While I was standing on the dock looking over the Oslo fjords and the sun set over the water, I definitely had time to reflect on everything and what 2016 brought me. I had time to reflect on the challenges, the changes, the decisions and all the positives that the year had brought me. Making the decision to spend Christmas by myself in another country was a hard one but it made sense. I needed to take some time to get recharged in preparation for 2017 and standing here made it all worth it.
Each solo trip that I have had the pleasure of going on has resulted in some sort of revelation or sense of calm. I’ve been lucky enough to find places that remind me to stay focused and they ground me. It’s almost like these random solo trips that I plan for myself somehow come at the right moment that I need them to.
I remember standing in the middle of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland by myself sobbing, not because I was sad but because I had gotten stuff in my eyes. This experience stands out in my mind because it was probably one of the more embarrassing moments of my life as I stood in the middle of this beautiful place crying by myself. I remember this so vividly because there were people everywhere and they were all along the edges of the lagoon while I stood in the smack center crying and blind. It was my first solo trip and having that embarrassing moment really set the tone for the rest of the trip. I needed to prove to myself that I could travel alone and that I didn’t need anyone. Standing there, I realized that I didn’t need anyone. I was going to guide myself out of that lagoon, tears streaming down my face and I would survive the rest of my trip.
My second solo trip, I remember finding myself looking out over Budapest by the Liberty Statue and I felt grounded again. But in a different sense. I had decided to go on that trip because I could and it worked with my work travel. But standing there, alone, looking out over the city and making the decision to continue hiking even though I was lost and had no idea where I was going was exactly what I needed. It reminded me that I am strong, I am independent and that I am charge of any decision I make. It gave me the sense of ownership over my own decisions and the risks that I was and am taking.
Now, standing on the dock in Oslo and looking out over the fjords with the sun setting over the water – it was the perfect moment to remind me that it’s all going to be okay. No matter what the world decides to throw at me, the sun will always set and there is so much beauty in this world that I have experienced and have yet to experience. It was the perfect reminder I needed to remember that the world is so much bigger than my own little bubble. There’s so much to be thankful for, so much to explore and so much beauty that needs to be experienced and seen. I’m so happy I took the time to wander until I found this dock and I had the entire place to myself as I watched the sun disappear in the distance. It’s an image I have saved on my phone as a reminder but I can still feel the cold air on my face, the small freezing breeze that almost made me regret standing still but remember that it was so worth it. I remember audibly saying “wow” as I walked up to that dock to no one around me and being speechless. I felt a sense of happiness, a calm that came over me.
As 2017 continues, I want to remember that feeling forever. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to recreate that feeling I got as I watched the sun disappear at 330PM on Christmas Day. But, I don’t think I want to recreate that feeling because it truly was special and the perfect reminder of why I travel and why I am the way that I am. I hope that I never lose that feeling or that memory and I hope that it continues to ground me and be the constant reminder that the world is so much bigger than what we can see in front of us.