When I was young, my dad was terrified of flying. He would try not to sleep the night before, so when he got to the airplane the next day he could just pass out and would not have to think about take off and landing and all the things in between. Flying never scared me, I always and still to this day, love it. The most exciting moment is when you take off and the world quietly becomes smaller and smaller.
As a 7 year old, as we approached the clouds, I imagined that the people we lose would be in the clouds, jumping around, singing and hanging out together, having the jolliest of times. The moment we would lightly touch the clouds I would search for people sitting on clouds. Naturally, I never spotted anyone on the clouds but to this day, this is still my favorite part of flying. Not only because we would fly through fluffy white clouds, which I imagined to be the softest, most wonderful feeling on this earth but because the second we went through the clouds there would always be blue skies (unless it was night, then it was clear dark blue skies).
In the last few years A and I have been all over the place, mentally, physically and just altogether and I couldn’t have been happier. I can honestly say, that I haven’t said ‘no’ to a single opportunity that crossed my path this year. This meant flying far more often than is good for the environment (not that any flying really is good for the environment). But it also meant that I got to experience the world in a way I would have never in a million years dreamt of.
2016 was a great year full of breath-taking opportunities. I got to go on a field course to India and got to wash some elephants (and yes, this is definitely my personal highlight of this year). I got to spend the summer in Germany and work with incredible teenagers with so much potential to change this world. I got to go to Berlin, Chios, Gothenburg and Barcelona in these past 12 months – to name a few places I’ve been. I’ve been away from Norway for about 150 days and yet I’ve got to work in a great job while almost loosing my mind over my master thesis (and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world).
A too, reached so many milestones this year – any year, really, for that matter. It’s incredible to think that only a few years ago we were living in a water bug infested place above a hoagie-deli in the burbs of Philadelphia. A was working at least 50 hours every week, while taking his masters degree meanwhile I was at a dead-end job in Vienna, trying to save up as much money as possible so we could visit each other for a few days here and there. Those were some tough times with some dark clouds hanging over our heads. The only traveling we did those days were to see each other and although my love for clouds persisted, neither A nor I looked forward to the end of the trips, when we had to travel back to the cloudy life without each other.
But here we are, still going strong through some hurricanes, weeks-on-end snow and rain and overcast days and nights. It’s been almost 8 years since the day we first met, the day that changed my official Facebook status but more importantly my life. As I am writing this, A and I are traveling to see my family in Austria. The skies are blue, the sun shining brightly and life is good. I guess, what I’m trying to say is that through every bad weather day, there are a million good days with fluffy clouds. With this, I hope you are enjoying the holidays with the ones you love. Be kind to each other.