All right. So. November is gone (bye bye!) and here’s December (not that you’d know by the weather, it remains a balmy and sunny average of 70 degrees Fahrenheit here in the Metroplex). How’d I do with that whole “blog every day in November” thing?
Ooh, well, better than I have in years, let’s be frank. But still, didn’t make each and every day. Oh well, I’ll take the partial win. I’d do a “blog every day in December” thing but there’s going to be about a week in there where it will be physically impossible for me to do it, so, let’s not make promises we can’t keep, eh, Morty?
Am I going a little fast here? Sorry, I’ve had a whole Diet Coke and three hours of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, oh, and two bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Somewhere in there, one of those might have been a mistake. Oopsy-doodles.
Anyway! It’s December 1st (probably the 2nd by the time I post this, what can I say, I’m a night owl) so it is officially less than a month before I plop myself into an aluminum zoomy-tube and send myself hurtling across the Atlantic Ocean to spend a week in Norway. A week during which it is currently forecast to rain (it’s Bergen), and snow (it’s Norway) and generally be cold and windy (it’s December), and I do, I really do occasionally wonder what got mis-wired in my DNA that made me think that all of that sounds absolutely fine, bordering on delightful, for a vacation.
(I know what. The majority of my genetics stem from Northern Europe. The Spanish contribution from Mom’s side didn’t stand a chance against all the Scots, Welsh, and Normans that Dad brought to the table, so thanks a lot for that, Dad.)
I am about as ready as I can be for a week in Norway. I have plans, I have lists. I am bringing a tiny suitcase and a backpack and a raincoat. I have all but mastered the art of cramming a week’s worth of interchangeable winter clothing into the suitcase, but it has taken some work. Work that makes Trilby pace the apartment because the suitcase is out, and it is being packed, and that means I am going somewhere, but she doesn’t know when, and the end result is: I spend a lot of time with an anxious Siamese in my lap.
Sorry, Pumpkin. I’d bring you with me if I could.
The fun thing about all of this is that I have learned so much about how to “ranger roll” clothing. I have never in my life folded a pair of heavy-duty blue jeans down so small. And my enormous fleece hoodie! It’s in the suitcase too! Rolled up nice and snug.
I am now capable of folding my enormous bikini pants into bundles the size of my hand. I’m a big girl, you could sail a small boat with my pants, but nevertheless, they are now wee flat bundles lining the bottom of my suitcase along with the sports bras it turns out you can fold down into equally small, flat bundles.
I’ve got apps for grocery shopping, for booking train tickets, for checking bus schedules. And boy! Let me tell you, it turns out to be a really good thing I have spent the last year studying the Norwegian language, because if any of these apps have an English language setting, I can’t find it. Which makes perfect sense, given that they’re apps generally meant for usage by actual Norwegian people, and not weirdo winter vacationers like yours truly. But it is fine. I think I officially know enough Norwegian to get into and – importantly – back out of trouble. That’s better than I have managed with any language I’ve tried to learn before. I am pretty sure that despite three semesters and a childhood of German language learning and exposure, I would only be able to get into trouble in Germany, and the buck would stop there. Not ideal.
And my French is even worse.
I do wish I could be a little more chill about this trip. I know there are people who travel annually, who go all sorts of places, they book tickets and hotels without breaking a sweat or stressing about it. Me, I am sitting here worried my plane ticket will be lost somehow in SAS’s computers, or that I will get kicked off of my first flight out of DFW for being a fatty, or that three days before I leave my AirBNB will get yanked out from under me.
I worry that despite my daily review of maps of Bergen, I will somehow get lost between the airport bus stop and my rental apartment (it’s a straight half-mile walk with one left turn at the end). I worry that despite knowing full well I can walk a mile comfortably before I really need to pause, I will somehow be unable to navigate the city at all. I worry that it will bucket down rain every day of my visit.
I worry that despite saving my pennies and my careful budgeting and planning, that somehow I will run entirely out of money two days into my trip. I worry that I will use up all my data plan and come home to a five billion dollar phone bill. I worry about my cats, as I always do when I go on a trip.
And, of course, I still worry that I will hate every minute and will have an awful time. This seems…unlikely? But still. Anxiety is not exactly a reasonable mental ailment, and mine is in full swing despite my best efforts.
I figure if I can have a pretty decent time on this trip, maybe I will chill out, and then I can look into scheduling another one and then maybe sort of get used to traveling abroad a bit more. Assuming the US economy does not in fact go tits-up, which as of this exact moment, is a distinct possibility. Ugh, and there I went giving myself something else to worry about.
I am slowing down. I think the Maisel, the sugar rush, and the caffeine are all wearing off. Maybe I should go to bed and concentrate on having a nice trip.
And definitely don’t think about plane crashes oh nooooooo…