Kristen is an actress who was supposed to be in Germany in May. Rolf is a travel writer who was supposed to be in Italy in May. Both are Kansans who, when they're not off traveling, return home to one-stoplight towns a little over an hour from each other. If the world hadn't stopped, they wouldn't have met. But, because of the pandemic, they were both at home in May in those little towns, and they went to the dating apps, assuming nothing would come of it.
Fast forward to mid-August, and I got to photograph them on Rolf's front deck, where they had their first date (which, at the time, was socially distanced). These days they often share morning coffees there, watching the sunrise and planning future trips together—both in Kansas and abroad.
Full disclosure on this one: I actually know Rolf. I took a travel-writing course he taught last fall, and his book, "Vagabonding,” was the final push I needed to make the jump into nomadic life. It would've been hard to stumble onto this setting, as it is far down dirt roads, miles from town.
Even in the short amount of time I saw them together, it’s obvious these two just click. As Rolf's dad said, while we were all chatting on that porch, when it comes to meeting 'your sunflower', "It just takes some patience.” And apparently a pandemic.