Story Behind the Photos: Featured Gallery: Home Towns

Saguaros, brooms, bicycle bells, trees, tulips, a caribou, a cat or two…all elements of my home towns.

Thus, the current featured gallery is filled with images of places I have called home.

For this gallery, the images are from a few of the places I have had an address so, enjoy some  images from South Korea, Arizona, Denmark, Amsterdam, Alaska, California and Greece.

I have had the privilege of moving around with my husband’s work. We pack up after a couple of years or 3, maybe 4 and start building a life in a new place. 

Many have asked, ‘where have you most enjoyed living?” This is a tough question as I have enjoyed the people everywhere and aspects of every place I have lived. Now, I condense my memories to this:

*Alaska: for sheer natural beauty in all seasons

*South Korea: for experiencing a culture so different from my own

*Greece: where we left our hearts

I will wax a bit on each!

We moved to Anchorage, Alaska in December of 1993 after driving from Phoenix, Arizona (about 3750 miles/6035 km). I had never spent much time in snow or cold weather before so this was an adventure—learning to drive in such weather (thank you Subaru for the assurance of all wheel drive!), following the daily count of daylight hours (how many minutes do we lose or gain today?), getting outside to do something everyday despite the weather (that’s what the Alaskan’s do!). We left in Anchorage in 1997 and returned to Fairbanks (much farther north than Anchorage) 12 years later (driving again but in the summer). For both cities, winter weather is serious and something you respect—and it is long. It is magical however to walk out your door and feel like you are in a snow globe on days when there is ice fog and the crystals are reflecting the sunshine! In the summer, seemingly endless daylight gives you time to explore the giant vegetables that benefit from the longer growing hours. In the brief autumn, the spectra of colors is almost too intense as the tundra turns red, birch trees show their yellow leaves and the greens all around are at their peak and animals are fat and ready for hibernation. Spring time brings mosquitoes, wildflowers and baby wildlife!

Seoul, South Korea has been our home town twice. I had never lived outside of the US (though some consider Alaska “overseas”) but on the third day after our arrival, I walked out of our hotel and said, “I’m going to miss this place some day” and it is so true. Everyday seemed to bring something new to me; granted, they were not all welcome as often happens when confronted with culture shock (“I just want to make a phone call!” I moaned one day; this was in the 90s when calls were a bit more difficult than now). I loved exploring in the city—seeing new ways of life: motorcycles piled high with goods to transport, street food, giant markets for food, clothing, textiles or whatever, learning a public transit system, and learning how to communicate across languages—many times funny and many times frustrating for both of us. The Koreans are amazing, welcoming people and I loved calling it home.

Greece is where we left our hearts. Why? Perhaps because we really immersed ourselves as we lived in a small Greek village and made an effort to learn to speak, read and write Greek. We made friends we continue to meet after 10 years. The country is beautiful and the people so giving and welcoming. You can read more about my love of Greece (add link to post)

My current home town is Amsterdam, Netherlands—often called “Venice of the North” with it’s numerous canals. Another place to call my home town on a list of lovely places. 

Where have I found mia kali thea (a good view) in these places? 

In the smiles from people I met and the images created exploring my hometown. Explore the gallery called Home Town. (Link or make “hometown” the link)

Hometown is often defined as where people are born or where they live; it’s also a place from which we go. Because “home” is part of the word, there may also be a feeling of attachment or sentimentality and fond memories to a “hometown” but this is not true for everyone. 

For others, home may not exist and, therefore, is a place for which they long. Their hometown is not filled with happy memories and is simply a place to leave or even a place from which they’ve been taken. Mia Kali Thea (a good view) seeks to support organizations rescuing & restoring trafficked peoples to find a home where they are supported and from which they can gain strength and encouragement. ‘Sounds like a good definition of “home-town!”

What does “hometown” mean to you? 

And, as always, today, where will you find mia kali thea?

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