It’s raining outside. Of course it’s raining, it often does when I’m leaving for a long journey. In the quiet early morning I do a last laundry round, have a shower and breakfast and then I’m ready to go. Just like last year, Uber isn’t working and there is no driver showing up. This’ll be the last time I’ve tried that in the Netherlands. I walk through a drizzling rain with my heavy luggage to the train station, but fortunately about halfway there is a bus stop with a bus scheduled in a few minutes. With just a few minutes left I arrive nice on time at the station to catch the train.
The morning of my departure is quite peaceful. It’s raining outside when I wake up from my alarm at 4am. I’ve already packed all my bags yesterday, so that’s done. One of the first things I do is check the Delta app to see the status of my flight and everything looks fine.
No matter how often I have traveled or how far I have gone, the day before a new adventure always stays unnerving. This time it’s more stressful, because being able to travel depends on having a negative covid test. I have the test on Tuesday afternoon and it’s much easier than I thought it would be. I walk in, identify myself and a friendly guy gently sticks some kind of straw in my mouse and nose and it’s done. A few minutes later I walk outside again, wondering what the fuzz was all about. Compared to the painful self test I had done the day before this was really nice and easy. But now I’m already spending more time writing about it than it actually took in the first place, so back to the topic of travel stress.
As usual I start the day with a short workout and a shower. It’s nice, they have a rain shower in this hotel, I love it. While waking up I think about what a great surprise this turned out to be. A free excursion to Iceland. At nine o’clock I have breakfast with my new travel friends. A Dutch man called Alfred and an American guy called Paxton who lived in my city for two years. While having breakfast together Paxton and I realise that we’ve actually briefly met once in the Starbucks where I usually work. The world is really a small place. As usual when I’m staying in a hotel I really enjoy the extensive breakfast.
The other day I met a girl in the coffee store who had just bought a one way ticket to Africa. Her family lives there and she had decided to go back to them. A few days later I met someone else that had decided to buy a one way ticket to Australia and both got me thinking about the idea of buying a one way ticket.
When I have a flight to catch I usually set three alarm clocks in the morning. I wake up before they all go off and for a second I don’t know where I am. Then I know I’m in the hotel room near the airport. I wake up and post my blog of two days ago. The nice thing of being a little behind with blogging is that even when I’m back home, the story will go on for at least two more days. When I’ve finished the blog, I take a shower and go downstairs for breakfast. I always like to be early at the airport, but I still have plenty of time. I get my bags ready, go for a second breakfast and then make a planning for the week in my bullet journal.
Around ten o’clock I check out of the hotel and return my car to the rental company. I will miss this fine ride, my mobile home for the past six weeks. When I arrive at the airport I realize that I’ve forgotten my jackets in the car. I quickly get back into the shuttle bus and fortunately they have my jackets at the rental company.
It’s interesting how you can look forward to a journey, but at the days before departure don’t like it so much at all. Saying goodbye to family and friends, finishing work and packing everything isn’t my favorite thing to do. Especially the packing. I’ve traveled quite a lot so far, but I still always manage to pack too much. I think it’s because I like to have a choice when I’m traveling. Choice of clothes to wear, choice of books to read and so on. After a bit of a struggle I manage to bring the weight back to about one kilo over the limit hoping it’ll be okay. Just before I go to bed my neighbor Liv-Marit texts me to say goodbye. I walk downstairs and have a short chat. She recommends me to do some meditation before sleeping, to relax and have a good nights rest. I say goodbye to her, set two alarm clocks and follow her advice. It was a good idea, just focussing on your breath for a moment before you fall asleep helps clearing your mind.