As I relax with my kitten on my sofa, I find myself reflecting on the 12 days of adventure and travel I’ve had. This opportunity has been such a great one, it exceeded all of my expectations and I loved every minute of my trip.
I would have to say this was the perfect get away I needed from the real world. The trip wasn’t exactly a relaxing one, but it got me away from school, work, my internship, and got me out of my own head. As a senior in college I have more on my plate than I could ever want, but they’re all necessary to my day to day life right now.
I think the most exhilarating part of my trip to Scandinavia was the unknowns. In my normal life there are very few factors to guess at, referred to as “unknowns” in the science community. I have a schedule everyday that I have to stick to, and I have responsibilities I have to tend to also. My 12 days in Scandinavia were chalk full of unknowns. What would I eat for lunch and dinner? How many miles would I walk today? (The trip average was 7.45 miles per day, yes I calculated it. Thanks Fitbit!) Would I enjoy todays planned excursions? How much free time would I have? How much money would I spend today? The list was endless.
I found myself anticipating the changes and unknowns. Most days we did not follow our trip itinerary because the information on it was wrong or the plans just didn’t work out. I learned to go with the flow and always account for plan B, C, or even D.
Not only was visiting Denmark, Norway, and Sweden new to me, but all the experiences I had while there, both good and bad, were new and exciting. When we got on the wrong bus to the opera house and ended up three minutes too late and had to stand for the first 90 minutes, when am I ever going to do that again? When we didn’t realize we had to transfer trains when trying to get from one castle to the next in northern Denmark, I took it as just another part of the adventure. Almost all of the most amazing pictures I took were taken in spots we had gotten lost and end up in somehow, yet held incredible views and scenery. Luckily our fearless leaders Laura and Gigi were excellent with always finding the plan B, and for that I am very grateful to them. Our trip would not have been the same without them.
If there was one thing I had to change about the trip I would say I would have brought along either one of my best friends or a family member. A lot of the things I saw and experienced I felt myself thinking, “wow I wish so and so could see this.” The person was always different depending on what I was seeing or doing, but I often thought of the people I left at home and wished I could have brought someone close to me along on the journey.
If you ever get the chance to go to Scandinavia, go. If you have the chance to go to Europe at all, go. Do it, the adventure is out there. Learn to have a plan B, but not anticipate needing it. Roll with the punches, make light of every situation and set back, and most importantly, just travel.
“Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.” -Erol Ozan