29 June 2011


It's not the climax you might expect, but Kristin and I are going home. And not home as in house, but as in America (specifically, Chicago).The international travel is ending. But the world tour continues. We have at least another six weeks to travel around the US before we arrive at our even more specific home, California.

And then we have a lifetime together to make our home home.

It's too early to write a summary of our world journey or make grand proclamations of what we've learned. We can't tell you what we'll be doing next, though we are both actively applying for jobs. We don't know where we'll be living. The future is very much up in the air.

But I can tell you one thing. Wherever you find me, you will find a smile on my face and joy in my eyes. For next to me, undoubtedly, will be the love of my life. Without her, this journey wouldn't have had the same meaning, and likely wouldn't have happened.

And going home means something quite unique when she's been by my side this whole time. 

25 June 2011

Skiing Norway, Part 2

Let's take a little time machine back to May . . .

After our 16-day ski touring road trip through Western Norway (plus a few days in Oslo) in early May, Kristin and I flew to Tromso, which lies well into Arctic Circle, even further north than Murmansk, Russia.

After two days of skiing with some new friends, Kristin and I rented car for two weeks. We lived out of the car (a late 1990's Honda Civic) and camped every night. 

We hiked every day, even the ski days, because the snow level was a few hundred meters above sea level.

We climbed some mountains.  

 We found some good snow and wonderful views. 

 We tried our best to stay healthy and warm, if not comfortable. This is supposed to be summer after all.

 This may not surprise you, but we climbed a mountain on the third anniversary of when we first started dating. It was a gorgeous route that crossed over a high lake-filled plateau and then skirted around a huge, smooth glacier (directly behind us in the photo). It was perhaps the most beautiful ski tour we did in Europe. And, it was a route that we tried that day before but turned around early because of weather. It was a meaningful summit, to return again and succeed, and to celebrate our love.

The year prior, we had climbed Peru's Mt. Chachani (6075 meters/ 19,931 feet) and hated it. Why? Because we walked up AND down, and wondered why the hell anyone would do that when you can SKI down!!! So here we were, one year later, having obviously learned our lesson.

And finally, we went to our most northernly point in our world journey, one tip of the Lyngen Peninsula. Here we camped near the beach and watched the sun tease the horizon. It was the season of the midnight sun. In our 2.5 weeks up north, the sun never set. This photo was taken at 1am and unfortunately, the sun is obscured by the clouds. However, the beauty is quite clear.

15 June 2011

Hello from Ireland

After 6 weeks of skiing in Norway (and not blogging about it), Kristin and I arrived in Dublin last week. My mom and her parents flew in and we immediately drove north to Donegal County. We have been eating well, hiking, riding horses, and enjoying the local pubs. My mom flies home tomorrow (sad face). I'll post more pictures and stories in the following two weeks. 

 Riding horses (Irish Cobbs) with my mom through the flowery fields of north Ireland.

 Our first "home" in Ireland - a "self-service cottage" in Donegal County. 

Closing down the bar in Letterfrack, Galway. Amazingly, my mom and I have been to the pubs four nights in a row. Neither of us like beer, but we've been introduced to Guinness with wee dash of black. This is Guinness beer with a black current juice, which makes bitter beer palatable for us!