Peace Community: Lauren Spitznagel

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Hi, my name is Lauren Spitznagel and this is #MyCanada story.

When I was younger, I travelled around Canada a lot for basketball tournaments and family vacations. My parents believed that it was important for my siblings and I to learn about our country before we started exploring other countries, so we went on numerous road trips. Throughout these trips, I developed a passion for photography and exploring the outdoors.

Just over a year ago I decided to take this passion to a new level; I booked a solo one-way ticket to Australia, with only my camera and a (very large) suitcase. It was scary, but also exciting to finally be chasing my dreams.>

Over the past year I have lived in Australia, travelled to Indonesia, and now live in New Zealand. The experiences have been unforgettable, and I have made many friends along the way. However, one of the greatest things of all is that I have begun to appreciate #MyCanada on whole new level.

In #MyCanada, you can travel from the east coast to the west coast and see some of the most breathtaking landscapes. In #MyCanada, you can stand on top of the Rocky Mountains and breathe in fresh air, or go to Montreal and see some incredible street art. In #MyCanada, you can go to a Raptors game and be seated beside strangers, yet feel like you're surrounded by family.

But most importantly, #MyCanada has given me the inspiration to follow my passion. I am still in New Zealand, taking photos and exploring the islands. In the same way that our country has inspired me, I believe that I can use my photography to capture beautiful images and inspire others.