“When Will I See You Again?”
I can’t begin to speak in grand terms just yet, about how this trip has changed me, what I’ve learned and the like. The only thing I can say for sure is that this time has been very special. I spent 2 weeks in Western Europe with some of the most important people in my life: boyfriend, family, friends that are basically family.
My boyfriend Sajid had never been to Europe until we landed there together 2 weeks ago. I wasn’t sure how this would all play out because he is very much comfortable sitting on a beach for hours, soaking up the sun (and I am very much not). I couldn’t have been more happy when he was saying things like “I want to learn Spanish,” and “We need to come back.” We spent a very special 4 days in Iceland before I took him to my beloved Madrid.
It was there that we were able to spend some time with one of my oldest and original travel friends, Victor from Brasil. We met in 2004, and “it was love at first sight,” were Victor’s words to Sajid as he told him about our meeting all those years ago. Victor and I immediately became inseparable during our year abroad in England, and he has since become family to me. He is one of those rare friends who I know will always be a constant in my life. I’m so lucky and blessed to know him and for all the laughs he’s given me over the years.
Following this precious time in Madrid, Sajid and I hopped over to Copenhagen for an all too brief visit with Anna, another friend who makes the saying “friends are the family you choose” completely true for me. She and I met in Mexico in 2008, and then I lived in Aalborg, Denmark (where she was finishing her degree) later that year. She has since visited me in Canada and when I was living in Madrid 2 summers ago. This past November, Anna’s little baby Amaya was born, and when I heard, all I wanted was to hug and kiss my Danish sister’s daughter, my niece. It was Anna who said, when she was hugging me for the second time at the bus station as we said goodbye, “When will I see you again?”
The truth is I don’t know when, but I know we will.
The last stop on this journey was London, for some time with my cousin, Natalie. Natalie and I are more than cousins, though. We are sisters and soul mates. We are so similar, we are almost the same person, and we like all the same kinds of clothing, music, food, wine, travel. We have been to several places in Canada together, New York City, Madrid, Arras (France), and now London. Since we’ve both lived away from each other off and on since I turned 18, we have taken advantage of these travel opportunities to visit each other, and this time in London was just that, filled with belly laughs, day drinking, funny faces, a visit to Greenwich, fiddle music on the tube, boat rides and playing in fountains.
I felt very melancholic today. I was the first to wake up at Natalie’s. There were 3 of us sleeping on the floor in the living room, and 3 other people who actually live there. I showered and quietly began packing my belongings. There was a big trip, a big city, a big adventure ahead of me, and even though I felt like I was just getting settled at Natalie’s, at Anna’s, at Victor’s, in Iceland, somewhere else was calling me. Russia. Siberia. Mongolia. This morning, all I felt like I wanted to do was turtle and hide away so I could spend another day (just one) with Natalie, her boyfriend, their friends, Sajid. But I didn’t have another day…
I arrived safe and sound in Moscow tonight, and I still feel a little melancholic about leaving behind these last two weeks. I wish this time could go on without end. I just can’t believe how sweet these 2 weeks were, how every moment felt right, and how I felt so happy that I thought my heart might burst. Truly, I have spent 2 weeks filling my heart with good things, and I know this will serve me well in the future.
Even though the melancholy lingers, I am trying to shift gears. A shower and a good night’s sleep will do me well, and when I greet Moscow tomorrow, I know everything will be better. Tonight, as the train pulled away from the airport taking me towards Moscow, and the tall white pines scraped the sky, I felt the flutter in my stomach, the dancing in my heart. I am on the road again.