sarahblack: (London)
Firstly - Happy birthday Þorri! I'm so glad you've finally joined me in being 25 years old. It's weird when you're younger than me. ♥

It's good to be home. My gym! My clothes! My shoes! If I could give inanimate objects hugs I would be hugging these things. At the same time I find myself staring out the bus window, wondering if the last 7 months actually happened. I think it will take me a while to get used to the mundane.

Until I do get used to it, I have plenty to do! There's so much stuff. I don't know how people have time for jobs. I'm busy all day just dealing with stuff and going to the gym.

stainless60


Hopefully I will get a job soon, though. I'm not sure all this productivity will last if I'm unemployed for months.

Anyway, I wanted to write one last public post and sum up my ~feelings about my trip around the world. The feelings are kind of mixed. I'm ecstatic that the trip happened, but I'm sad about how out of shape I have become because of the trip. (I went to the gym to lift weights yesterday... All of my muscles are useless today. It hurts to think about moving.) I know you may think this is a silly thing to be pouting about, but it seriously feels like my favourite toy has been taken away. Happily, this problem is easy to fix. It will just take a few months to get back to where I was.

Okay, top five lists! (In no particular order.)

Top 5 Favourite Places... )

I think I learned a lot on the road. Mostly to trust myself - I am totally capable of organising and taking care of myself. I can find my way around an unfamiliar place and I can even figure out the public transport and how to get food. It's a great and empowering thing to learn.

I also learned that people are pretty much awesome and are usually willing to help you out if you run into trouble trying to accomplish the things I just mentioned. A big smile will help you get help.

People are the same wherever you go. There are superficial differences, but when it comes right down to it, we're all just trying to make a living and have some fun in the process.

S5003168

Marseille

Aug. 13th, 2012 01:10 pm
sarahblack: (Karen Gillian being gorgeous)
The last few days in Marseille have been wonderful. I've been staying with Laufey, a friend I used to work with.

My first days here were really easy-going. I needed to plan the trip ahead, decide which countries to go to and try to arrange couches to surf. So far I have a place to crash in Switzerland, Rome and Vienna.

But after sorting out these boring practical matters, I went for a bike ride around the neighbourhood with Laufey. We stopped by the ocean to have some celebratory cocktails (it was actually her birthday that day) and watch the sunset. Then we had a lovely birthday dinner at a Japanese restaurant where the waiter insisted on trying to get us drunk by giving us really delicious sake.

S5002811_
First time on a bike after a decade or so...


More adventures in Marseille )

Tomorrow I think I will go to explore the Chateau d'If. On Wednesday I'm heading for Geneva.

Iceland

Jul. 31st, 2012 05:00 pm
sarahblack: (Iceland)
It's so nice to be typing this on my own computer!

I'm in Iceland right now, but that's about to change this evening. I'm about to fly to Paris! And this time I won't be on my own. Thorri will be going with me. I can't believe I get to spend an entire week in Paris with him. It's such a dream come true after months of solo travel. ♥

The past few days in Iceland have been really nice. I've mainly been spending time with my family and Thorri, but I've also managed to make an appearance at one party, at a Christening, and at a couple of dance classes.

It's been wonderful to be able to play with my nephew, see my parents, my grandparents and my siblings, and just enjoy their company.

I was so happy to be able to see the girls at [livejournal.com profile] sigrundora's birthday party, and of course the birthday girl herself. I will have to remember to get her present to her when I come back to Iceland! I hadn't really finished unpacking it when I went to the party.

Being able to go to two dance classes was more than I had hoped I would be able to do, so I was ecstatic about that. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't know any of the steps and that I would just look ridiculous, but everything turned out wonderfully! It was so nice to catch up with my dance friends. ♥

I was really glad as well to be able to attend the Christening of my childhood friend's baby girl. I attended her wedding in January, and I would have been really sad to miss the Christening of her first child. Turns out she named her baby girl after herself. (It's kind of a tradition in her family. She's named after her mother, who is named after her mother!)

Anyway, I really need to run to the swimming pool right now. Next time I post I will probably be in France!
sarahblack: (Birthday cake)
I'm back in Nanjing after spending a wonderful weekend in Shanghai with Halla.

The trip started quite excitingly! We were meant to catch a train that left at 14:45 or something like that, and in China that means that the train will either leave exactly at 14:45 or a few minutes before. Not exactly what a couple of Icelanders are used to. We ended up having to run across the train station to make our train. Just like in the movies!

The trip to Shanghai on the train was uneventful, unless you count my consumption of all the snacks in China as an 'event', and we mostly spent it talking and planning our stay in the city. (By the way, train stations in China are very interesting looking - they reminded me of space stations! Or possibly the inside of a whale's ribcage...)

Our first day in Shanghai - Saturday - was filled with fun activities! Halla took me to the Yuyuan garden, a beautiful maze of rocks, trees and flowers, and the Bund. The Bund is a fun place to walk! You can enjoy the Pudong skyline and also the beautiful old European style buildings that are all around. I took way too many pictures. It was awesome!

After doing a little shopping - no Icelander can resist H&M - and freshening up, we went to dinner at a little Italian café. I got a delicious cheese explosion/calzone and some crème brûlée. I wish I had thought to take a picture of the crème brûlée - it came in the cutest little heart shaped bowls, with a heart shaped drizzle of cocoa powder to the side.

To place the cherry on top of the sundae that was our day, we went to a bar called 'Cloud 9'. The bar is in one of the skyscrapers that I had been admiring as we walked along the Bund earlier that day. It is on the 87th floor! (To get up there you have to take three different elevators, and on the way down your ears pop!)

We sat at a table with a gorgeous view and enjoyed some very silly drinks. (I got some kind of specialty of the house - rum, more rum and chocolate something something.)

All in all, it was a nice way to spend the Saturday evening before my birthday.

The Sunday was nice too. We mainly looked at markets. We checked out the Tianzifang market, one of the tailor markets (you can get anything tailor made to your measurements!) and to a fake market. They were all very interesting. My favourite shop was in Tianzifang. It was a tiny little hole in the wall filled with music boxes! Gorgeous ones! No cameras were allowed, otherwise I would have loved to take some pictures.

It was super tempting to have the people at thee tailor market make me an entirely new wardrobe of Chanel and Dior knock-offs, and then pick up a set of fake Vuitton bags and shoes at the fake market, but somehow I resisted. Sigh.

On Sunday evening we visited the Bund again in order to see the skyscrapers all lit up. It was super cool, especially since it was a bit misty and the tallest towers disappeared into the smoke-like gloom. It made me think of Gotham city. I expected Batman drop down on our heads at any moment!

When it was after midnight, and the 14th of May had officially arrived, Halla surprised me with a little dessert! She even lit a little candle and stuck it on the treat! It was a really nice way to start my birthday. ♥

My birthday only got better once I woke up the following morning. I checked my email and saw a message from Thorri! He gave me some really excellent news. I'm not sure I should reveal all the details on here just yet, but I am so excited about this!

Halla and I had a safe journey back to Nanjing, although we ended up sharing a train compartment with way more Chinese people than should strictly have been in the compartment with us. It was interesting. Two of them were older and just slept for most of the way, but there were three? Four? Six? young guys who kept changing places with each other and and playing with a laptop one of them had brought along. I think they were watching a film about snipers? Maybe?

Anyway, Halla and I ended up taking it easy after we got to Nanjing. We had dinner at a place across from Halla's dorm and watched Jane Eyre. Today has been similarly easy going. I finished watching that Indian movie with Halla's class and right now I'm helping Halla do something mysterious to her hair. Wish us luck!

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Sarah Black

March 2015

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