Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Vacation is coming

My next vacation is coming up.  It will be my second trip to Europe in less than 12 months. The last trip was to Italy. This time I’m headed to Sweden and Denmark. I’m starting to get pretty excited. Although for this trip, I have probably planned fewer things to do and see than any of my other vacations abroad.  I’m not exactly sure why that is but I’m kind of looking forward to just letting things happen in between the planned adventures.  And if all else fails, I counted 63 unread books on my kindle and I never have a problem just camping out somewhere and reading.

It’s always fun to pack and get ready to go and the excitement really ramps up when it’s finally time to leave for the airport. But I think the moment I really know I’ve made it and not having some strange dream is when I finally get off the plane in a foreign country. It’s a very disorienting feeling. I’ve just been on an airplane for anywhere from 8-14 hours (and actually traveling for much longer) and I feel like I’ve been run over by a bus. I actually hate flying. Not because it’s scary or anything, but because I hate being shut up in that small space. I tolerate it because it’s the easiest and fastest way to get to the places I want to go. But I digress. The first things I notice when arriving in a foreign country are the smells, climate, and strange languages all around me. It’s noticeably different from home, even in an airport. When I finally leave the airport, the feeling is amplified.

I remember arriving in Hong Kong. We had just taken a train into the city from the airport and walked up the stairs to the street level from the subway.  The hot, humid air hit me and then I took a breath. Hong Kong has such a different smell and I will never forget it. It’s almost a mixture of old concrete buildings and cooking oil. I definitely knew I wasn’t in Kansas, er Utah, anymore. J It was the same way when I went to Spain.
It’s definitely a little overwhelming and bewildering getting into a foreign country.  But I wouldn’t trade the feeling for anything!

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