Wednesday, March 06, 2013

The Adventure Begins

This is the first of what I hope will be many posts in the days ahead.  I have always enjoyed traveling and have dreamed for years of traveling more and possibly taking a "big trip."  It’s a little spurt of the moment, but I think that time has finally arrived. 

I'm going to use this blog to document my travels, and some of the travel planning as it comes along since it’s all a little last minute (and as the planning is frankly more daunting than the travel itself).  My hope is to preserve the memories for myself, and possibly to inspire others to travel a little more too.

Prior to 2012, I had traveled quite extensively (to places like India, Spain, Argentina, and others), but always with a companion.  Last year, I tried traveling to another country alone for the first time.  I went to Norway to visit my friend Greg, who had recently moved to Tromsø.

The hardest part of the trip was getting from my home in downtown Memphis to the Memphis airport.  It was 15 minutes of pure-fear as I worried about what might happen to me while I was traveling in another country and through multiple airports (I had 9 flights in total!) all alone by myself.  I had tears in my eyes all the way to the airport thinking about what I had gotten myself into.  The friend who drove me to the airport chuckled when he thought of the much bigger mountains I had climbed compared to this one that scared me so much more.  I really felt like a five-year old child on their first morning of kindergarten.

Soon after arriving at the Memphis airport, I was upgraded to first class on the flight from Memphis to Amsterdam.  Even more surprising, a British couple I knew from Ballet Memphis was seated in the row directly behind me.  It was then that I knew that things would probably be okay, and that I wasn't really alone after all.

Needless to say, I made it all the way to the hotel in Oslo to meet Greg just fine.  It was an amazing feeling to open the hotel door with my key and have Greg sitting there waiting for me—all the way around the world.  We had a great time in Oslo and then headed on to Tromsø (where it was daylight 24 hours a day!).  After a few days, I embarked on my own to visit Bergen and then back to Oslo before returning home to Memphis. 

My biggest lesson was not only can I travel alone, but that it's actually fun.  Many more people spoke to me when I was alone and offered to help.  I even made a friend that I still stay in touch with today.  And as for being afraid of what crazy things might happen to me as a foreigner - most people thought that I was from Norway.  Nothing happened, except that I was occasionally stopped on the street for directions by tourists.

So here is to a new year, a new perspective, and new travels to new places!  I hope that you will follow my journey on my blog,

© Angela Copeland, Bergen Norway, 2012

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