January 9, 2013 In life

United Kingdom Reminiscing

In the summer between my Grade 11 and Grade 12 years (the same summer I started my business), my parents took us to Europe. For almost three weeks, we traveled through Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, France,  and England. For years I had dreamed about Europe, specifically seeing the coast of Italy and the city of Paris. It was an incredible trip, truly the trip of a lifetime–so thankful for my parents and the value we’ve placed on traveling in our home. Not many girls have their seventeenth birthday dinner on Montmartre. I came home from Europe in August a different girl. Yes, I was seventeen and no longer sixteen, but it more than my age had changed. I saw God’s incredible hand in creation–art and culture and food and people!–miles away from my hometown. Maybe it was simply coincidental timing, but looking back on little seventeen year old Jamie, I really do see my heart for  God growing through those travel experiences.

Fast forward four years later. I traveled all over Canada and the United States for photography work and conferences or heck, any excuse to visit industry friends I had made all over. Even at seventeen, I knew Europe would be more than a one-time deal for me (I was a dreamer. And I am a dreamer.) but I never knew when and under what circumstances my “someday” return would be. Until the Spring of 2011. My dad was going on a Missions trip to Zambia with our church, and in order to use his British Airways points, needed to fly to London earlier than the team. His plan was to tour alone for 2-3 days, meet up with the men, fly to Africa. I asked if I could come. I could hang out with him; and when he left for Africa, I could stay for a few days in London by myself and fly home. Or… maybe I could find a travel partner (sometimes easier said than done) and continue onto Scotland and Ireland.

I emailed Kristen and said, Hi. I know this is crazy. But I want to see Ireland and Scotland. And I don’t have anyone to go with. And I know it’s a big expensive trip and I know you’ve been traveling a lot and probably don’t want to come, but if you do, great, but mainly I thought you might have some ideas of who else to ask. She emailed back, YES. I’M IN. I was very surprised. But in hindsight, it makes so so so much sense. God has the best plans. A few months post-email, Kristen and Caleb start dating. We left for the United Kingdom one week later. Now, less than two years later, she’s married (read her blog here) and pregnant (read about that here) and would be in no shape to hop around the U.K. with me. We had a window of single-travel-happy years together and gosh-darn-it, we used them WELL.

In all seriousness, those 3 days in London (with my Mom and Dad) and 9 days in Scotland and Ireland (with Kristen) were… incredible. Incredible is a weak word to describe 12 days full of laughs and adventures and food and walking and photographs. As part of my winter project line-up, I designed and printed this Blurb book of our time together. And as a Christmas gift, I customized one for Kristen (complete with a collage on the last few pages of ALL her iPhone photos she snapped non-stop, girl barely picked up an actual camera–actually don’t think she brought one) and mailed it to her in Maryland.

I want to share the printed album with you and therefore give myself a legitimate excuse to reminisce. So here we go. One of the best parts of our travels was the amount of writing I was able to do. I wrote almost 2 hours a day.

London
1. Doing What You Want
2. Forgetting to Breathe

Scotland
1. Today in Edinburgh
2. Adventures in Edinburgh
3. The Train Story (a personal favourite of mine)
4. Strolling through St. Andrews

Ireland

1. Joy of all Joys
2. Observations in Belfast (Part One)
3. Observations in Belfast (Part Two)
4. Roslynn’s Maternity Portraits
5. Observations in Belfast (Part Three)
6. A Quiet Weekend in Dublin

Enjoy. :)

PS. I plan to blog about all albums seen in the first photo.
P.P.S. Books were printed at Blurb.Com // As mentioned in the last paragraph. Buuuut, judging by emails and comments – it seems to have been overlooked! Enjoy!

  • AMAZING – I just pm’d you!

  • Love this!! It’s amazing how much you’ve been able to travel. One question, who do you go through for your photobooks?

  • Scratch that Jamie – I just read more closely: Blurb :)

  • wow. I’m constantly amazed at all the beautiful places in the world God created for His glory & for us to enjoy! the blurbs look amazing, btw:) my family is taking a trip this summer before both of us daughters leave the nest. we’re for sure going to Spain to visit friends there but are trying to decide between Ireland & Greece. HOW. So many wonderful places! Love “seeing” your travels, friend, and the images you bring home!

  • Kathryn Powell

    Wow so lovely! What would you say is your go to lens for travel?

  • i’ve been reading your blog for a couple months now but finally decided to post a comment. your writing and photos are so beautiful, please keep doing what you do and stay in vancouver so that you can take my engagement and wedding photos when that time comes for me :)

    ps: i think we may have met before. i was a hostess at shaughnessy restaurat for a wedding dinner that you photographed way back in september

  • I don’t know how I missed this post before, I totally love your blurb books! During this winter down time it’s my goal to make books like these for each year, starting with 2010. A daunting task, but I want to start doing that every year!

  • So I’ve been thinking about making some albums myself with my free time this summer, but I want them to be nice. I remembered how amazing yours were on your blog! What size did you get? What size would you recommend? thanks!