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Open Spaces


Graeme Byrd's thoughts, stories and adventures. Lessons from life.

Open Spaces

Graeme Byrd

Three years ago I was wrapping up a trip to Sweden and Norway to visit friends and family. It was an unbelievable trip that I will never forget. Lately, I've been reflecting on the adventures taken on these travels. While I look through my photos of the amazing architecture and historical places, I'm constantly reminded about the open spaces and vastness in the world.  


These are not large countries (Sweden is just a tiny bit bigger than California), yet there is so much vastness. I recognize there is vast areas of open land in California, Canada and elsewhere in the world, but as I stood on that dogsled outside of the town of Kiruna (in northern Sweden) I realized life is full of possibilities. These dogs ran on the frozen lakes and rivers with no trail in sight - just running as they instinctively know where to go. I wasn't completely in control (at the same time I was in control). So I could just let them run. A remarkable experience letting them lead me through the woods and over the frozen bodies of water. Every time I look at the photo (which is frequent as it as been the backdrop on my computer for a number of years) I am reminded of 3 things:

  • Experience open spaces - Don't be confined to our desks, our homes or other buildings - get out and explore. If we stick to the existing trails (of life) we miss out on all the amazing opportunities life will bring us.
  • A true leader must know when to lead and follow - Like dogsledding the musher is often in control and leading, but has to believe and trust the dogs as they know where to run. To be a good leader one must know when to trust others and follow. 
  • Try new things - To learn and grow we must try new things. Dogsledding was amazing. I may have fallen off the sled the first time, but I got right back on. Don't be discouraged if you fail or do it wrong - new adventures teach more than we could ever expect.

Get outside into the open spaces and take those adventures because that is what life is - one big adventure!

NOTE: If you ever go to Kiruna you must check out the Kiruna Church (one of the most beautiful public buildings in the country) and visit Restaurant Pizzeria Palladium (as they have the one of the best pizzas in the country)!