It’s crazy to think of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. My mom had mentioned a family trip to Finland and I felt like my whole life all I had wanted was to somehow go to Finland with my grandpa. He’s 100% Finn, 100% hilarious, and so proud of his heritage. Sulo is filled with stories and for all of my days, I have been an active listener. I remember feeling deflated when I heard that it would take place in June (because life as a wedding photographer in June is usually crazy.) Here’s the thing: I knew I would regret it if I let this chance slip through my finger prints and this girl hates the thought of regret.
So I joined the party (a little late, but better late than never) and I have been journeying through Finland with my mom, my grandparents, and some cousins! It’s been incredible to learn more about our family history, to hear my grandpa speak Finnish, to see this part of the world, and to connect with relatives that I haven’t seen since I was 9 and playing piano at the family reunion!
So here’s what I’ve learned in life, both as a traveler and as a business owner: Always say yes, figure out the rest later. Even if you find yourself on a plane all alone in a foreign country, just go. You can figure out the details, you can get through the delays and layovers, just show up. Work can wait, life can wait, the pile of mail can all wait, be present with the people in your life. Hold their hands, ask them questions, listen to their stories, look them in the eyes, and make them feel like they are the most important human in the world (because they are!) Next: it’s this. Document your stories! My grandpa loves to tell stories, some I’ve heard a hundred times, some I’ve never heard, here’s the thing: I want to remember them, not just in a “I think this is how it went” way but in the way they told them. Take video, record their voices, write down notes.
This trip was once-in-a-lifetime but something tells me I’ll never forget this precious time in Finland. I am SO blessed to live a dream chasing life that includes packing bags, hopping on planes, and disconnecting on work to reconnect with the people who matter most to me! What is a bucket list item that you can get working on today? How can you focus on making those items a priority in your life? There is no time but the present!
(And if you want to follow along, Grandpa Sulo is rocking my snapchat: jennakutcher!)