Writing the last blog post, I sat at the airport waiting to check in on my flight bound for Seattle. Writing this post, I’m back in Sweden. Ten days’ passed and in the midst of a heavy jetlag, I’m trying to wrap my head around my experience.
There are three dimensions of this trip, and since I’m feeling completely overwhelmed, I figure the easiest way is to just work them through one by one. Here it goes.
1. The trip was my way of celebrating my 30th birthday.
I’ve always loved to travel, and what better way to celebrate my entrance into this world thirty years ago than doing what makes me feel most alive? Thinking about time and getting older, you can’t escape contemplating what you actually accomplish in life. As days fly by, it’s easy to forget all you actually go through. Turning thirty, I attempted to sum up the past ten years of my life, and looking at the list below I realized the immense growth I’ve made as a person – even though it felt as if the years just flew by. During the past ten years of my life, I have;
- Traveled. Egypt, Thailand, Greece, France (seven times), Spain (eight times), Great Britain, USA (three times), Monaco.
- Moved. I’ve moved five times, one of them to Gran Canaria (Spain).
- Loved. I’ve spent five years single and five years split on two different relationships.
- Studied. I’ve gotten myself a BSc. in Political Science and a MSc. in Global Studies.
- Worked. I’ve worked with assembling wheelchairs, as a bartender, waitress, credit manager, saleswoman, cashier, environmental coordinator, international project coordinator, project manager, counselor at the Red Cross and with housing support at the Salvation Army.
People have gone in and out of my life, teaching me things both about myself, other people and life in general. I’ve lost people who I thought would always be there, and I’ve gotten to know people who’s stood by me when the sea was at its roughest.
The core of what I’ve come to learn so far is that change is the only constant, and the more you fight it, the more unhappy you will feel. Life is scary but it’s also magical. Reflecting on the past ten years, I get humbled by the endless possibilities and yet unknown turns my life will take in the next ten to come.
2. I’ve had a faraway crush on Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula.
I wanted to experience the area and boy – did I experience the area. In ten days, this is what we managed to check off the list:
- Line dancing at the country bar Little Red Hen.
- Jogging along the Elliott Bay Trail.
- Lunch at the Goldfinch Tavern (book detail).
- The Elliott Bay Book Company.
- The Nest (rooftop bar at the Thompson Hotel overlooking Elliott Bay).
- University of Washington.
- Kerry Park.
- The Amazon Spheres.
- Italian food and live jazz music at Vito’s.
- Staying at Hotel Sorrento (book detail).
- Tasting and tour at the Bainbridge Organic Distillers, Bainbridge Island.
- The Nordic Heritage Museum (book detail).
- The fish ladder at the Ballard Locks in the Scandinavian neighborhood Ballard, Seattle.
- Salsa at Century Ballroom.
- Gambling (and winning 200 bucks) at the Quinault Beach Resort.
- Ocean Shores.
- Quinault Rain Forest.
- Ruby Beach.
- Port Angeles.
Besides experiencing all these amazing places, we’ve met so many humble, kind and funny people. Our Scandinavian spirits had no problem connecting with people through the alleged Seattle Freeze, it might actually have been the reason we felt right at home.
All the mouthwatering food, countless pints of beer and Gin & Tonics were just icing on the cake.
3. The better part of my paranormal romance novel Kilonova Blues takes place in Seattle.
Coming to Seattle for the first time, I had a number of places I needed to go to verify the feeling I’m trying to convey in Kilonova Blues. There’s an important scene at the Goldfinch Tavern; the Nordic Heritage Museum’s important in regards to Alexandra Johnson’s reason for being in the city; Alexandra stays at Hotel Sorrento; I already knew the location of Marcus Meyers’ apartment which I had to check out in reality, and so on.
The funny thing with us writers is that our imagination is so alive and vivid that sometimes it’s difficult to separate the real world from what plays out in our heads. Needless to say, I had to look over my shoulder more than once attempting to catch a glimpse of Marcus…
All in all, Seattle and its surroundings blew my mind. I’m overwhelmed and struggle to digest and sort all impressions. One thing I can say for sure – Seattle, I’ll be back.
That’s all for now,
hej så länge!