Posts tagged “europe

In The Right Place

Posted on 8 May 2018

My awareness was fraying at the edges. It was morning in Brussels, but per my internal clock, who knows? Three nights in Ohio skittered by, each one wonderful but marked by progressively less sleep. Next was a transatlantic flight, which was marked by more anxiety than sleep as I sat isolated, thanks to a kind flight attendant, blasting music into my ears so I wouldn’t hear other passengers retching on the bouncy flight. I got off my string of flights in Brussels eager to spend some time exploring on the ground, but also a little jumbled, not entirely aware. I glanced at the train track number for my train to Brussels from the airport and climbed onto the first train that pulled up. About…

Revelry and a Robbery: Finnish Music Festivals

Posted on 11 November 2014

  Summers in Finland are magical and bright. The northern sun, barely setting, electrifies the air. Everyone feels this and revels in it, spending time in summer cottages, eating ice cream outside, and enjoying the variety of music festivals that the country has to offer. I’ll admit, I’m obsessed with Finland and can’t keep away—I’ve been seven times. I first went to meet friends, and the country has gripped me ever since. I’ve been back to visit them, and even managed to stay an entire summer, studying at Helsinki Summer University. I’ve planned the timing of other trips to and within Finland around music festivals. I’ve been lucky to attend a number of different Finnish music festivals—Provinssirock, Ruisrock, Qstock, and Flow Festival. I went…

World, You’re Too Large – But Don’t Ever Shrink

Posted on 5 July 2014

Travel planning for me is at once an exercise in imagination and restraint. I have to be forcefully focused in how I approach my daily research in order to make concrete plans, because reading about how to get from Klaipėda to Riga can quickly turn into wild desires to visit Cape Kolka during my limited schedule and then dreaming about spending months bicycling through the Baltics. Weeks turn into simply not enough time. The more I learn, the more I want to see for myself. Hey world, you’re making me ravenous. Given my propensity for distracting myself with ever more grandiose plans, travel research becomes my primary activity, and it occupies by far the most brain space. I can connect almost anything I do to travel planning. Reading? Well,…

The Art of Broadening

Posted on 22 June 2014

The raw rock in my stomach grew firmer as the plane flew higher. I peered out of the window and watched my familiar Finland, my friends, sink further and further beneath me. I was 19. I had flown internationally on my own plenty of times. I had just spent a semester in Russia. But I hadn’t truly traveled alone before. And here I was, on my way to the first of four countries I planned to visit before my summer program began in Berlin. Soon enough, we would be landing in Vienna. I waited for my baggage and fiddled with my mostly useless, not-smart cell phone. Unable to confirm my plans, I took a breath, stomached the fact that there are no certainties in travel,…

A Day In A Place That Should Be Known

Posted on 15 February 2014

I have been thinking of Estonia recently. Lately, the few times I’ve mentioned it, I’ve been faced with bemused replies of “Estonia?” My disappointment is misplaced. They are the ones who are missing out. I’ve only spent one day in Estonia, in Tallinn. I took a ferry from Helsinki, where I was visiting a host of friends for spring break during my semester abroad in Russia. Not entirely content to spend all my time in one country, I squeezed Estonia into my schedule—not at all difficult given the ample amount of ferries shuttling back and forth between these two glorious cities. Perhaps I’ve been thinking of Tallinn because it has been a bit cold here. Once again, an episode of Leah’s Left Arm Turns…