The Travel Itch

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I hardly know how to start this post. I’m antsy and all over the place at the moment. Frisbee training just got cancelled so now I’m chugging white wine and trying to calm down. Because wine is my answer for everything, wheeee!

I woke up this morning feeling SO thrilled that the temperature was finally below 20ºC. I opened all the windows and sat right in front of the cool breeze wearing a hoodie for the first time since May. As insane as it might sound, I’m fucking done with summer. The heat has made me anxious and crazy and unproductive. I’m ready for autumn. I can’t wait to drink tea and bake pies and be all cozy inside. (It also marks the moment when I switch back from chilled white wine to the red wine I truly desire. Hallelujah.)

It also just started raining for the first time in what feels like a million years, and I am SO fucking excited.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this, so I guess I’ll just get to the point.

As you might have noticed, I haven’t been writing once per week as I promised I would do. At times it has been lack of inspiration, but there’s a bigger (and more positive) reason for my silence.

To paint the picture a little better: my travel itch is really out of control at the moment. It’s gotten pretty severe lately, so much so that even though I have a trip next week, another in mid-September, and another in November, I had to plan yet another in October just to feel like I was actually filling up my calendar. People keep telling me that I travel a lot, and I don’t believe them, because I’m insane and apparently my threshold for traveling is ridiculously high. (Also, I never count frisbee as “traveling,” which I suppose isn’t entirely fair, but I can’t help it. So then I have to plan other trips that are not frisbee just to even it all out.)

The combination of this travel itch, my lengthy unemployment, and me feeling like I’m on the brink of losing my mind all combined in a perfect storm in my brain and led to the following decision: I’m starting a new blog. Eeeep!

This probably sounds really silly to, well, all of you. Because if I can’t even make myself write on this one, why the fuck would I start a new one? But here’s the thing: I’ve spent the last 8 months miserably unemployed, trying to find jobs, trying to figure out what I’m good at, trying to figure out how to market myself as a freelance whatever-the-fuck. And it’s been awful. I’ve hated every minute of it, and I’ve legitimately gotten nowhere.

And then about a month ago, I had an epiphany. I’m already unemployed and have nothing to do. And trying to do things I’m good at (in theory) wasn’t going anywhere. So why not start doing something I want to do, and then see if I can turn that into some sort of career? That was when the floodgates opened and the ideas started pouring out, and I’ve spent the past month trying to sort them out and winnow down and focus and make this thing happen. It’s been overwhelming, but I also haven’t been this excited about anything in over a year, so this is huge. Fucking huge.

I don’t want to get too much into details yet (because, of course, I’m still working them out), but I will be starting a travel blog and launching a travel consultancy based here in Amsterdam. I’ve made a goal to have the blog launched by mid-September, and I’ve already started an Instagram account (you can follow it here, if you feel so inclined). I still intend to use my personal IG account for my own shit, and I’ll still be using this blog for personal stories, but the idea is to professionalise everything and, hopefully, somewhere in the future, actually turn my passion for traveling and writing into a career.

(And don’t worry, just because I’ve professionalised doesn’t mean I’ll lose my voice. It’s still my blog and it’ll still be me writing, for the most part. There will just be less profanity. Because I do realise I curse like a sailor and maybe that’s not the best way to get new readers on board… Fucking losers.)

Anyway. I actually dreamed of being a travel writer when I was teenager. And somehow I lost track of that dream. And it’s kind of exciting to find it again. I feel oddly giddy about the whole thing. Kind of like this:IMG_2439(That emptiness behind me is the life abyss I’m about throw myself into, and I don’t even care!!)

So yeah. That’s what’s up. The life update for the masses, if you will.

And since we’re here, and I’m now slightly wine tipsy and feeling sentimental, I’ll just say one more thing. The past year (as many of you know) has been rough. And losing my old job was a lot more difficult than I anticipated it would be. But, despite the anger and feelings of bitterness I held on to for some time afterwards, I will be forever grateful to that job, because it afforded me the opportunity to travel extensively, meet people from all over the world, and ultimately move to Europe to start a new life on a new continent. And that is fucking rad as fuck. So, I gotta give a little hat tip to Five for giving me fodder and fuel for my absurd travel habit. I’m sure I would have been a travel junkie either way, but I definitely appreciated all those free flights to Europe over the years.

And finally, big love to all the people I’ve met along the way, and here’s to the people I’ll meet in the future. I’ve especially been feeling lots of affection for a very particular group of people this week (@TFTD–you know who you are). Somehow I got the opportunity to put together a frisbee team full of people from all over the place, and they are the most fun and coolest and kindest crew on earth, and every time I think of them or hear from them, I feel warm inside. Thanks for reminding me that communities don’t always live in one place. Y’all are my family. So much love. Can’t wait to be reunited with you all sometime soon ❤

Alright, so that got super sappy at the end there. But if you were here drinking wine with me, I guarantee I’d make you start telling me sappy stories pretty damn quickly. Cuz that’s just the vibe I’m in right now. Also, my roommate who has been away for a month will be home in about 45 minutes, and I’m ridiculously excited to see her. So all the warm fuzzy feelings are happening right now. #sorrynotsorry #bitchdontkillmyvibe

Love you losers. Sailor-mouth Christina will never die, I promise. Mwah.

P.S. Lisa, sorry I’m gonna be kinda drunk when you get home. But there’s some wine in the fridge for you 🙂

 

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.