Journey to the Old Continent
In 2015, after years of careful planning and rigorous research, my wife, Grace, and I left the U.S. for European expat life. We were both in our 60’s looking for an unconventional life in retirement. Our goal was to remain active thinkers, walkers, and doers and to explore our talents in photography and writing. The choice was between security, familiarity and comfort or one challenging last fling on the continent before we entered the ripe decade of our 70’s.
The city of Kraków and the country of Poland have presented a photographer’s dream location. Whether photographing architecture, cityscapes, or historic sites like Wawel Castle, the Wieliczka Salt Mines, churches or people, the locations are here. Historic cultural areas reveal the long, rich, and sometimes tragic past of the country. All of this has lent itself to reinventing my photography to find personal enjoyment rather than commercial success.
My adopted home
The culture, people and Polish cuisine are all reasons why I love my adopted home. Gdańsk, Wrocław, Malbork and Warsaw have provided me with opportunities to capture images of medieval castles, cobblestone streets, churches and a way of life unique to Poland.
My wife is the daughter of Polish immigrants, refugees who came to the U.S. in 1952 from DP camps in Great Britain. She reclaimed her Polish citizenship as the daughter of Polish nationals. We are fortunate that it was Poland that became our expat home as it allowed for easy travel to other great photographic locations in Spain, Czech Republic, Malta, Germany, Ukraine, Ireland and Great Britain. All brought forward some amazing photos and stories. But it is Kraków that is our home and the hub of our ex-pat life; the place that defines our new reality. And it is truly as they say, Magical Kraków.
Photos © Greg Spring