Less than a year ago, I decided to spend a month in Alaska, and a good friend asked me,
“Are you going to blog about your experiences?”
Although I documented my work through photographs, video and writing, I opted not to blog about it. Blogging requires a constant connection to your audience, the internet, and the organization of your work. I didn’t have any of that. At that time, I was working ten to twelve-hour days on a semi-remote farm in north-central Alaska, with no electricity, and spending a lot of time outside or on the road. I kept notes by hand and took a lot of photos. I released small media harvests over time, on the occasional day off, holed up in a coffee shop for hours, waiting for slow uploads over crowded WIFI.
But life became so alluring in Alaska that I decided to stay. I moved to Anchorage, took a different job, found a housemate, and made fresh tracks in a spellbinding environment. I learned to ski, to climb rock and ice, and camp in the snow. Without a car, I got by with a mountain bike through my first Alaskan winter. I made friends who liked to ramble and began to travel more often and farther than ever. We climbed mountains, frozen waterfalls, glaciers, crags and trees. We hiked and biked and skied and swam. We drank Alaskan barley wine and supped on halibut, coaxed blazing campfires over snow out of damp branches and told stories scented by the woodsmoke. Life was too captivating to stop and blog about it. I was still trying to figure everything out and take some good photos along the way.
Now things are different. Today is the last official day of my day job until the school year starts up again in mid-August. It’s taken me from July 2014 to May 2015 to get to a point both personally and professionally, from which I can create a public record of my experiences. And just in time, too, because I’m about to venture farther and more ambitiously than ever before in the coming summer months. After musing over how to keep track of my experiences as a writer and photographer, I decided to invest in a travel laptop and start a blog for friends and family, to develop my art and create a coherent reflection of my travels and the people whose story I share.
My itinerary takes me east to Valdez, back to Anchorage, north to Fairbanks, then out of Alaska altogether. I’m traveling with my bicycle, which I’ve never done before, so the logistics are new for me. I’m returning to the Alps, visiting friends in Switzerland and Germany, studying in Freiburg, working near Basel and adventuring by bike, train, bus, ferry and boot leather through Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Iceland. This is a record of that journey.