Posted in Life Abroad, Tips and Tricks, Travel

BEST WEEK EVER

oh em gee. You guys, I’ve literally never laughed as much as I have in the past week and change. The arrival of Ricky Bobby (aka Ericka aka the best partner in crime EVER) was just the beginning of tons of fun so here are the highlights of our first week together.

Almost a little over a week ago in the wee hours of the morning I set off to go pick up Ricky from the airport, in what started off my most snapped (snap chat heavy) week ever documented. I got to the airport about 20 minutes after her plane landed and anxiously waited at the doors for arrivals. And waited. And waited. So long that her flight disappeared from the list of flights that had received baggage. Oh crap. My initial thought was that I’ve lost her forever and that her parents were going to KILL ME. Being the genius people we are, we made no contingency plan for emergencies and both our phones have a tendency to die at inopportune times. So I think, if I were Ricky what would I do. First I check starbucks (she’s pretty basic and will admit to it), which I really thought would be the winner, no luck. Then (thank heavens) I remember the text I sent her before she took off on the last leg of her trip. I had said, “go straight out of the doors DO NOT go left, DO NOT go right, just straight out and I’ll be there.”  So then I proceed to go straight back from the gates, through the crowds of people, past the restaurants, and check in desks, literally so far straight that I could not go any further and to great avail there she was. SO HAPPY. Literally pure joy erupted and I was so glad that  1. I didn’t lose her, 2. She was safe in my arms and 3. MY BEST FRIEND WAS STARING BACK AT MY FACE IN REAL LIFE. That was literally the perfect beginning to the trip for our beautifully backwards friendship.

Our first day consisted of breakfast at my humble abode, me cooking, Ericka lounging around (per usual), a bike ride to Grundtvigs Kirke, a beautiful church I discovered thanks to B (second Tinder date), stroll through what we thought was a park but turned out to be a cemetery…, Frederiksberg Have (Park), a quick coffee break to defrost our limbs, then back to Lyngby (my hood) for open gym with the girls from my team that were in town for the holidays as well as the guys from our Mens Elite team. I would like to say that Ericka enjoyed this day, but between the biking, and the full blown practice led by Dennis the Serbian (Men’s coach) she was feeling pretty frozen and sore by the end of it. At one point during practice she literally could not open her hands. And I don’t want to say too much (Ericka is writing a guest post next week about her experience YAY) but let’s just say I just about died when she asked me “how to start this thing” in reference to her bike.

The next day we went for the best morning buffet in Copenhagen at Cafe Bopa (my workplace) and for the Canal Boat Tour from Nyhavn. It was fun for me to get to show Ericka around what I now call home, and to get to be a tourist again. I do have to say that my favorite part about touring was taking pictures of Ericka taking pictures of Copenhagen. At one point I convinced her to completely open our window in the boat and stand up because she should “definitely see Church of Our Lady Savior from outside” (in 30 F degree weather), it was wonderful. We finished up the day by doing a completely touristy 20 something year old thing to do and joined a Pub Crawl (adults that love and care about me don’t judge us!). Although pub crawls draw pretty bad assumptions, I’ve personally found that they are such a good way to meet people from all over the world especially in a foreign city. Getting to have conversations and laughs with people from different walks of life is my favorite thing, and that is something that is guaranteed by going on a pub crawl. Plus you get to see parts of the new city. Let’s just call it an adult night time walking and laughing tour. Anyways, the adult night time walking and laughing tour was a great time, we did meet people from all over including the Netherlands, Canada and California (of all places!). But Ricky Bobby and I always have a good time so this night was no surprise. We got back home around 4 am, I snapped (snap chatted) Ricky Bobby laying next to me in my roommates bed and thought all was right in the world.

Fast forward a day and we make the regrettable decision to stay up ALL night until our 7a.m. flight to Berlin. Really I don’t know what were we thinking but all I know is that my 26 year old self cannot pull all nighters like my 21 year old self could. (Okay, okay I lied, who am I kidding…I never pulled all nighters studying in college so this was a first for me). But this all ended up being for nothing since at about 2am I remember I forgot my passport at my apartment, which lead to my 900 and something danish kroner (over $120 usd) taxi ride back to my apartment and to the airport *face to palm*. We immediately passed out on the plane, got to Casey’s apartment and went back to sleep for about 6 hours. The best part about this whole thing is that I also forgot the air mattress at my apartment so I was able to get it when we went back for my passport which helped me feel not so bad about my hefty taxi ride. We get to Casey’s and we think to blow it up with a hair dryer. In my zombie like state I attempt to do so and the hair dryer is so stinking hot that it LITERALLY melts the hole to the air mattress…making me wait a few seconds to put the cap on, releasing the hot hot hot air that I just put it in, but at least I got to sleep on the “air mattress”(air mattress=floor).

Berlin was my first travel adventure to go on in this new season of life and it did not disappoint. Casey my beautiful red headed best friend was my host, and along with Ricky Bobby and Sam (Casey’s friend from college) the laughs did not stop. We could’ve literally been sitting in an apartment in the tiniest West Texas town and still had a freaking blast because of how funny those 3 are. Some things I learned about Berlin:

NYE is a complete warzone: no joke. There are no rules about fireworks, you can throw them wherever, drop them out of your apartment window, blast them from the streets. We literally felt like we were in an actual warzone with smoke filling the air, fire erupting on either side of us, and people (us) scrambling on the sidewalks. The worst best part of this was Casey, screaming and hysterically laughing from both enjoyment and fear, further propelling our anxiousness in getting blown to bits. But good news, we all survived with all limbs and appendages. All 39 fingers still intact (close friends will understand).

Berlin is HUGE: okay so I never really considered myself a big city girl, but I love living in Copenhagen aka a big city (in my mind) and started to think that was my preferred lifestyle. False, Copenhagen is not a big city, Berlin is a big city, and I would die if I ever moved there. Berlin has a population of approximately 3.5 million people, Copenhagen approximately 1.2 million. I give mad props to Casey for navigating that humungous city because I sure couldn’t. Copenhagen is pretty much the Abilene of “big cities” which is why I’m sure I love it so.

Berlin is Beautiful: unfortunately our late nights didn’t allow us to take advantage of the wonderful daytime hours in Berlin, but nonetheless I did discover that Berlin is beautiful. The history of the city is nothing short of unique. We did make it to the Topography of Terror which featured a timeline of Hitler and the Nazi’s take over of Germany. It was incredibly saddening, words can’t describe how I felt when reading through Berlin’s history. But present day it makes the city so beautiful now for what it is. A gigantic melting pot of people that have come together through so much adversity. Not only is it’s landscape and architecture beautiful, but it’s history, story, and people are as well.

Even though I’m sure there are so many more amazing things to discover about Berlin, unfortunately, I didn’t learn too much else due to foreseen circumstances (NYE and fistpumping). But it’s just a short 7 hour, 19 euro bus ride away and I can guarantee I will be going back for more adventures with Casey.

There are lots of things that took place between Berlin and now but hopefully Ricky will update you on all of that next week. Fast forward to today, and I’m staring work back in the face. Multiple memes and gifs have popped up expressing everyone’s sorrow for going back to work after the holidays. Yesterday we had our first practice of the New Year and I’m not gonna lie, those memes popped into my head. But not for the reason most would think. Getting back into the gym, “working” for me was a reminder of how lucky I am to desire to go back to work. Yesterday I was reminded of why I left my family and friends thousands of miles away. To pursue a dream. Yes, traveling is AMAZING, hosting friends is a blast, going out and meeting people is wonderful! But the reason I left is to play volleyball and to be the best player that I can be. Going back to work means getting back in the gym and playing the sport that I love with the girly pops that I have come to adore. My holiday time with friends is quickly coming to a close, which really does break my heart, but it’s time to refocus this New Year and stay focused on my one true love for the time being. Volleyball.

Always wanderlusting,

IJ

PS- I used my passport & the air mattress successfully 0 times.

Traveling: 1 IJ: 0, till next time.

 

 

 

 

 

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