Places of Influence

Places of Influence

The winds of change are not gusting through our home right now, but they are inevitable on the horizon. Things are in fact fairly routine & pretty calm. For now.

Having moved a fair amount in my childhood, been an urban nomad through my 20′s and, as a military wife, experienced a good deal of moving in my 30′s already, it’s safe to say I am pretty familiar with geographic change.  I guess the real personal story behind all the movement is how much I love & crave it.

I don’t mind good byes because, when it comes down to it (especially with all the communication tools we have nowadays), I know people stay in touch with people they want & need to stay in touch with. However, I can be very sentimental so to play it safe I keep good bye’s very short.

I don’t mind the material chaos that usually marks the actual transition time, perhaps because I like making order of things.  And perhaps because I also sometimes just love the puzzlework & crazy energy of all those moving pieces that precede & follow a big move.

However, I know I have sacrificed some pretty important things over the years in giving my need for frequent geographic change top priority.  A career, for example.  Or a relationship to a place that says, “I know here.  Here is home.”

At some point I lost interest in the home- seeking quest.  I was finally content with the fact that I really just did not have roots in one place.  A lot of times, visiting or moving to a place was like an interview of whether it would be my “forever home” but it simply never panned out like that.

I just knew, for example, that when I moved to Alaska I could probably live there for at least the next decade of my life.  A little under a year later (as was the pattern) I was excitedly en route back to the Lower 48, ready for new chapters & next places.

It was around that move that the quest became less about home & more about simply being in my movement & relating to each place as best (or interesting) I could  for the time I was there.

Interestingly enough, that particular move to the Lower 48 was to Portland, Oregon where I would soon meet my soon-to-be husband & shortly embark on another cycle of geographic changes, this time married & within the framework of the US American military.

Our time in the military community approaches an end here, which then signifies changes on multiple levels.  Do we know all the details of our plans?  No.  Are we, every day, curious & crafting ideas for the next chapters, next places & next homes.  Definitely.

I have devoted so much time & reflective energy over the years to looking back on all the places I have lived. The exercises of reflection are interesting  as a creative telling the story of how the movement & place energies have influenced my craft. The exercises are also interesting as a human, telling the story of how these places have helped me develop & shape certain values.

I originally set out to do this as a sort of up exercise for my bio, creative cv & portfolio, currently in development right alongside a new (main) photography business website (Annika Lundkvist Photography coming soon!).  In turning new leaves, I realized I needed entirely new tools & even style of presentation.  This post served as a bit of a “workbook” as well as a bit of fun.

What do I qualify as a “place of influence” for the purpose of this exercise?  A place inhabited, for at least 6 months….

Born in the USA

New Brunswick, New Jersey

 Map Source: Wikimedia Commons

Map of Florida highlighting Sunrise

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Alas, New Jersey was not to be my forever home or even my childhood home. We uprooted when I was still a babe, heading for southern Florida where I spent my childhood & harbor very nostalgic memories of weekends on the beaches & swimming out to sand dunes.

San Diego, California


Source: Wikimedia Commons

Middle & High school years were spent in Southern California.  We lived in both Claremont & Poway & I went to school in La Jolla while a lot of my free time was spent all over the city.  It makes sense that I still connect to California on numerous levels, maybe even as a home on some soulful level (despite not having even been back for over a decade now) having spent my formative years there.

I like the California state flag very, very much.

All photos below taken by me (as are the rest on this blog)

Big Island, Hawai’i


Around the time I turned 18, my folks moved to Hawai’i & I followed, first staying on Oahu for about a year & then onto the Big Island for a few years of living & study at University of Hawai’i at Hilo. Many good everyday sort of memories come forward when I think about this time, as well as some truly seminal moments such as spending hours hiking black lava fields to witness lava eruptions.

Seattle, Washington


A little bit tired of consistently warm weather places, I headed straight for Seattle once I graduated, very excited by it’s rainy reputation.  It did not disappoint & living there was also my first time experiencing Autumn.  Ever since, I have a touch of sadness in places where I cannot experience the full richness of a good Fall.

Lund, Sweden

While living in Seattle I decided I would make the jump & move to Sweden.  First to Lund to intensively study Swedish, a language I had some grasp on from familial ties & years of summer trips, but very much needed a structured introduction to.  I spent my first six months there in the fine university town of Lund, whose Domkyrka (cathedral) I loved photographing.

My original idea was to move to Sweden to study architecture.  Studying Swedish was part & parcel of the plan to also get admitted into a University program.  During my time in Seattle, I spent scores of hours at the University of Washington Department of Architecture, exploring books & magazines & in general finding a newfound & strong interest in urban dialogues & the built environment.

I recall falling in love with a book chronicling the life & work of British architect Ralph Erskine. I saw an image of the above building, Myrstuguberget, and was taken by it’s form & setting.

Fast forward a year or so (to when I took the above photo), I was apartment hunting for a simple place to rent while I attended KTH in Stockholm.  I had, in the end, opted for an International program in Spatial Planning (in English) at KTH & needed a place to live.  I found & agreed to a studio in Masmo (a suburb of Stockholm) & while exploring the area, stopped in my tracks amazed when I saw, across the lake, that building that had so captured my mind some months back in a library in Seattle.

Stockholm, Sweden

I didn’t mind the commute & Masmo was overall a fine place for me to live, but it was exciting to move to the center of the city later on. I absolutely love to live in a city where I can walk & use public transportation all the time & Stockholm was really just right on point.  Not to mention it is just a simply gorgeous city, as probably anyone who has been there will attest to.

Berlin, Germany

Two seasons was far too brief a time to spend living in the city of Berlin.  But to Berlin I intend to return & return…

Tromsø, Norway

I am fond of many things Scandinavian.  The foods, the fashions, the climate, the architecture.  To spend a couple of seasons deep in the High North in the town of Tromsø was instructive, particularly in revealing to me how much more I want to get to know the Scandinavian Arctic.

Big Island, Hawai’i


Upon returning to the States after a few years in Europe, I stayed with family on the Big Island to work & wait out grad school decisions.  Above is a photo taken at Kalapana more recently, but reminds me of my transitionary yet relaxed time there back in 2004.

Ithaca, New York


Falling in love with Seasons in Ithaca.  Particularly Winter.

The original reason for moving to Ithaca for a couple of years was Cornell University, shown above on a particularly atmospheric & brisk day.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Photographing a random (but cool) side street in Philadelphia.  My decision to move to Philly was also random & vague. After graduating from Cornell, tt was an urban adventure & experiment~ juggling multiple jobs, bit of soul searching & enjoying life.  A great example of a place I would love to revisit, would love to do a photography project in, a series of portraits, but it’s not my city.  I had to move on…..

Anchorage, Alaska


…to Alaska.  Which I for some reason thought could be my “forever home.”  With family in Hawai’i & California (& me loving cold weather places) it just seemed like a good fit.  I stuck it out in Anchorage for about a half a year before deciding to check out & move on to Fairbanks (no photo).  I think I am more of a Juneau person…

Portland, Oregon


My then boyfriend (now husband) took this photo of me in Portland in December 2008. I had moved there earlier that year, on a Spring day that included hail, golden warm sunshine & rain.  I was happy to be back in the Lower 48.  The next few seasons in “Portlandia” were great & of course, meeting my husband definitely provided the story for the next chapters….

 Vancouver, Washington


Vancouver was not only a sort of waiting place for us, a transition point, but also a point of marriage.

Fort Rucker, Alabama


Our first real home together as married folk was in Alabama.  It was a fairly spacious, yet cozy space with a woodsy view right on base & great for barbecues, definitely a perfectly good omen of all our good barbecuing days to come there & elsewhere.

The above photo is not that home, but the cabin we stayed at on Lake Tholocco during our last couple of nights in the area before moving to Germany.

Seubersdorf, Germany

Living in Europe was of course about much more than our house.  But this house in Seubersdorf was important for this chapter of our life, as was the experience of living in that village in Bavaria.  I don’t know that I would have started my photography business had it not been for a brief series of events that happened there.  Having a train station down the road (not a given in these small villages in the Bavarian countryside ) meant a lot for our flexibility & mobility- a thing that cannot be overemphasized considering our appreciation for public forms of transportation.

Honolulu, Hawai’i


My husband getting stationed in Hawai’i was pretty awesome news for us.  Especially as it meant that our son would be born on the Hawaiian Islands & we would have some island living at this chapter of our lives.  Above, our first morning on Oahu back in August 2013.  I’m 6 months pregnant & pretty stoked to be back.

With my son Hunter in Waikiki

April 2014

As I type this, Hunter is a few days short of 6 months old.  The heat is on as the summer days approach & we have all the fans blowing in our Manoa home.  I am greatly valuing my time as a stay at home Mom to be with my baby son but also to really explore the island.  Oahu is not our forever home but we are here now & it is my duty & joy to find the heart in the moment & learn as much as I can before we move along….