I had what many would call an idyllic childhood growing up on the family farm in southern Manitoba. Acres and acres to roam free and play. Aunts, uncles, cousins and good friends down the road. We knew everyone. And we trusted everyone.
And that’s the way it should be. If I ever have kids, I want the same for them.
But this meant we also had a sheltered life. In high school I came to realize there was a great big world outside southern Manitoba, and I wanted to see it. I ended up backpacking in western Europe, New Zealand and Australia. But first I found myself in Indiana.
Because of our close proximity to the United States growing up, we spent quite a bit of time there. So I wasn’t too concerned about moving to Indiana. But as my mom and brother drove down the cobblestone street to drop me off at the big old red house that would be my new temporary home, I felt some apprehension.
It was here I met several awesome people I’m proud to call good friends. Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people – in my travels, places of work, volunteer commitments and communities I’ve lived in. Unfortunately, many of these people came into my life and then disappeared not long after. It’s not easy keeping in touch with people. Life gets busy and making that call, typing that email or sending that text, gets pushed aside. And social media has proven to be a double-edged sword. While it has made it much easier to keep in touch with people, it’s also given us an excuse not to because we can claim to keep up with everyone’s lives simply by reading their social media posts.
While I pride myself at being good at keeping in touch with people, in all honestly there are certain people I make more of an effort with – those people you feel a special connection with. And two of those friends I met during my time in Indiana. While I’ve seen them both since our Indiana days, I was over the moon to travel to Scandinavia this summer and see them both.
My good friend Josefin got married in her hometown in northern Sweden, and my good friend Kristen from Florida met me there for the wedding. Unfortunately, having friends in other countries and provinces means you rarely see them, which made this trip even more special.
I began my trip in northern Sweden for the wedding, and then travelled back down to Stockholm for a few days. From there I took the train to Oslo, Norway to visit another friend. Finally I ventured out on my own and did a fjord tour through part of Norway ending up in the seaside city of Bergen.
While I love travelling and seeing the world, I’m always happy to return home to the Canadian Prairies. I’m very thankful to be able to travel, but even more thankful that I grew up in what I believe to be the best place in the world. After all, nothing beats a Prairie sunset!
Of course I took way too many photos along the way – here are a few.