Juxtaposition

Something that I’ve always noticed while traveling abroad is the collision of the familiar and the exotic. Here in Iceland, I’ll be in the middle of a landscape that looks like a completely different planet, and then ten minutes later I find myself driving along a road that could be in the middle of Wisconsin (if it weren’t for the soaring mountains in the background, of course). It’s a weird feeling to get a jolt of comfort while driving across a foreign country thousands of miles away from home. On this trip, my friend Elena and I have run into a surprisingly large amount of people with connections to the Midwest or to people we know from all over the United States. An example: just this afternoon we met a man and his wife from Seattle who are good friends with the father of a girl I worked with at summer camp a few years back. We spent a half an hour talking to them next to – get this –  a glacier lagoon at the base of a mountain range on Iceland’s south coast. I kept stepping back to shoot photos and take in the surreality of my surroundings as opposed to the conversation that was being held. It was a good reminder that the largeness of the world shrinks whenever you take the time to say hello.