Magic is might.

The return from vacation is always a happiness-threatening, energy-draining, optimism-killing drag. The return from your #1 Destination – a whole world that you first created in your 11 year old mind via the powerful words of an author, then readjusted and protested in your mind when 8 movies depicting it were released, then were enamored by after finally walking the streets – is possibly the most odd and frustrating feeling I have ever felt. I am unfamiliar with this sensation. Wanderlust always head butts me in the face and drags me out of the house as it pleases; but the 3-day venture into the Wizarding World at Universal Studios was head butting me backwards into the theme park and nearly convincing me to drop my life and become a Universal employee.

It’s not every day that your lifelong obsession becomes tangibly, physically real. It was unlike any other trip I’ve taken because my dreams and loves and wishes came alive before me, so briefly and so strikingly perfect. I could look at the same visions of buildings and objects for hours at a time because they formerly lived only in my mind. Even the amusement park rides were amazing.

I could have filled a Butterbeer goblet with the tears of joy shed from start to finish.

Pictures and stories to come!

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Magic is might.

Departure

This is one of those instances in which I cannot seem to find the right descriptors – “homesick” is far too strong of a word to describe how I feel, and “bittersweet” certainly does not set the proper mood.

The instance is my return to New York! The problem is: I would love to continue traveling (not so much STUDYING abroad), but I would prefer to do so with members of my home community. I miss them, and I miss New York, but I would be happy being away with them. What would you call that?

This final day is one of the most beautiful days I’ve seen here in Sweden – I can’t actually believe what I’m feeling. NY is experiencing the edge of a hurricane. What’s going on? I just know that this Scandinavian good-weather kick will die within a few days…

Departure

It’s up to you, New York, New York

I’ve always been hyperaware of the conveniences of living in NYC. Sure, it’s a swampy, overpopulated hellhole with a wonky transit system; but, with proper coordination and ambition, you truly can accomplish ANYTHING once you’re there. You can eat nearly any cuisine your heart desires, and if you can’t get it to-go, you can gather the ingredients to make it yourself. You can get anywhere in the city after a few hours of .. interesting schlepping. Nothing is separated by miles of endless space and grass (ok, yes, nature is beautiful, but I succumb to boredom rather easily!) You adapt to people and situations at the drop of a hat. You can meet anyone from anywhere and absorb new information: points of view, concepts, linguistic particulates, magical bus routes, urban fauna and flora, exercise routines, spices, abandoned buildings, specialized bookstores, immigration history, the political fog… in NYC, whether it’s your hometown or not, you are a perpetual learner.

Similarly, while traveling, you are a perpetual learner. Abroad, you are learning a new culture and about your own adaptivity. Is it safe to say that wanderlust may be partially satiated by simply living in my hometown? 

It’s up to you, New York, New York

Briefly looking in the mirror

Our professors left major projects along with final exams to the last week of classes. We’re all so out of routine with the Homework Grind that we don’t know whether to sh*t or go blind. I’m so close to home that I can taste it! I haven’t really felt the queasiness of homesickness, but the comforts of home have certainly been desirable. Although my bed has been only cushy and tranquilizing, I miss my good old Bob-o-Pedic. 

There are a select few things I’d like to retain upon arrival. I want to seriously get back into jogging! We walk miles and miles (or should I say km and km) per day, and it feels GREAT to be to exhausted that I pass out quickly at night. I want to cook more meals collectively (never alone, haha). I want to get great instant coffee so I can make frappes every morning.  But I’m going to relish in the fact that I can obtain iced coffee anywhere, at any time. I cannot wait for this!

Briefly looking in the mirror

Traveling

I’ve learned how to efficiently pack a 2-compartment, women’s North Face backpack after several weekends of impromptu international flights to and from Kastrup. I’m rather proud of this skill, which sets me apart from other females (and my past self) who must always pack in a suitcase, no matter the duration of the trip. Do these skills have longevity? As long as the wanderlust keeps on lusting.

Berlin one weekend, Paris just 5 days later, and now a week in Stockholm.

It’s as if we can’t stand to stay in Guns Bro…

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Traveling

Vi är här!

The New Yorkers are here! Allow me to begin with this brief prologue:

MS NYU, class of 2015. We are the only grad SLP program with a study abroad opportunity. Money-hungry university conglomeration? Sure, that’s undeniable. NYU has officially ‘gone global’ — remember that time in history called the Age of Imperialism? New York University should rename itself Manifest Destiny. Well worth it? Absolutely. We had limited details on the dormitory situation and zero direction regarding the actual arrival at our temporary homes. One down payment, two flights, and several diaphragmatic breaths later, all 20 of us safely relocated to Lund, Sweden.

Our class was forcibly split into two dorms by the Global department, based upon our provision of “favorite friends.” This was silly, because all of us are friends and were anticipating the group home life. Alas, 8 of us were destined to reside in Bildstensvägen, the Unpronounceable (including me). 

The Epic Schlep

Some people are world travelers, but not everyone is a world schlepper. We hauled ass (even with checked baggage) across three countries (USA, Iceland, Denmark) in less than 12 hours to reach our flight destination in Copenhagen. From there, we embarked with ALL of our luggage in hand on a 45 minute train ride into Lund, Sweden. FOUR COUNTRIES. 1 DAY. And that’s not all! We had no clue where to go. We had received cryptic directions leading us to the retrieval of our dorm keys – down the cobble brick road to a hotel lobby, in which our professors would be dining over housing documentation. Three of us bravely got lost in the square in search of the hotel, and received help from the kindest barista. We posed the question: “Do you have wifi?” To this, he ran to collect his own iPhone and google it for us. Turns out we had walked right past the hotel. 

The 8 of us from the flight were further divided, and had to separate to get to our apartments. Since nobody likes taxis, we all risked certain doom and hopped on buses that our professors “believed” would stop near our respective areas.

Well. After a wrong turn, a quest through the forest, the discovery of a running track, and 100 lbs of luggage later, we arrived!

To be continued!

Vi är här!