeps you up at night, a dream that keeps coming back or a thought that makes you smile. A desire to pursue, to discover what the maker of the universe prepared for you on the other side, hiding it from you until the time is right. A seed sown inside of you that grew into a passion so big that you, eventually, can’t ignore. Our hearts don’t lie and we have to listen.
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