March 20, 2012

Four Hours Light

Tallinn, Estonia 028 - Catedral Alexander Nevsky/ Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Somewhere between lying in a hospital bed, travelling, and coming back to a hospital again, I decided: man, I really need to go away. I knew that my default go-to place was India. Until it wasn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love India very much and it still holds a special place in my heart, as the one country that has given me much, but in 8 years of intensive India travel it is no longer “a destination I know nothing about” type of experience. India is a home I go back to, in grief and in celebration, and always will; I just needed to flirt briefly with other countries and climes, and so I will.

Tomorrow, I depart for Helsinki. After that, Tallinn, Stockholm, Skinnskatteberg, Malmö, Copenhagen. I know I said in my previous post that I needed to slow down, and learn to live again — this is exactly my idea of slowing down. It sounds mad, but I have a plan.

Ever since the hospital, I’ve stopped smoking and drinking, even casually. Even if not life-threatening, the episode convinced me that I wanted to do more with my life, where lifestyle was concerned — it also convinced me that I wanted to see more of the outdoors. I’ve been cycling, running, and cycling even more. I will bring my bicycle with me to the Nordic states (yes, I know I can rent bicycles there… but. I want my bicycle! Not somebody’s else’s!), and I will get to enjoy the onset of spring in some of the best cities in the world for bicycle commuting.

I don’t know what to expect: I know so little about that part of the world. The only thing I know for certain is I will be cold. I’ve prepared for it, but I’ve never been in that type of cold until now, so I’m just going to have to make it up as I go. I’ll be completely shut off from work for a while, which will be the first time in some years. I will be completely shut off from the world, and the world wide web, for a couple of days, too, which will be the first time… since I discovered the world wide web. Work-wise, I’m excited about that part of the world as it’s the land of Spotify, Angry Birds, Minecraft — some of my favourite things in the world — along with awesome salmon and mesost, which I also love. I spent 3 all too brief days in Stockholm in 2010, and now I’m going to be back there, in the company of friends this time with the possibility of a superb dinner.

I can’t wait.