[Guest Blogger Series] The Metamorphosis of The Great "Outdoors" by Kerem Hanci

Hello Mommy Hiker readers!
My name is Kerem Hanci, I am Jennifer’s husband and a blogger myself (if you would like to follow my Friday Photography Blog, you can do so here).
When Jennifer asked me to do a guest blog spot, I was honored and proud to do so.
I have always loved the outdoors, but, as to be expected, my definition of the “outdoors” has changed dramatically over the years.
When I was growing up, in Istanbul, we used to play soccer all the time.  That was outdoors.
I also have fond memories of family road trips up north to the Black Sea, where my twin brother and I played in the notoriously wild waves under the watchful eyes of my parents.  That was outdoors.
In our teenage years, my father would take us on hunting trips where we spent hours scouring the wet, snowy ground for a few pieces of dry wood to make a campfire big enough to cook our “sucuk-ekmek”, a delicious dry, spiced, cured beef sausage sandwich.  That was outdoors.
Almost every summer, we would end up in Palamutbükü, Datça in the south of Turkey where my parents have a summer house.  We would spend entire days and nights on the beach.  That was outdoors.

Palamutbükü datca turkey
Jen, Vivienne & Me in Palamutbükü this summer
When I lived in France, we used to take day trips with my best friend, almost every Sunday, to the beautiful mountains and plains surrounding Montpellier. That was outdoors.
Then I came to US, and the term “outdoors” took a whole different meaning when my wife and I started camping.  Even while travelling around the globe yearly, we still make it a priority to take advantage of the vast and wonderful State and National Park system of United States.

sunset in playa negra costa rica
Playa Negra, Costa Rica
These camping trips make me appreciate the outdoors more than ever. Even on a cold fall evening, Jennifer and I usually opt for the chilly beach, instead of the warm restaurant steps behind us, counting the stars and listening to the roar of the pacific ocean…

couple on a beach in malibu
Malibu, California
Being a photographer, gives me tremendous opportunities to observe and document nature at its best. Photo shoots take me to outdoor locals far and wide and whether it is cold or hot, it doesn’t matter… I love being there.  Away from the city. Somewhat unplugged.  Any and all opportunity to be out under a blue sky or under a blanket of stars are welcome!

shopping cart on a barren desert floor
Bombay Beach, The Salton Sea
I never pass up an opportunity to get down on the floor for the pure pleasure of seeing and documenting the world from a different angle….

mushroom in a field in iowa
Bettendorf, Iowa
The thing is, since Vivienne arrived and brought an endless joy to our lives, our camping trips, our outdoor activities, even going to the park, has gotten way more interesting and fun.  This does not mean they are not challenging.  For instance, I would never again set our tent on the edge of a cliff looking down to Pacific Ocean from the high coast of Big Sur, at least for a little while! What you see in the following photograph, is the view from the door of our tent around 3am.

camping in big sur
Big Sur, California
I am extremely happy and grateful that I will be able to share all these experiences with my daughter.  I know Jennifer will present a glimpse of all our upcoming adventures with you.
Let me finish by saying this:  I am very proud of Jennifer for first providing a vehicle for our daughter to be active, to learn to connect to nature.  I am proud of her for creating the Mommy Hiker community and starting this blog.  I know the work she puts into it along with her writing, producing and acting career and I am always impressed how she is so patient, educative and loving towards Vivienne while she is handling everything else.  And finally, I am so proud of all the moms and kids (and dads of course) who are part of this Mommy Hiker community.  I look forward to the photography updates of the weekly hikes you all are enjoying on Fridays.  I will make an effort to catch another one of those soon.  Until than, stay well!

hiking in big sur california with an infant
Jen, Vivienne & Me in Big Sur, California

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