Europe recap: the most obvious ten (or so) questions

...and we're home. This is the unofficial part of the trip that falls between 'the end of the trip' and 'the resumption of real life.' I am home, and hobbling on somewhat sore and extremely tired legs, and I'm dealing with the oddity that is culture shock in my own country.

On the nine-hour flight back, I tried to think through some of the questions I expected to be asked.

By her maps you shall know her

Right, so, I'm an overplanner -- and yet it's satisfying! I've been doing my usual intense research, identifying the kinds of things I'd want to do and see while I'm away. It makes for a pretty hefty map.

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alarm-clock life

I am unsure of when our world changes from a potential dreamscape to an alarm-clock life, but I am aware that it does. There is a seething vitality and immediacy to the lives of young adults that comes from a lack of comprehension of the fleeting nature of life, coupled with an almost boundless fountain of energy. Time passes, though, and what eventually comes is more (settled? sedate? predictable?) except when it isn't.

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no dress rehearsal

I've gotten all of my lodging and transit prepared for the trip. With several weeks left to go, I'm relieved to see the details settling into the form of an itinerary. I don't cope well with the prospect of "well, I'm going to land in this country on day X and then, a few weeks later, fly home from country Y" -- with no idea where I'm sleeping in between. Not my style.

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Coffee-flavored coffee, internet-flavored internet

Trip planning was eating my brain last night. Last night it led to:

  • Spoken politenesses in Danish
  • Photos of train ticket vending machines in Amsterdam
  • What? There are no dedicated post offices in Amsterdam?
  • How much does it cost to mail an international postcard in the UK?

and then there's my favorite ... the damned SIM cards. 

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intended consequences

I don't know who among you reading this will be shocked and who will stand up and yell ABOUT DAMN TIME, WOMAN.

I've been facing this decision for some time, and through a multitude of tiny steps I inched my way toward it, nailing it down by unofficial degrees, but never being brave enough to take a step that would commit me fully and financially. I seeded the ground earlier this week, not explaining to my friends what was going on but saying "if I don't commit by the weekend, beat me senseless."