March 12 is Chris Burkard’s birthday. He is 30 and has already travelled to the far reaches of our planet. He quit his job at 19 to pursue his dream job – surf photographer but his dream life really began when he took the less-trodden path, the places others have deemed too much – too cold or too remote – too surf. To escape the mundane, monotony, and this sense of claustrophobia, Chris trekked out to the faraway places, like Norway’s Lofoten Islands, where I had visited last summer. These islands really are a piece of heaven on earth. Chris, on the other hand, searched out these shores to do surfing and photography in ice and snow. It was pure joy for him. As a surfer he knew that to seek out those waves, he needed to go north, to go into the deep cold, where the seas are rough.
Clearly Chris is not only a fantastic surfer and photographer, but a storyteller. His photography book High Tide is beautiful. It’s pretty stunning on my coffee table.
In life there are no shortcuts to joy. Anything that is worth pursuing is going to require us to suffer, just a little bit. I gave a piece of myself to these places, and what I walked away with was a sense of fulfilment I’d always been searching for.Chris Burked