“That we leave our homes, that we step through our doors to the world, that we travel our whole lives not because we want to collect exotic T-shirts, not because we want to consume foreign adventure the same Western way we consume plastic and Styrofoam and LCD TVs and iPads, but because it has the power to renew us—not the guarantee, not the promise, just the possibility. Because there are places our imaginations can never construct for us, and there are people who we will never meet but we could and we might. It reminds us that there is always reason to begin again.”

– Stephen Markley, Tales of Iceland or “Running with the Huldufólk in the Permanent Daylight”

In June I traveled to Iceland with First Descents, an organization that provides outdoor adventures for young adult cancer fighters and survivors. Our days were spent exploring the rugged landscape (so many waterfalls!), hiking over moss-covered lava fields, and watching wildlife in the Westfjords, all beneath a sun that never set. It was my first trip to Iceland and my first experience traveling with First Descents. As grateful as I was to explore Iceland, I was even more grateful for the people I traveled with and their willingness to be in front of my lens. I think about them often, continually inspired by their outlook on life.

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