This really is turning into a once-a-month blog. But perhaps that's enough? Or perhaps I will eventually start writing more than I do right now. Or it might just die out or more likely move to a new media whenever such a media arrises. I haven't tried micro-blogging à la Twitter that much - but I think this form suits me more actually. But let's not turn this into a meta-blog - let's continue with what I intended to write about...
This travelling thing. I like travelling. I like travelling alone, exploring new countries by myself. I liek travelling with my dad, this enjoyable companionship travelling where we see and experience a lot of the world together. I also like travelling with friends, partying, seeing new cities and meeting new people. And I of course think I would like to travel with my girlfriend, which we will over New Year's when we're going to Bratislava and Vienna. And I even like travelling with work, although this is a completely different type of travel with hotels, offices, airports and not so much countries, exploring and cultures.
Lately it has been a bit too much of the good things though. My personal goal for this year was to visit 12 countries in one year and it seems I will not succeed (although not being far away). But if I count every time I went to another country as a new country, I would get a lot more than 12 countries in this year. Or if I count being at the airports of a country perhaps - that'd work too.
I was thinking about this yesterday when I was sitting on Vienna airport, waiting on my delayed flight home to Arlanda and starting to realize that I wouldn't be in bed until one o'clock in the night and that I would need to get up at five just to get back to Arlanda to get a new flight for work. But that's life when you've said yes to working part time in Linköping (although I take the train there), part time Germany and then also have your girlfriend in Croatia.
This is my toplist of airports in Europe (that I've been at this year):
- Schipol, Amsterdam - absolutely huge, but contains a cinema, nice shopping and a Rembrandt museum which is free
- Copenhague airport - also very big, with extremely upmarket shopping (Versace, D&G, Gucci, you name it), but also nice small shops and cozy Christmas music in early November.
- Arlanda airport - nothing special at all, but things works smoothly most of the time
- Zagreb airport - small, not so efficient, just one café after security, but very nice to arrive at (and less nice to leave of course)
- Dortmund airport - Smallest non-Swedish airport I ever saw, but very nice personell who were extremely happy about a Swede with a real Swedish last name.
- Düsseldorf airport - quick and mostly efficient in a German way, but also a complete lack of charm
- Vienna airport - ugly, smoking all over the place, but it has free wireless internet and a Starbucks
- Bonn/Köln airport - Very much like Düsseldorf airport, big, grey and unfortunately not even efficient.
- Any Ryanair airport (Skavsta, Scotland, Italy, London)
Most visited countries this year:
Croatia - 5 times (so far)
Germany - 4 times (or a few more if we want to count transfers)
Austria - 1-5 times - depending if you count (twice in a week +1) (one hour of driving +1) (transfer +1) (going at New Year +1)
Slovakia - 1-2 times - depending if you count New Year's in Bratislava which is planned and booked
Italy - 1-2 times - depending if you count start and end of vacation (3 days each time)
Slovenia - 1-2 times - depending if you count going through in both directions (2 days each time)
Hungary - 1 time (or perhaps 2 if we get off the train along the way)
Scotland - 1 time (or a few more if you count every whisky I had in Sweden)
Denmark - 0-2 times depending if you count transfers
Netherlands - 0-2 times depending if you count transfers
Switzerland- 0-1 times depending if you count transfers
Anyway. Travelling is a bit tiring when you get too much of it. Or when you cannot do it on your own terms. But it still keeps it's charm and drawing power of me. First time you come to a new place you first see the similiarities - oh, they also have H&M, McD or any given international super brand . Shortly after you start seeing the sights - the museums, the cathedrals, the architecture, the whatever they might be famous for. Then you start getting a first feel of the people, the food, the language and perhaps the culture. Then you start seeing the differences even more clearly - the differences in society, history, politics, income, ethnical diversity and how those things all influence the people and the country. And when you've spent long enough in a country or got close enough to people you stop seeing the differences and once again you notice how alike peoeple really are. That in the end all the small things matters, that people are more or less the same - they care about love, friends, family, work, food, life and all those small daily things that in the end turn out to be the real things of real importance.