Thursday, February 6, 2014

I'm going to Europe!

Lately when I'm walking outside in the cold, wintry weather I wonder to myself: how am I going to survive Iceland? Over there, it'll be true winter, similar to the East Coast these days, as opposed to Seattle's always-mild temperature.
Iceland collage
But weather is the least of my worries because I still can't believe I'm going to Europe in less than three weeks! The reality is slowly beginning to set in as I communicate with our dear family friend, Norma, who lives in Settle, a small town in the Yorkshire Dales of England. She's come to visit our family in Seattle just about every two years for as long as I can remember, and I often think of her as my honorary grandmother. Or, as my mom calls her, "my fairy godmother of travel," which is a pretty accurate title, I'd say.

This gap year trip (or GYT, as I abbreviate it on all my to do lists) truly wouldn't be happening without Norma and all of her generosity in offering me a room in her house as a home base, helping to arrange an eight-week volunteering opportunity at the non-profit in Scotland that she is a trustee of, contacting her network of friends, former students/coworkers and the like to find a room for me to rent in Edinburgh, and being so willing to show me around and introduce me to her friends over the nearly four months while I'll be in the UK. I'm so thankful for all the time and effort she has put towards helping me to make this crazy dream of mine a reality.

While I'm gone, I plan to write a weekly recap of sorts with photo highlights of what I've been up to. I hereby promise not to post photos of everything I eat, as I think that's strictly for Instagram, or whatever technology it is that people use these days to upload food pictures with Polaroid-style frames. On second hand, I'd definitely post a photo of me eating an Icelandic seafood delicacy that I actually consumed (pickled shark, anyone?), as that would be noteworthy for my seafood-averting self! Also, I'll most likely upload the majority of pictures I take to Facebook, if you'd like to see them there.

Just 18 days until I leave, I can't believe it And if you have any recommendations of places to go in or nearby Reykjavik, the first leg of my trip, I'd love to hear them!

(Photos by Bryan Pocius via Flickr Creative Commons)

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