Saturday, 7 April 2018

Welcome Back, Me!

After taking a one-year hiatus, I found myself lusting over the idea of writing. It occurred to me that writing isn’t something that I only enjoy doing, but rather an emotional outlet for me to identify my emotions too.

Exactly one year ago, I went on a 16-day adventure in Europe. For people who know me (really) well, there is no need to explain THAT dream of having a nomadic life. I fell in love with traveling, started a new life, and moved to a different country at the age of 24. Since then I traveled all over Asia, Australia, and some parts of Europe where I met wonderful people and became friends with them right away, without minding our so many differences - the language that we speak, the education we attained, and religion that we believe. I lost count of the endless times when traveling opened my eyes not only to the world, but to myself; those uncountable moments when I didn’t have any other option and only had myself to rely on; not to mention that point in my life when traveling healed the broken me. Can you blame me for wanting to experience more?

I came back from that trip filled with memories which will surely be there for a lifetime. I was completely in awe of the amazing journey I’ve gone through. As usual I found myself wanting more. Without any second thought (except of course from asking Jhem whether I should do it or not - apparently she said I should, although I think I still would even if by any chance she said I shouldn’t), I booked another flight. It would be nice to go and visit Northern Europe this time, that was what I was thinking. Less than a year after my last visit, I was again on the plane bound for Europe. During this trip I have witnessed how big and unique our world is. I visited several beautiful countries and experienced a lot of unforgettable moments - from wandering the streets of Vienna ( thinking about Jesse and Celine), to visiting an Old Cemetery in Hallstatt, to reliving my memories of The Sound of Music in Salzburg, to admiring the view of Prague on top of the Old Town Hall Tower, to walking around the quaint town of Bamberg, to cycling on snow and catching snowflakes in Amsterdam, to beer tasting in Copenhagen, to experiencing reindeer sledding and chasing the Northern Lights in Tromso, to cruising to see the wildest and most beautiful fjords from Oslo to Bergen, and to exploring the Old Town of Stockholm.  I indulged myself in food too - from veal schnitzel, to hot wine, to Trdelnik doughnut ice cream, to pretzels, to bagels, to coffee, to fresh oysters on the street, to das italienische Frühstück, to goat cheese sandwich, to smørrebrød, to danish rum balls, to brown ale, and to reindeer burger. I literally lusted over breads for two weeks. Europe is indeed a foodie’s haven.

It sounded a whole lot of fun and adventure but these are just the highlights, and it wasn't all flawless. I did have some struggles too when I had to endure the overnight bus ride from Bamberg to Amsterdam, when I had to deal with guys who wanted to have a one-night stand (yes, it happens), when it was freezing cold and seemed like no matter how many layers of clothing you wear, nothing will ever make you feel warm. Yes , that was a dilemma at least for me. I came back home and of course, even more eager to see more. Traveling for me is not only an enriching experience. It is not just about hopping from one place to another, or feasting eyes on scenic views, or indulging and eating best dishes gluttonously. It is more about learning from rich cultures of every place I visit, meeting people of different personas, making new friends, and learning to be independent. I haven’t experienced nor seen a lot and I am not even halfway there. But it’s on my list.

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