Thursday, May 25, 2017

Oh laaawd - it's been so long!

Today is May 25th, 2017. I returned to Austria from Trinidad on September 16th, 2015. Yesterday, I packed a bag for the first time, grabbed my passport for the first time, went to the airport for the first time, got on a plane for the first time, and left Austria for the first time - since then! That means: I was in one single place (because I didn't even really leave Vienna for more than two (twice) or three (once) days) in one year, eight months, and eight  days. That is a total of 88 weeks. That's 616 days...

616 days is forever!
616 days is too many!

Going to the airport like it's the first time ever. 

If we think about family trips to Greece or Italy when I was a kid, my language courses abroad, and, finally, my own travels and live-abroads, then you realize that this is the longest I have ever been in a single place in my whole life. In my whole life! If you know me, you know how horrifying that is/was. You know that I love home, Vienna, Austria in general. But you also know that that's not what this is about. You know it's about movement, about exploration, about seeing and hearing and feeling and smelling and tasting new things. And that's what I'm doing right now.

I'm in Vilnius, Latvia. The choice of place was half random and half fear-inspired. Fear?, you ask. Yes, fear, I answer. Whoa, you say. The thing is, the longer I stayed put, the more static I felt I grew. That peaked when I stopped feeling and started "knowing" that I couldn't travel, I didn't know how, I couldn't find flights or accommodation or things to do. I started getting scared of not speaking the language of the place I was going, about being stranded at an airport or a train station, about not understanding every little thing about a place and being a foreigner. All of those are things I used to barely even consider and give just minimal thought to, if any. So, after literally weeks of back-and-forth-ing I booked a flight and a room to/in Vilnius.

My friend Rénia was also coming here (she's arriving in a little while) and she suggested meeting up and hanging out. The safe path, because I'd have "known" company. We're not here at the completely same time, but our stays overlap for two half and one full day. We also did the practical thing and decided to share my room while we're together, thus both saving some money and also eliminating the dependency on phones for meeting up. We is smart ladies, after all.

Now, since I got here, I no longer feel the need for a human safety vest (don't worry Rénia, that's definitely not all you are, eh, that's just what it seems like in this post). I'm happy my friend is coming, but I do feel (actually, also know) that I'm just fine. Wandering comes easy to me, or at least it used to. And now it does again.

You have no idea how relieved I am to see that the ontheway spirit has not left the isa. Nooo idea.

I may or may not have already shared that I got a few new tattoos after returning to Austria. One of them is a little plane, flying around my left wrist in a perpetual journey. I don't think there's a need for me to explain that one. It's the irony of the century that I've been grounded since I got a plane tattooed on me... Well, yesterday, the little one went on its first ride on a big one. What a milestone, too, because it wasn't just one. My wrist-plane went on a Boeing 737 and a Dash 8, all in one day. But it makes sense, as we do have a lot of catching up to do.

Riga was just a layover, but VIE-RIX was the first flight, 
that's why it gets prime picture position and I got a chocolatey souvenir.  

And now, here I am. Having coffee in a cute little café in Užupio, wanting to say "bless you" every time anybody thanks anyone for anything. I'll get over it eventually, and stop disrespecting the Lithuanian language, once "ačiû" stops sounding so funny to me (the u should have this "-" on it, not this "^", but my phone can't do that. Oh, see, respect is already coming in!). In the meantime, I'll continue giggling into my cup.

If I'm lucky, I'll tell you more about Vilnius and my time here as my stay progresses.

We shall see.

For now: iki pasimatymo!

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