When the trip is over, but you don’t want to leave.

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I’ve been away from home since October 25th and have yet to write anything about it here. So, yeah. My bad. But on the upside, I’ve now got a big ‘ol backlog of stories to share! So get ready for a cascade of posts over the next week. Woo!

But right now, there is only one thing I could possibly write about, and that’s the fact that in just over an hour I will be leaving Iceland. And I am so insanely miserable about it that I hardly know what to do with myself. I don’t think I’ve ever been so upset to leave a place in my entire life.

This past summer, I spent over a month in Europe. I was hopping around here and there, mostly for work (and my work is fun, so also for fun). And when I had to fly back to Seattle, I was distraught. Why did I have to leave??? But then, just a few weeks later, I got the wonderful news that I was going to move to Amsterdam because my job warranted it, so I spent the rest of the summer riding this sensational high. Finally! This thing I’ve wanted for ages is finally coming true. I get to move to Amsterdam and be the European I always wanted to be!

And yet, the past two days have been this unbelievably intense internal struggle, during which I legitimately considered quitting my super awesome job and staying in Iceland forever. Even though I’m about to move to Amsterdam. Even though I want to move to Amsterdam. Even though I love my job. All of these things were trumped by the fact that I want nothing more to stay in Iceland FOREVER.

It’s weird how these things happen. I still haven’t quite processed the last 9 days, during which about 40 million amazing things happened. I met some incredible people. I saw 41 shows over 5 days at a music festival. I hiked on a glacier. I stayed out until 6am like a college kid and partied my ass off. And I met more, and more, and MORE cool people every day. People I wish I could see every day, but of course they live all over the world.

And now I have to leave it all behind.

I know it wouldn’t be the same if I stayed. I know I wouldn’t continue to have the same experience I’m having now. There’s something about a trip being finite that makes it so much more enjoyable. But I still can’t shake the feeling that I found something here. I found something I haven’t found before, and I really don’t want it to go away. I can’t put my finger on it yet, but I am not the same person I was when I arrived here. Perhaps after a bit of time and reflection, I’ll figure out what happened over the past week. But for now, all I know is that I’m different, and different in a good way.

There are so many more things to share about this trip, but for now I need to get on a plane and mope for the 8-hour flight home. But it’s ok. Sometimes it’s important to be sad. Even more important if something positive comes of it. And I’m pretty sure it will.

Thank you, Iceland, for making me better than I was. I’ll never forget it.

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