Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Plans

Today I go pick up a rent a phone, buy some more strong sleeping aids and generally laze around the rest up.

I'm making some progress on feeling more chipper, I think the thing that will help me most is just to sleep for about fifteen hours today.

Testing

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

First few days in london

It's been an emotional rollercoaster for me the last few days. I've never felt so raw and naked in my life. The powers of traveling have truly exposed my biggest weak point, a distinct hardship in believing in myself and in my ability to do the practical and be creative when problems arise.

When I left the airport in Portland it was in the middle of one of the worst panic attacks in my life. I was shaking with so many strong feelings that I didn't know what to do with myself.

As the plane left the airport in portland I knew I was in for the adventure of a life time, and my first thoughts strayed to worry dread and confusion. I thought, why go? Why go there, it's just the world, and I'm comfortable staying where I am.

The way over to Europe was a whole adventure in itself, first the plane from Seattle was delayed for two hours. I was worried because it meant I may miss my flight to London. With a global phone not charged and a mind full of worry, running on no sleep and desperately lonely, I tried to do my best to relax. The plane from seattle taxied towards the run way and then stopped, delayed another 45 minutes due to weather. I sat and waited as best I could, my stomach hurting. Finally we got onto the air and I was on my way to jfk airport. But as we approached there was another delay in landing. I thought to myself, why today of all days does the weather have to be so terrible? As I landed I knew I'd missed my connecting flight to Iceland. I walked brisling through terminal eight towards the airtran to the international terminal, terminal 7. I found the ticketing counter for Icelandair and asked them if the flight had left, the woman said no and a flash of hope overcame me. They rerouted me to Britsh Air instead on a direct flight.

I have never felt so pampered on an aircraft in my life! A blanket, pillow, headphones, a dusposable toothbrush and socks to top it all off! I tried to sleep on the flight over to London, but a combination of wracked nerves from the experience and another panic attack made that hard. I met a few very kind hearted people and the feeling of flopping about like afish out of water, a fish with no phone and no way of turning the plane around.

As I arrived in London I felt calmer, the cycles of panic, happiness, exhiliration and loneliness hit like a ton of bricks. I wandered around the Heathrow airport, just absorbing, listening to people who spoke so many strange languages it was hard to count!

Then i went out into the city towards my hostel called 'The Steam Engine'. I felt so tired it was Luke my head was swimming. There was a cute freckled english boy and his family who seemed interested in me and my backpack, we exchanged smiles and a quick laugh as the poor kid moved to go sit next to his mum and tripped over my backpack. The boys mother apologizing profusely and me making the joke that my pack is too large for it's own good.

Near Waterloo I exited the tube and wandered to try and find my hostel, after several wrong turns in somewhat hot weather I found it.

Eager to get there and call back home I found to my dismay that my international phone seemed to not ne charging! At this point I just felt too sick of things going wrong, and too tired to do much about it.

I met my hostel mates for the next few nights and we talked some, they're a nice bunch. I took a quick meandor around the neighborhood in order to get the lay of the land and to explore. I wandered unexpectedly into Waterloo Station, turning a somewhat modest unpopulated corner to see a sea of people!

I then went back to the hostel to try and rest up.

Last night I again haduch trouble sleeping as thoughts of doubt and dread filled me, i realized that I want to stay in London at the same hostel for a week instead of a few days.

I needed some certainty under my feet since the ground has been shifting so much already. The sleeping pills I took didn't work and I felt so tired and angry and unhappy by about four in the morning all I wanted to do was go back home.

Today I'm going to take it very easy and let my raw feeling nerves recover some oomph before heading anywhere over the English channel.

My next destination will by Paris.

Photo dump to come later!

Testing

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Weird Seagulls

I forgot to mention these seagulls I filmed in Oregon on the way back. Okay now that I watch these again they're kind of lame. But basically the seagulls kept walking from car to car mewling and asking for food like the bum birds they are. I thought the noise they kept making was hilarious, but my video just got mostly the noise of the wind, which is way less funny. In fact I don't even know if you can see them here, but whateves. Once I have a better camera and a better method of showing these videos, this will be easier.

video

More gulls with attitude, this seemed to be a theme at the rest stops we went to. This one gull really didn't like these other ones for some reason. What a jerk.

video

Back to Oregon Part Deu

So I got back to Oregon around Sunday afternoon. The trip back was all right. All though 750 miles of Montana does tend to get a bit old. The mountains are pretty. Gorgeous huge rolling hills, but I mean c'mon, enough all ready! Two days of driving through and I'm done.

We stayed overnight in Billings Montana, which is about half way through the state and right about where the hills start to get grassier and more pronounced. The city itself smelled foul from the oil refineries around the area. Montana is a big oil state and they do a lot of drilling there. I just thought driving by the refineries was kind of cool. It looked like some weird post apocalyptic pocket in the middle of this mild mid western town.

The next morning we wanted to head to Yellowstone National Park and started heading down there via I think Bearclaw Pass, but the road was snowed out. Yes, I know what you're thinking... apparently Yellowstone is snowed out for all but a few months of the year, which I didn't know before and was bummed about.

I was looking forward to seeing some bison and geysers up close again. Maybe sometime next year if I have the money and a weekend off I can mosey over there. it's a beautiful area, treacherous and awesome, and really high up, like 12,000 foot elevation high up in the rockies.

My mom and I made a U-Turn back to this place called Red Lodge as she called Yellowstone to see what the road conditions were. Chains were either heavily recommended or required on all roads up there. We had a full car with my computer and precious other things like my house plants, and so we decided against it.

I was hungry and decided to wander over to a pizza place called the Red Lodge Pizza Co. there pizza was fine, but the waitresses dinked around for about ten minutes while I waited for my pizza cleaning stuff, and kept asking me if I'd been helped, to which I said repeatedly "yes". I give them a B on Pizza but an F on customer service.

We zoomed back up to I-90 and then over through Idaho, which was also more of the same. I didn't think that tall majestic mountains would get boring, but man, I was really ready for a change of scenery after 800 miles of sameness by the side of the road. But, also, I took a few really nice photos while driving through Montana:





We then stayed in Spokane the next night, which went fine. The beds were a bit uncomfortable, but they had an exercise room which I decided to use. Sitting in a car with numb-butt for ten hours makes you want to do anything else besides sit around on your butt watching TV. So I watched TV while on a tred mill. Does that make me a true American? I think the answer is yes.

It was later that night I started to have some really melancholy doubts about what I'm doing. Had a few moments of sadness when I think about Minnesota and missing the people there that I won't get to see up close again for quite a while. I may be suspicious of Facebook, but it also does provide a really great channel for staying in touch with many of the people I love and won't be able to see for a while.

We drove through eastern Washington, which was cool, then down zig zagged over the Columbia river and through the Columbia river gorge towards Portland. The whole area had these really amazing wind farm fields as far as you could see in every direction. My mom asked me if I'd like to pull over and take some pictures, and so I did.







Today I got to see my dog Greta again for the first time in a while. She has this weird and adorable habit of going into my room when I'm here and taking out one of my socks, then walking around the house whining and she holds it in her mouth. Usually she'll either put in under my pillow, on top of my pillow, or on her dog bed and then leave.

I realized I missed her a lot upon seeing her. While there waiting for the caretakers to go get her I wandered around the little cat area where they keep adoptable kitties. There was this ridiculously fat cat who automatically loved me, and lots of really adorable kittens. I just wanted to adopt them all.

Back in Oregon now, it feels good and bad. It's been physically painful leaving, but I know it was the right decision. It's just that adjustment and change like this is often hard, and I tend to be the weepy type. Now my sights are set on planning for my trip overseas. I have most of my gear together, but I still have a lot to do.

Maybe I'll do a blog post later about preparations for going over seas, that might be kind of cool.