Posted in Fitness, Volleyball, & Motivation, Life Abroad

Tricks and Treats

When I initially thought of the idea for this post it was an acceptable few weeks after Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas were still in the near but kind of distant future. Fast forward to today and we are officially 9 days away from Christmas, seriously time is flying so fast. The benefit of me procrastinating with this post is that more tricks and treats have arose in the past month that I can share with you all. So here is my life for the past month or so separated into bitesize little tricks and treats.

Treat #1 – My best friend got engaged!!! I’ve had a number of friends and family get married in the past 5 or so years. I’ve been a bridesmaid 5 times now and have attended many weddings as a guest. All of those have been amazing experiences and I always cherish being a part of a loved ones special day but this time it’s a little different. Kelsie aka my little bit of heaven aka my Kelsie is getting married!!!! The pure joy and excitement that rushed upon me when she told me via FaceTime was seriously overwhelming. I cried. Not just because I’m so extremely happy that she is getting to marry the man of her dreams. But because my best friend is getting married. Crazy I really couldn’t get over it for a few weeks days. It is crazy how many emotions I felt but the overwhelming one was happiness. I’m so happy for her and can’t wait to plan and stand next to her on that most special day.

Treat #2 – Surprises from Topher Grace. One thing that is so much fun about being in a long distance relationship is the endless opportunities to surprise each other. Not only did I get one surprise in the past month but two. Surprise number one was arguably a failure due to my own suspicion. Chris was coming into town for the weekend but not until the wee hours of the morning due to practice on Friday night. He was acting odd that day and I got curious about his practice being cancelled and him making the trip up hours early. Despite my better judgement I cheated and decided to look on find my friends. I know I’m the worst. Low and behold Topher Grace was halfway into Sweden (YES!). I contemplated playing dumb but decided to make dinner for when he arrived instead, essentially a win win even though the surprise element was a failure. Ever since then we’ve vowed not to check find my friends when one or the other was acting suspect. I’m glad I stuck to the vow since he surprised me again a few weeks later by coming to a game about 2 hours away from Copenhagen (more about this game in the trick column). Long distance can have it’s challenges but there is always a way to make an unfortunate situation better.

Trick #1/#2 – We got our butts kicked by the #1 team in the league and then proceeded to lose to one of the teams sitting at the bottom. Ouch. Going into playing Engleholm (1) I felt pretty good and confident that we would compete if not win. Coming out of playing Engleholm I was disappointed that as a whole we didn’t show up and barely gave them a fight at all. The potential of our team is unlimited, when we play at our best I believe we can beat any team in our league and we have won and taken sets from the other two teams standing above us. The trick I suppose is showing up. We didn’t show up at Engleholm (1) and got our butts kicked, we didn’t show up agaisnt Svedala (7 at the time) and lost in 4. We have one more match tomorrow that can be significant moving forward in the second half of season. I for one plan on showing up and have confidence that my teammates will as well.

Trick/Treat #1 – The snow! Okay, if you follow me on snapchat (eege712) you know that I am absolutely obsessed with the winter wonderland that is my life. I really can’t decide if I love the snow or I am just so infatuated by it. Right now the entire town is topped with snow, the lake is halfway frozen over, Christmas lights and stars are hanging in every window, it’s absolutely picturesque. BUT with the snow comes ice and with ice comes broken hips. I have yet to fall completely which is a blessing since my rebel self has been risking it all on my bike but have endured a slight slip or skid every once and a while. Until it melts away I’ll continue to be the “Texan that’s never seen snow” among the village people that are used to their eyelashes freezing over.

Treat #3 – Thanksgiving in Copenhagen. Last month we just so happened to have Thanksgiving weekend off, which is also known as just another weekend in November here in Scandinavia. Topher happened to have it off of volleyball as well so I made the trip to CPH and attempted to host my very first Thanksgiving. In between the cooking and the cooking I managed to get together with one of my favorite girly pops aka sweater girl aka Sarah. Sarah and I spent some time shopping around in the mall and catching up over nachos and drinks the trip included me making fun of Sarah and Sarah wondering if I was always that mean. The answer is yes Sarah I haven’t changed, you’ve just missed me. But back to the cooking. Seeing as how I don’t come from a traditional “American” family and how everything in the states can be “instant” made, cooking a Thanksgiving meal was more of a challenge for me than I presumed. I literally spent at least 10 hours cooking. In the end there was a great meal on the table and good company around it with the help of Topher Grace and Bettina and the rest of the Staal Alstrup gang.

Treat #4 – I finished Grad School. Oh my goodness gracious mio I am so happy to be done with Grad School. After stressing out about a 45 minute presentation where I was expected to sum up 2 years of education, it is finally over. The presentation went somewhat smoothly and I am officially a Master. Yes I have been forcing friends to call me Master and yes feel free to do it too. Having gone on adventures to Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, and across Europe while having to worry about assignments and group discussions I am more than ecstatic to have homework-free adventures. I am extremely grateful for my parents supporting me through this journey of education and know that one day it will prove to be extremely beneficial. Anytime within the last two years any mention of grad school would’ve definitely fell under the Trick column but hallelujah it is such a treat to say, “I’m done”.

Well, there you have it, my past month summed up in tricks and treats. Throughout any season of life there will be both tricks and treats that come your way. If you can find a person that has gone through a period of time without any setbacks or disappointments I would say either you or they are liars. But hopefully your treats always outweigh your tricks. If that isn’t the case then I hope that sometime in your near future they will. Looking forward I’m only 1 day away from the start of my Holiday break including a fabulous Roman getaway. Although I am extremely bummed to be spending a second holiday season away from home, I am so blessed and fortunate to have found a home away from home in Copenhagen.

Wishing everyone the Happiest of Holidays, ever wanderlusting,

IJ

Posted in Fitness, Volleyball, & Motivation, Life Abroad

‘Tis the Season

Friends and Family,

It’s been entirely too long. The last time I wrote a blog it was beautiful and sunny outside, there were birds chirping (probably the ones living in my ceiling) and I was so excited about the new changes I had made to my blog site. Now as I write it is below negative each day with the ground covered in snow and I am still equally as excited about my beautiful new blog site. Boy how time has flown by the past few weeks ekk months. But the seasons outside aren’t the only ones to enjoy.

I’d love to say that the past two months have been so great causing me to be far too distracted with joy that I couldn’t share what has been going on. That would be a lie. It would actually be the opposite of the truth. The past few months have been a struggle for me but I’ve struggled less and less over time. I’ve never experienced anxiety and self-confidence issues like I have during the months of September and October. The worst part was that I was feeling these emotions towards volleyball, the one part of my life that has always been consistent. The one part of my life that has always come easy. The one part of my life that has been without a doubt my favorite thing to do in the world.

Recent conversations with a sweet friend of mine helped me realize that we need to do a better job enjoying the season of life that we are in and reminding others to do the same. Something that humans in general or maybe just me specifically struggle with is just that. When we are in HS we can’t wait to be independent and in college, when we are in college we can’t wait to be done with school—big mistake watch out for bills, when we are in the real world we are sad we are no longer in college constantly surrounded by friends, when we are single we can’t wait to be married, when we are married we wish we would’ve enjoyed our single life more or can’t wait to have babies, you catch my drift…

Through this conversation I realized that through all the anxiousness and doubts what I need to be doing is enjoying the season of life that I am in. I got so caught up with the results and my performance that I never even looked at the ball. The one thing that is important. Literally all I’ve wanted to do is play volleyball, it’s all I’ve ever known. Now that I am finally given the opportunity to do just that, play volleyball no strings attached, doubts crept into my mind telling me I was not good enough. What I challenge myself to do and others as well is to enjoy the season of life that we are in. How many more seasons will I get to play the sport that I love and call it my job? How much more time do you have in your current season of life no matter what that may be? I don’t know about you but I want to enjoy the season I’m in now and throw the worries out of the window. Long gone are the days of stressing over my worth, the future, or the results. Whether it be about your age, work status, martial status, baby status I urge you to enjoy exactly where you are because where you are is where you are supposed to be. 

Despite the struggles I’ve had on the court, there have still been some hygge times going on in bits and pieces. Our team is now 3-2 in the league sitting tied for fourth. We want to be within the top four of the league come Christmas time so that we get to compete in the Grand Prix Volleyball Tournament in January. We play the teams currently sitting in number 1 and number 2 within the next few weeks so wish us some luck!

My grad school work is so close yet so so so so so far from being over. As I’ve mentioned I’m on my final capstone course and the finish line is near (Dec. 4) the only things standing in my way are a 50 page paper, a 15-20 page paper, and a 1 hour phone conversation about why I should pass featuring a slideshow. Oh my goodness finding the motivation to get all of that done is so tough but knowing I won’t EVER have to do homework again really helps. Seriously, if I ever mention starting any type of education again please tell me not to and starting Dec. 4th I will only answer to Master IJ. 

I’ve continued to enjoy getting to know my village people aka teammates over the past few months. One of the later additions to our team, Nette aka Nette Peit an Estonian outside, has an affinity for shrieking from time to time in practice when a ball doesn’t go quite her way. Literally the funniest thing ever. I’m talking, she thinks the ball is out, but then it ends up being super close and falling in, and as this process is happening in her mind all she can manage to do is scream at the top of her lungs at the horrible misjudgment she’s made. Thinking about it makes me laugh out loud and I’m really hoping we get one of these incidents on film. The world deserves to experience it first hand.

I also got to spend Election Day with two of the girls from the village up North Emilia & Rebecca aka CC aka Magic Hands aka Michael. Side Note: did everyone know the Arctic Circle was a real thing and people live above it????? Just a little fun fact these girls taught me that was an absolutely mind blowing revelation. Anyways, the late evening (around 11pm to 4am) was filled with fika aka Swedish snack time, hot chocolate, Swedish news, CNN, and some tasty glögg. The only disappointing part of the evening was the result of the election. Living overseas it really sucks to be judged by the decisions of “your” nation which technically isn’t “my” nation as a naturalized immigrant, right Trump? Today I am equally as confused as when this whole Trump running thing became a thing. I wish I had words of wisdom to share but really I’m speechless on the matter but hoping for unity and for the best whatever that may look like.

Lastly, I have exciting travel updates as I’ve booked my next adventure to the Ancient City of Rome! I’m SO excited to get to go not only because it’s freaking Rome but also because I’ll be going with Topher Grace. It’s our first trip together and from my previous experience traveling with someone, no matter who that person may be to you, helps you get to know them so much more. For example I learned that with Ricky Bobby we need to take a nap each day to function. Considering he is as into ice cream as I am I think the trip will be a complete success.

Here is to enjoying the season we’re in which will soon include stuffing our faces with some turkey!

Ever Wanderlusting,

IJ

P.S. A little something to make you laugh, I got hit in the face not once but twice in our previous game. That brings my total up to 3 times for getting hit in the face, the first of which was my freshman year of volleyball. Oh the joys of the sport I love.

 

Posted in Life Abroad

Villlage People

In the words of a wise friend aka D aka best ex roommate ever we have officially become, “zombies in real life, beasts on the court”.

I’ve been in Lindesberg for almost a full month now and I really couldn’t think of a better way to describe myself well okay maybe “aspiring beast on the court” would be more appropriate after shaking of the summer rust. I’ve finished COUNTLESS TV series and have become hooked on the “Married At First Sight” phenomenon. Once I ran out of the US version of the show I happily began to work through the AU version of the show and since I’ve run out of both (5 seasons total) I’ve started “Married At First Sight: The First Year”. Um you can see where the zombie in life thing comes into affect and that is definitely not the only TV series I’ve worked through. Getting motivated to focus on my grad school work and fixing up my blog has been more of a struggle than expected but I feel a tide turning.

The past few weeks here have been great, I’m living my dream of playing volleyball professionally practicing at least once a day and doing an additional practice or lift depending on the day. I have a quaint little apartment all to myself and although it’s about the size of my previous closet in Abilene, it’s become my little oasis after some decorating aka plastering motivational sayings from a coloring book and pictures of loved ones to the walls with washi tape. The town is super small as I’ve mentioned only 9000 people so getting around is easy with my bike that was stolen on Saturday night. Let me rephrase, getting around town was easy when I had a bike which was stolen on Saturday night, we’ll see how I feel about footing it for the next 6 months once the winter season begins.

The first weekend I was lucky enough to have my new boyfriend come visit, he made a small appearance in my blog this past year as Topher Grace and it is absolutely insane how big of a part he will now play in my real life life. He was feeling a little under the weather when he came so we didn’t to too much but eat pizza (literally three days in a row) and watch movies. This little binger of a weekend really got me motivated however to lose the 6kgs (please don’t look that up in pounds) that I’ve put on since moving to Europe last November. You would think the opposite would’ve happened with all the added volleyball practices and games but not having my healthy living partner Ricky Bobby by my side has really been a struggle plus let’s be honest the temptation of kebab is really irresistible. I’ve refocused however and I am so ready to start working hard on and off the court, physically and mentally, to make this my best professional season yet.

We played our first few matches last weekend in the tiny town of Kohila, Estonia. It was a very cool experience getting to play against two National teams, the Estonian National Team and the Latvian National Team (accidentally said Lithuanian in my previous blog) as well as the local Kohila Team that competes in the top division in Estonia. We ended up getting second which was really nice and I think will give us more confidence going into future games. Competing in the matches and playing sixes was definitely enjoyable and needed but I think the extended time with teammates was just as beneficial.

This was really the first significant amount of time I’ve spent with my new teammates aka the village people and it was so great getting to know them. Our first little adventure came when we were told to follow one of the Kohila players in a car to our “hotel”. When we left the gym we talked about walking back since the town was so small but 10km later we finally made it to our home for the weekend. It ended up being a log cabin in the middle of nowhere. All the other girls thought it was relatively normal since the majority of them are LITERALLY FROM VILLAGES. But I felt as though I was in the twilight zone. There was a garden with like lettuce, and carrots, and other vegetables that people apparently grow in their backyards equipped with scarecrows and CDs hanging (all the cool villagers are doing it) to frighten the birds away. There was also a sheep chained up a few meters away from our cabin that the girls would go out to pet and feed. Literally all I could think is where am I and what am I doing here. However by the end of the weekend I felt hopeful and excited about the upcoming season and the time I’ll get to spend with my new village people aka teammates.

We had this past weekend off from games so we got to do a team sauna after two-a-days on Saturday. So when I, or any of my Americaner friends, envision a sauna we would typically imagine a big square room inside a locker room or some sort of spa facility with a controlled temperature and a lot of steam. Well this was a different type of experience. This sauna was, first of all outdoors and second of all run by like a fireplace or something? We walk outside of the gym in our swimsuits and tennis shoes (quite the fashion show) towards a little blue hut sitting on a creek leading into Lindesberg lake, apparently you can detach the sauna and float it in the middle of the lake. We go inside of the sauna and in the corner is a big dutch oven contraption with burning logs inside of it and hot stones on top of it. To control the temperature you manually pour water over the stones to make it hotter inside the sauna. I don’t want to say this was my first sauna experience but now that I think back on my life I don’t ever remember feeling so uncomfortably hot and sweaty while being unable to breathe due to the burning hot air that would singe the inside of my nostrils and throat. One of the girls asked me to rank my experience afterwards and I surprisingly gave it a 7 due to the whole, I constantly do things that make me uncomfortable thing I have going (reference Thailand adventure aka cliff diving and trekking through jungles or Australia adventure when I sky dove? sky dived…).

All in all my first few weeks here have been so great. This was the first year in a long time I celebrated my birthday away from my close girl friends and family. Topher Grace, his family, and my village people all did such a great job of making me feel just as special as I would’ve back home. I even got a surprise visit from two of the girls on the team Freja and Rebecka aka Milky aka Milky Milky Fresh Fresh, with presents in hand which were a map of Lindesberg so I could get around the bustling city and a Swedish reading and writing book for 6 year olds. The perfect gifts. I’m excited to get started with the upcoming season and do some very necessary work to spiffy up my blog and to finish up grad school. There is so much in store for this year and my goal and aim will be to live in the moment and to be intentional, a word I used as a coach numerous times with my baby wild cats.

Ever Wanderlusting,

IJ

Posted in Life Abroad, Travel

There’s No Time Like Family Time

1 week down and 2 more to go. My time with family flew by this past week and I couldn’t be more grateful for the experiences I got to partake in with them. From parents, to cousins, to aunts and uncles, the week was jam packed with family.

I was greeted at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport by the blushing bride aka my cousin aka Mel aka wonder bride and the following days were whirlwinds of shopping, wedding receptions, meals, more meals, more shopping and precious time with my mom & dad plus time with more cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews than a girl could imagine.

Malaysia is one of the southeast Asian countries I think should be travelled more often. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve only been twice now since my family moved to the states when I was 8 and I have yet to explore it’s beautiful islands. I’ll be able to tell you all a bit more about the touristy side of KL and Malacca after the end of the trip but for now I’ll catch you up on the precious memories made with family.

One great thing about about being back in Johor Bahru aka JB aka mom’s home town was getting to see my parents in their element. Mom was always laughing with a sibling, dad was always playing with grandkids, and there was always a number of cousins around to catch up with. At the KL (Kuala Lumpur) wedding one of the highlights was a surprise showing by the Star Wars Cast. Mel aka the best bride ever surprised her hubby with the Star Wars cast (future husband I apologize in advance for not doing this for you or anything close at my our wedding). Earlier that same day the bridal party (Mel graciously let me into her bridesmaids group so that I could experience a traditional Malaysian wedding) had a whole set of surprises of their own.

In typical Malaysian tradition the groom and his groomsmen are to fight for the bride’s honor. They do so by completing a number of tasks in order to be let into the room where the bride is being kept. The groomsmen had to partake in “challenges” ranging from taking straight lemon juice shots and eating the second spiciest noodles in the world to licking chocolate out of diapers hung off each other and being dolled up in makeup by the bridesmaids and posing for a picture. I’m so grateful that my cousin let me take part in these traditions and am extremely excited to force these traditions onto my future Mr. and his unsuspecting best friends.

The highlight at the JB wedding was the addition of Ricky Bobby aka Ericka and dancing the night away with my parents. If anyone has ever met my parents you’d understand where my obnoxiously loud but infectious (I hope) laugh comes from. Three wine bottles later thanks to Uncle Andrew (apparently a VIP member of Ponderosa golf course where the wedding was hosted) and all three Moronus plus one were on the dance floor. Omg such a good time. My parents are the funniest in the world and definitely got the party started thanks to the help of Ericka and I. Both my mother and father shook his groove thing and Ericka and I probably did more laughing than dancing. My dad was a hit at the wedding with people running up to him exclaiming “Uncle Okey!” with the biggest smiles on their faces (this was also his first time back in a while). At one point during the wedding I told my dad that if I had known I was living with a celebrity all these years I probably would have been a bit nicer.

Equally exciting news to finding out my father is famous is that soon I’ll be changing my title from Miss (or is it Ms. now that I’m dang near 30?) to Mrs. because I caught the bouquet! That’s right ladies and gentlemen. The four year deadline Mel gave me at the beginning of the trip has hopefully been moved up or there are a whole flock of ladies in JB plus Ericka that will be staying single for longer than preferred.

Although the prospect of settling down and finding “the one” is intriguing, as I sit here in the back of a pick up (with seats without A/C) after a two day one night trek through the jungles of Mae Tae, I realize being “single” (I haven’t forgotten you) isn’t all too bad. A lot of the memories and friends that I have acquired in the past few years may or may not happened if I had settled down earlier. We’re only three days into our time here in Thailand and I can’t wait to share the rest of my memories with you. For now I’ll say goodbye and hope you wish me luck as this Asian adventure continues!

Ever Wanderlusting,

IJ

Posted in Life Abroad, Tips and Tricks, Travel

Let the Good Times Roll

In the wake of finding my new adventure slash team slash life, I had another exciting event coming up to look forward to. IRELAND. Ireland with Casey aka my best red headed friend was everything I had hoped it would be and so much more.

Beer, Irish music, and pork ensued and I could not have been happier. Casey as I’ve mentioned is one of my most hilarious friends, so the weekend guaranteed tons of laughs. She caught me up on her life, I caught her up on mine, all during the process of making new memories.

Dublin wasn’t quite what we expected. Like most other popular European destinations it has become overrun with tour vans, backpackers, and overpriced restaurants. Nonetheless if you search hard enough you’ll find old Irish pubs, friendly locals, and beautiful sights.

The highlight of our stay in Dublin would have to be our visit to The Cobblestone Pub. Although our time there was short (closed an hour after we got there, apparently Casey and I have gotten accustomed to 4am last calls and Irishmen aren’t down for that) it was extremely entertaining watching Casey gawk over a fellow redhead. Okay, okay, before all the Dubliners kill me this wasn’t actually the best part about Dublin just most entertaining. The cobblestone is a tiny pub away from bustling downtown Dublin, a somewhat hidden gem that plays live Irish music “till late” every night. Casey had taken a fancy to one of the bartenders and I had never witnessed her get this shy literally EVER (our close friends and family can vouch for this, her signature dance move is shimmeying through horrified strangers legs). Needless to say I was fully entertained, I also wondered how many times she had paralyzed guys like this one had paralyzed her.

After a few days in Dublin with Darby aka Casey’s little sister aka my little sister, featuring visits to Dublin Castle, Jameson Distillery, Dubh lin Castle Garden and a funny highlight of our sweet little sister ordering shots of bailey’s at a bar (comical), Casey and I ventured off the beaten road (literally). We decided to rent a car and drive cross country to Doolin, Ireland. We would visit the Cliffs of Moher, soak in the charm of western Ireland countryside, take a short stop in Galway and head back to Dublin for our last night in Ireland.

Our adventure started when we tried to find the car rental place. It was literally so far from the airport and hidden, like they don’t want our business hidden. A man smoking outside had to point us in the right direction and had done the same for the couple ahead of us. Upon arrival I told them they need to start paying that man, which they made no reply to. Once we got settled into our little Ford Focus we were off for adventure.

Being the smart Texan women we are we got a GPS aka Helen in our car and set off to Doolin. The only problem was that Helen wanted us to take a route we didn’t want to take. After thinking I outsmarted her we made it through the yelling about wrong turns and began to follow her instructions once again. Little did we know she was just guiding us through a U-turn back to the highway we didn’t want to take. But being the two strong willed Texan women we are we u-turned again only to be stopped in bumper to bumper traffic for about an hour. Casey aka Helen’s new best friend mentioned that maybe the traffic is why Helen aka the GPS from hell, was telling us to go the other way, I chose to believe that both Helen and Casey were delusional.

3 u-turns, 5 roundabouts, and 2 ice cream bars later we were on our way. 3 hours of smooth sailing and good music ensued. Such good music and smooth sailing that we missed the one turn we were supposed to make. Luckily, we had Helen to reroute us and give us a new road to venture down is what I wish I could have said. Helen made us turn on a road that was more like a West Texas backcountry road, I’m talking Potosi tiny West Texas town this is actually someone’s backyard I’m driving through kinda road. The terror that occurred for the next hour is something I don’t wish upon anyone. Have I mentioned that we were driving on the other side of the road on the other side of the car and that my driver aka Casey aka Tahoe Casey aka HORRIFYING DRIVER was behind the wheel?

After driving down this tiny dirt road for about 1 hour I realize that the window to check in to the hotel was rapidly closing. Our hostel had a reception closing time of 830, having left Dublin around 330 for the trip we thought we would make it in plenty of time but after the uturns and the roundabouts and the ice creams time was not on our side. Casey, as terrifying as it may be, put the pedal to the metal and we made it to the hostel with 2 minutes to spare.

After checking in we made a quick turnaround and headed straight for the Cliffs of Moher to catch the sunset. After hours is the time to go, no packs of crowds, no long lines for pictures, so much peace and quiet (aside from two annoying girls from Texas…) and so much space. Beautiful. The Cliffs have officially made it on my “top 5 God’s most beautiful creations that I have ever seen” list. Getting to be on the top of that cliff, with one of my oldest and dearest best friends is a memory I will cherish and hold forever.

The journey back was a lot less nerve wrecking as our stop in Galway was absolutely charming plus we made no wrong turns giving us plenty of time to spare before returning the car. If there was a place to visit in Ireland for an expected “authentic” experience it would definitely be the western coast. In Galway we walked along the pedestrian street filled with street performers and old pubs, stopped for a drink and lunch, and popped in and out of the souvenir shops and clothing stores, it was exactly what we wanted.

Upon arriving back in Dublin the adventure didn’t stop. We had run fresh out of euro and couldn’t pay the bus fair which meant renting a taxi and having him stop at an ATM on the way. Good news is he was Nigerian (shoutout),super friendly, and extremely nice. Even better news the new hostel we booked for our last night was the bomb. If you ever find yourself making a trip to Dublin stay at the Generator Hostel, for real.

In IJ & Casey style we made a grand entrance into the hostel. All the rooms we booked we decided to do mixed dorms to save the most amount of money but with bathrooms in the room, we aren’t complete barbarians. In the previous dorms we had always been abruptly woken up at odd hours by new roommates and snuck around precariously to avoid disturbing others.

This time was different. We came into the room and the lights were off, someone was napping. We were, first off, talking as we walked in, then upon realizing someone was sleeping we apologized to others in their group, then the door slammed behind me, we apologized more. We were both horrified, half laughing half feeling bad, Casey then goes to the bathroom and accidentally switches on the dorm light rather than the bathroom light. Icing on the cake. We were officially the worst roommates ever. Thankfully the guys didn’t think so and we ended up meeting them for drinks later and entirely too many rounds of the “what are the odds” game.

All in all Ireland was delightful. I’m extremely happy to cross another destination off of my ever growing list of places to see in this big beautiful world. Getting to take these trips with lifelong friends just makes them that much sweeter.

Up next is my trip to Asia coming up in 1 week?!?! I know, shocking, time flies when I suck at writing once a week. I also have the most exciting news in the whole entire world…momma I’m coming home. Originally I was planning on making it home for Christmas this year but when that wasn’t a possibility with my new teams schedule I was staring at spending possibly a year and a half without stepping on Texas soil. I’m sad to be sacrificing time with my new Danish peeps but am so happy to be able to go home and eat tacos. Jk see family and friends and play in spike fest (huge outdoor grass tournament) and eat tacos.

Until næste uge (next week), ever Wanderlusting,

IJ

Posted in Guest Posts, Life Abroad, Travel

PT 2: 5 More Things I Love About Denmark

Hi Friends!

It’s been a long time since I left you, and I’m sorry for that. But I’m so happy that my new bestie Ev aka twin tower aka swan decided to gift me with a wonderful blog post. Next week I’ll catch you up on my life but this week enjoy Ev’s views on 5(ish) things to love about denmark that completes my mid winter list.

(Ij’s additions)

To start this blog, I’d like to take a second to tell ya a little bit about how much we just love your dear friend IJ. As you all know, we got the pleasure of meeting this crazy chick back in December. We should’ve known then that we were in for quite the adventure 😉 I don’t think there’s been a time yet that I’ve been around IJ without dying laughing. Practice, during the middle of a rally in a game, hanging in Room, you name it and this girl has us cracking up about something. I’m not even sure we know what we are laughing at half the time, but anyone who has met IJ knows that once the “IJ cackle” starts there is no stopping it yes, you all know exactly what I’m talking about;). I can honestly say I don’t know how we would’ve made it through this season without IJ and I’m just so thankful for all of the support you guys have given her so that she could come spend 6 months exploring Denmark with us ❤ I think I speak for us all when I say that we have quite a special friend xoxo (you are the sweetest bestie)

Now that I’ve let you all know how much we love Miss IJ, let me tell you a little bit more about what we have grown to love about Denmark! At first when IJ asked me to write a guest blog this week I was kinda nervous…but once I got writing I realized even more how much I have fallen in love with Denmark and I actually ended up having to add a couple more points to my post. I just couldn’t choose what I loved most!! Anyway, here are a few more things that we have enjoyed during our time here:

Things We ❤ About Denmark- Part 2

  1. The parks: Over the last few weeks we have been blessed with some amazinggg weather. Unlike in the winter, when going outside was a rarity (at least for those of us in Room 2), (this is an absolute understatement, Ev was actually a bear in hibernation for the past 5 months only coming out of Room 2 for practice, games, and the occasional drink). the spring has brought out a whole new sense of adventure in us. It’s like we’re living in a completely different country! After almost forgetting what sunshine was, we took full advantage of the nice weather and ended up exploring several new parks in the area. There’s actually one right down the street that has become our new favorite lunch spot. Who would’ve known there are so many within walking distance of Room1 and 2 in the great suburb of Kongen’s Lyngby.
  1. The Language: Okay, I know I’m NEVER going to hear the end of this and I’ll probably regret saying it, but yes, I am admitting to having a sliver of love for this bizarre language lol. If you are reading this and you have been living with me over here the last 6 months, I can already see the faces you’re giving. Yes, I know, I know, I’m not exactly what you would call “good at Danish” (another understatement). For those of you who aren’t over here, lets just say I don’t necessarily have the best track record with learning the language BUT it has been a lot of fun attempting to speak it☺
  1. Outdoor activities: Yes, again, obsessingg over all of the warm weather! The past few weeks we have gone canoeing, found new running trails, laid out by the lakes, and enjoyed some BBQ by the campfire with some great friends☺ If that doesn’t say summer, then I don’t know what does! (Ev also got a beautiful burn tan that we were all worried envious over)
  1. Beach Volley: So yes, surprise surprise volleyball made the list! Beach volley in Denmark is in full swing now and we couldn’t be loving it more. Lucky for us there is a super nice beach court at our home gym just 10 minutes away. The Copenhagen area also has several beaches designated for volleyball in the summer and although we haven’t made it out to them yet, we hear they are the place to be. The beach, sunshine, volleyball, and summer drinks…what else could you want?!?

Which brings me to my next point….

  1. Beer: Thank God for the Dane’s love of beer. I have always been a fan, but these past nine months have taken my love of beer to a whole other level. Ij and I were the only ones of the Americans that shared this appreciation, but I’m proud to say we have finally converted Amanda to our side haha …D, on the other hand, is still taking some convincing.
  1.  Family: We have been so blessed to meet some truly amazing people during our time in Copenhagen. So many people have gone above and beyond to make our experience here unforgettable and that has meant the world<3 We just adore our Danish families<33

Mange tak min ven for letting me be your guest blogger this week! Jeg elsker dig!

Xoxo,

Evyn (aka your neighbor aka the other twin tower aka swan aka your beer drinking buddy aka your best friend;)))

Thanks Evy for writing this wonderful post and for welcoming me into your life on that cold snowy November day. Girls like Evyn are the reason I love being a part of a team and she (you) are so missed already! Until we meet again love.

Ever Wanderlusting,

IJ

P.S- Just a little teaser on the hilarious Ireland trip I had, one of the many hilarious moments Casey and I had occurred as we drove through the beautiful Ireland countryside, on the wrong side of the road on the wrong side of the car narrowly missing huge tourist buses while eating things they shouldn’t even sell in stores (12 pack of chocolate buns…why not).

Posted in Life Abroad

The Final Countdown

I sincerely apologize for my better late than never posting as of late. The most wonderful and miraculous thing has happened in Copenhagen that has prevented me from staying inside and writing down my eventful life stories that I pretend people care about. SPRING IS HERE. After 5 grueling months of freezing cold weather, that no human would willing leave the nonexistent Texas winter for, spring temperatures have arrived and the sun has come out to play.

I really can’t describe how beautiful Copenhagen is when it’s 60 and sunny. In Texas if it were in the 60s we’d be wearing uggs, tights, and sweatshirts. Some of us brave “trendy” girls would be pairing uggs with shorts (how this ever made sense to me I don’t know). Now my body is completely comfortable wearing a tshirt or tank and shorts (with converse of course) in 60 degree weather. Who am I.

This past week was jam packed with either hectic times at work or relaxed moments with friends.

One of my best days to date in Copenhagen was with my favorite Lyngby americaners, D, Ev, and Amanda plus an American basketball player that lives in our apartment complex. We spent all day out in Copenhagen and I swear it’s the longest amount of time we have hung out in the daytime all together. It started off with various porridge meals from Grod a restaurant stall inside Torvehallen. I’ve never tasted more delicious porridge in my whole life (sorry mom). It is definitely a must on my list of “places to bring people to eat when they come visit Copenhagen”. After food we set off for….none of us could tell you. But it ended up being a mission to do something reckless. D has been wanting to get her nose septum pierced for sometime now and even bought a fake septum piercing in Budapest to try it out for the weekend. It was a hit and something we all decided she needed to get. And since she was getting something we all began to think of things that we could get as well.

Thus began a walk up and down the same street (Strøget one of Europe’s longest pedestrian streets) knocking on tattoo/piercing shop doors to ask for a price and a time. Much to our disappointment no shop could get us in that day, leaving us unpierced and/or tatted (well some of us). Unfortunately, either way, after racking my brain for hours I realized that either my time for reckless decisions was over or I’ve run out of reckless things to get. It was a sad sad moment.

Instead, we ended up at a burger joint called Cocks and Cows. Um so good. Another place added to my ever growing list. (Something I really need to know is if everyone loves food as much as I do? Is it normal that most of my travel/visit itineraries revolve around food?). After getting stuffed full with burgers, fries, and aioli, we decided to grab some adult beverages and throw our feet over the picturesque Nyhavn Harbour. After plopping down on the harbor laughs, shared memories, and plans for the future ensued. I really can’t put into words how grateful I am to be bonded to these three girls through our past years experience so I’ll end this memory with “can’t wait for Greece 2017 lady pops”.

D and I, however, capped the night off by watching William Singe perform in a small intimate venue. It was amazing but so hot. At certain points we couldn’t focus on the music because William was wearing a sweatshirt and we were both legitimately concerned for his welfare. He ended up in a tank top and we ended up with the peace of mind that he would survive the night and a day for the books.

Another hyggeligt night was sushi night with my Bopa girls. Kirstine, one of my fellow bopsters invited a few us of girls from the cafe, Anjou, Sidse and me, to her house for homemade sushi. Omg so good. (I’m also realizing that the highlights of my week surround food…thus solidifying my unhealthy love of delicious foods). We started off the evening with wine outside of Bopa, then headed up to Kirstine’s apartment just a few steps away. Up the four flight of stairs (queue heavy breathing) we walk into the nicest apartment I’ve seen in CPH thus far. We listened to music while chopping vegetables, rolling sushi, and then devouring it. The highlight of this night was when Sidse decided to learn the lyrics to Slem Igen (a super dirty Danish rap song please don’t look it up) after which the Danish girls listened to music from what I can only figure to be the Danish version of The Lonely Island group, while laughing so hard I swear some ice cream boat flew out of someone’s nose at one point. Even though I had entirely no idea what was going on it was still pretty entertaining. Considering 60 percent of my life now consists of not knowing what is going on I’ve gotten pretty good at enjoying the parts I do and don’t understand equally.

Within the past two weeks I’ve found my new favorite spot in Copenhagen, the Staal/Alstrup garden oasis. In the middle of Buddinge, another suburb outside of Copenhagen about 15 minutes away from my own, lies the most perfect setting for relaxing in the sun. Flowers, soft grass, patio furniture, a pool, and great company make for days that disappear. I’ve briefly mentioned both Bettina the owner of this wonderful oasis and her son Topher Grace, their home has become my home away from home away from room. 10 hours in the oasis feels like 2 and numerous days have now come and gone all too fast due to this new discovery. Days at their home have consisted of delicious home cooked meals, movie nights, Greek night with friends of the family (including Danish game night — part of the 60 percent of the time I have no clue what’s going on), and pretending to do homework while online shopping. You could blame Topher and his family for my lack of tinder/bumble/happn/everydatingappknowntomankind stories but I’ll let you draw the conclusions, all I can saw is I’m not complaining and their company has been a great addition to my life.

Having my new home away from home away from room plus having a new group of friends has given me hope. Hope that I won’t be entirely lonely without my fellow Americaners (all leaving within the next two weeks ughhhhh). Hope that this Danish summer will be a beautiful one. Hope that no matter what foreign land I plop down into next everything will be more than okay.

School Update: A new grad school class has begun and I started off strong by working super hard on my first paper and then forgetting to submit it once it was saved and finished (go brain go)! I’m also officially a Danish school drop out (oooooh ooooh) now that I’m sure I’ll be moving away from Denmark my drive to get to Danish class has completely dissolved. Just call me Frankie. (If you don’t get the Grease reference your too young for me, JK I still love you…ish).

VB Update: As of now I’m still waiting to hear back from the club I went to go try out for and visit. If all goes as planned I’ll be able to call Sweden the next foreign land I plop down in to.

Travel Update: My trip to Ireland is less than two weeks away now! All of our hostels have been booked and we’ve even planned a quick getaway out of the bustling city of Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher in Clare County on the west coast of Ireland. Thailand is also coming together and now includes a Trek out of Chiang Mai that calls for the perfect sandal shopping hunt. I also have NEW TRAVEL PLANS! Okay maybe not travel plans but I’m officially going to go see Beyoncé in Copenhagen in July and that’s basically as big of a deal as a trip to an amazing country…it’s Beyoncé.

Ever Wanderlusting & TTFN << that felt right for some reason don’t ask why,

IJ

Posted in Life Abroad

The Rapture

It has begun. Slowly but surely over the next few weeks my newly found volleyball friends will be taken away from me. Whether they are a new lifelong friend or an acquaintance whose company I may never have the pleasure of having again, they are leaving me.

As I’ve stated before, coming on this journey I signed on for two years and planned to live in Copenhagen through the summer which is unusual for hired players. Most go home immediately after the season is over or in Lyngby’s case a month or so after season, in order to participate in the teams’ tryouts for next season. This means that throughout the month of May all of my friends will be leaving me. What’s a girl to do. Like I’ve said so many times before one of the beautiful things about the amazing sport I play is the relationships that come from it. I literally only have friends because of volleyball (some would beg to differ but they are lying) and even my friends from volleyball often wonder why they are friends with me (twin towers). Although I am extremely bummed that my friends will be leaving I’ve had opportunities pop up that keep me excited for the future. One of which is occurring as I type..

I’m currently sitting on a high speed train heading towards a town in Northern Sweden for my first try out ever. Literally. I don’t even think I had try outs in middle school. (I take this back, club volleyball…but all of us know those teams are set long before tryouts anyways). The excitement of the day began at 7am this morning when I got a text from the train company saying that my 8:20 train had been cancelled. I headed to Copenhagen Central station anyway in hopes of finding a solution where I was told the train hadn’t actually been cancelled, score! The nicest worker helped me find what he called the Harry Potter Track due to it’s elusive location (down some stairs, through doors, past tracks 5/6, up outside, over, and down) at this point I had a slight jog going since the lady at the booth yelled at me to hurry, only to be notified by the security checkpoint that the train in fact was not coming. They tell me to hop on a train to the Airport and then catch a train from there. Um okay, what train??? Should’ve been my response, but instead I just headed for the airport. Once arriving at the airport I rushed to the next train, (What train are you rushing to? you ask, NO IDEA, I answer) where another security man I asked for help said just get on this train you have 10 seconds….um okay?? where do I get off? I should’ve said, but I instead got on the train no questions asked.

Finally I found myself in Malmo having missed the 9:11 connection by about 5 minutes, I now had 2 hours to kill until the next train. Not gonna lie, I sat outside for a second and shed a tear or two. But then I pulled my big girl pant(ies) on anddddd went shopping, nothing better than browsing through Zara to remind you everything will be ok. Fast forward back to the present and I’ve got about 1 more hour till I reach my destination and soon enough it will be full speed ahead in my first professional visit/tryout. Send all your good vibes to me like 24 hours ago.

The past week flew by as fast as the next ones will. I finished my latest grad school course which was by far the hardest one I’ve taken so far. Grad school really put a damper on my fun this past week, but I still managed to squeeze in a few practices with the boys team, 3 nights of going out to celebrate the end of the season, and work work work work work work. Literally so much work, but luckily my coworkers are really good company.

In addition to my Bopa hours, I also worked my boss’ daughter’s confirmation party with D aka Ebola aka best Roommate ever. When I think of confirmation I think of going to classes at my Catholic Church for weeks in order to stand in front of the church in all white, finally being able to eat holy bread and drink holy grape juice. Danish confirmations my friends is not like that. The closest thing I could think to describe a Danish confirmation is if you mix a sweet sixteen party with a turning 21 night out and add parents? Lost you in the last part I know but that is the most perfect description. The honorary of the night was 14 and the evening consisted of a very nice 3 course meal for family and close friends followed by a turn up with about 20 of her closet friends ranging in age from 14-16 with an open bar…hilariousness ensued. At one point, we had to cut the kids off. One super tall guy kept wandering into the back kitchen not saying a single word to D or I, grabbing a piece of bread, wandering out, and then back in. Another kid came in asking if he could have a bottle of wine, we said to go ask Jesper, the guest of honors Father, instead of doing that he stayed in the back chatting it up with us about NBA teams and how he’s spotted us on the volleyball court before. Somehow he managed to, on the first guess, say I was from Dallas, I have mixed feelings towards that. Lastly, a group of three kids came in asking for more beer and as we were telling them there is no more, their mother trucking jam came on, because one guy started dancing like an actual fool and dabbed on us at one point. Too freaking funny.

Another little something that I get to look forward to aside from Asia in 7 weeks and the journey of finding a new team, is an adventure to Dublin. WOOHOO. At the end of the month right after all of my fellow Lyngby Americaners depart, I’ll be taking my own short trip to Dublin with my favorite red head, that’s right ladies and gentlemen, Caseface. SO EXCITED. Casey’s sister is taking an Orchestra trip with the Aggies to Dublin so we are going to visit her and to explore all that Dublin has to offer two besties from Texas.

Ever Wanderlusting,

IJ
P.S. You may be wondering what happened to all of my awesome tinder/bumble/happn/somanydatingapp adventures, well you’ll just have to keep following along to maybe find out….

P.P.S. I’m now on my way back from my visit! I’ve talked a bit about being on the other side of being on a recruiting now but what a trip it was to be on the other side of a visit. More details next week but all went well and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ve found my new home.

Posted in Guest Posts, Life Abroad, Travel

Running for the metro is the only constant in my life; a post about the unknown.

I am BEYOND excited and have been waiting for the moment Casey aka bestie aka favorite redhead would be gracious enough to write a post for me. She is one of my FUNNIEST friends, so funny I don’t do abs prior to hanging out with her because I know I’ll get enough of a workout laughing at her stupid stupid self jokes. Last weekend Casey came and visited and it was some much needed girl time. Best laughs of the weekend came from Casey doing push-ups at a bar on a Sunday night, Casey falling up the stairs in order to catch our train, and Casey trying to jump on top of a giant rock failing multiple times in what made a hilarious snapchat video. The arrival of her post also comes at the perfect time because of our recent Bronze match loss. I’m certain if I had to write this week it would be all doom and gloom but instead you get a super sweet, extra funny post that I hope will inspire you like it did me.
**WARNING SAPPY POST BELOW**
(parentheses plus italics plus ** = IJ’s comments)**
IJ is the kind of friend that meets you at the airport with a beer in one hand and her phone recording you for snapchat purposes in the other. She’s the kind of friend that tells everyone all week that her ‘best friend’ is coming into town so that by the time you get there they all hate you because they’re so sick of hearing about you. She’s the kind of friend that has 18 best friends (including Evy McCoy)*- and all of them really are her best friends- because she has a heart the size of Texas and a knack for making people feel special.  She’s the kind of friend that takes you on a  boat tour of Copenhagen even though it’s her 6th time to do it in just a few months, because she wants you to see the city she now calls home.  She’s the kind of friend I want to be, and the kind of friend i’m extremely lucky to have in my life.
…She also happens to be the kind of friend who posts TERRIBLE photos of me on Facebook just because she looks cute in them, but thats a story for another blog post, and I suppose we all have our faults. [I will get you back someday.] (Best picture of Casey ever she looks just like Mr. Burns, hotttttie)*
Being able to live across the pond with IJ in my own time zone has been one of my favorite parts of being here.  We’re having our own adventures but doing it side by side, comparing notes and commiserating along the way.  This weekend visit could not have come at a better time for either of us, as we both needed some TLC and best old friend time. And by old I obviously mean longtime friends— apparently we have to clarify these things now as two ‘dang near 30’ ladies who are both the [beloved?] ‘grandmas’ of their respective new friend groups.
It’s a time of unknowns for both of us. For those of you who follow IJ’s blog posts religiously [you should], then you know that she is dealing with a lot of unknowns about her life in the near future—where she will live, what she will do, etc. For me, I’m finishing up grad school, beginning to write my thesis, and starting to look for jobs. Neither one of us can tell you where we will be living in the fall, who we will be working for, or where our lives will take us.  Neither one of us can tell you our preferences for what our life will look like, either, except: Not home. Now Mom, before you read this and start crying, know that home, to me, is a beloved, sacred place that I miss all of the time. But it feels right for me at this point in my life to miss it- sometimes an insane amount- but not to return there permanently. Yet. IJ, I know, feels the same.
“Is there something wrong with us that we don’t want to go back home?” She asked me as we were walking one day. “Are we running away from something?” I have always looked at my move to Berlin as running towards something I have wanted for a very, very long time. But in a way, running towards this dream meant I was running away from others.  It’s impossible to run towards one thing wholeheartedly without simultaneously running away from something else, so I guess in a way we’re both right. But I know for her, she was running towards a dream as well. She doesn’t truly in her heart believe she is simply running away, because playing volleyball is one of the great joys of her life and she has spent most of her life single-mindedly running towards it. It requires some significant sacrifices to be here, chasing this particular dream at this particular time. Sacrifices she and I would both like to continue to make in the Fall, if at all possible, even though we complain and cry and feel overwhelmed about them at times.
Between the eating*, boat tour, rock climbing [loose term for me struggling with one, singular, medium sized rock] (SO FREAKING FUNNY)* and general exploration of Copenhagen, I had the distinct pleasure of watching IJ play the game that she has given up so much to play. It was the best part of my weekend, watching her on the court.  This was the crux of the thing we had talked about on and off all weekend— this is the thing she has given up so much for, the thing she is dealing with so many unknowns about in order for the chance to keep going, this is the thing that makes her heart beat fast and the thing she can never get enough of. This game, the opportunity to play again, the opportunity to have an adventure while pursuing her passion, is what makes all of those other things worth it. To watch IJ play volleyball is to watch my friend live out her dreams, and, by the way in case potential recruiters are reading this, she is DAMN good at it.  [You can find IJ’s playoff highlights here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4yg-9jrZRM&feature=youtu.be  she is an athletic, beautiful, volleyball unicorn. hire her.] (Biggest eye roll ever and probably a punch you know where Casey and 18 best friends)*
(IJ at this point hates me, but just trying to help a sister out. also I want somewhere new to visit in the fall, please and thanks.)
…To watch IJ play volleyball is also a horrifying reminder of the huge gap in natural athleticism and ability between us, she is a graceful, agile athlete through and through and I often times trip while trying to jog, but I tried to not think about that too much as it makes it difficult not succumb to insane jealousy when your bestie is so perfect and talented. (barf)* side note: IJ and I first met on a volleyball court in 8th grade. it was apparent even then that one of us was meant to be there and one of us was perhaps *slightly* less naturally inclined towards the sport.
Despite the grossly uneven distribution of athletic prowess between us, she has remained one of my oldest and bestest friends.  Her ability to face her current difficult situation with grace and poise is yet another example of why I am proud to be counted in the very elite, exclusive, small, tiny group of her 2 dozen best friends. 🙂 Unknowns will always be in our life, and despite the best planning and making the necessary sacrifices and decisions, we still aren’t guaranteed everything we want. But I believe, as cheesy as it is, that nothing meant for you misses you.  And I firmly believe that IJ has some incredible things meant for her in this life. At the end of the day, no matter where we travel, we take ourselves with us. There is no running away from that.  This is something you learn when you pick up and move halfway around the world. For some of us expats, this can be a difficult thing to face,  this idea that moving across the world for a fresh start will fix your problems or change you in some fundamental way, and people can be severely disappointed and surprised to find out this is not the case.   But for IJ, this is great news, because she’s been traveling with the best company for years now, and will continue to do so no matter where she goes and what she ends up doing.
So for now, the unknowns are the constants in our lives. The only thing we can really count on is not being able to count on much right now.  Being okay with the messy in between, and trying to live life to the fullest in between fighting tooth and nail for a future that involves living abroad.  And knowing that we did our best to be present, to enjoy the time we had here, and tried our hardest to fight for the dreams and plans we wanted to see come to fruition. And, unlike trying to eat as much ice cream as IJ does, that will never be a mistake.  (never regret eating ice cream)*
IJ, my wanderlusty friend, thank you for being an adventurer, the greatest friend, and simultaneously an inspiration and a terrible influence on my life [going out the night before a flight is a TERRIBLE idea, and I blame you for the less than ideal flight home]. You are a slice of home for me and Copenhagen is lucky to have you, although I am quite sure I will never be allowed back in.
Snove,
Casey
*every single solitary thing IJ had planned revolved around food. which works great for someone who is a professional athlete and has the metabolism to match, but for myself, I found that my pants had shrunk by Monday morning. I mean obviously it was worth it, but for those of you planning to visit, I recommend an intensive workout plan before and after. and not just for the food, but for the running to catch the train because IJ always underestimates the time it will take to walk there.… not that i have started an intensive workout plan. Its more like, my fat pants are now just my pants and i’m learning to be okay with it. #moretolove

There you have it. My amazing, talented, wonderful best friend spewing about our current lives and relationship. Casey’s presence this past week has been the perfect reminder of the precious people I have supporting me both near and far and how I couldn’t chase my dreams without them.

Ever Wanderlusting,

IJ

Posted in Life Abroad

Metro City

One of my favorite movies of all time is one that probably doesn’t touch the top 100 for most of you. Last night I rewatched Megamind, THE funniest cartoon in my opinion. The first time I watched this film was senior year with my ACU Volleyball team right after I tragically rolled my ankle, having my first injury EVER, during the second to last match of my forseeable career.

At that moment in my life there was literally nothing that could be worse. Yes we had just won our match in the first round of regionals but our next match was less than 24 hours away and my ankle was swollen, bruised, and h u r t i n g. I tried to act like I was happy and excited to play my last few matches but would sneak away to the bathroom and just cry. I didn’t stop to enjoy my last match because I was so bummed by the setback that I had endured. I ended up wrapping it up and popping Jordan’s magic pill pack to play through the game (all legal of course) and finished what I thought was my last competitive game of volleyball.

The reason why I love the movie so much is because of how they play with words. I may not be the most academic person in the world (ask my girly pops about my math skillz) but I do love words. Megamind is based in a place called Metro City but the “villain” of the movie refers to it as metrosity.

After last week I updated you all on my current life situation and after being reminded of these two options. One being to view a situation as metrosity and the other metro city. I want to chose to look ahead to the future living in metro city. Which works out great since I’m currently sitting on the metro. (Don’t worry I made it safely through the doors).

This weekend we have our last two matches playing for 3rd place in the Danish Elite Volley Liga. If I’m being 100 percent honest with myself and facing facts, there is a chance that these could be the last two competitive matches of volleyball that I ever play again. Granted I will fight tooth and nail and do everything in my power to make sure this isn’t the case. But at the end of the day, we aren’t always guaranteed the things we want. What we are guaranteed are opportunities and how we approach and use those is what is promised to us. Going into these last two matches I am more than ready and mentally prepared to have fun. To play with passion and intensity, serving my teammates and giving them opportunities to be the best they can be. I’ll do my part, they’ll do there’s, we’ll get our bronze medals, and ride off into the sunset to metro city. So wish us luck and we hope to see you there.

Weekly funnies: Since we had no games this past weekend, there was plenty of time for work hours and social hours.

Work hours: A normal day at work for me consists of breaking at least two things. Waiter/bartender friends is this normal? I would have never considered myself a clumsy person I’m actually pretty not clumsy. But literally everyday I go to work the kitchen asks about every hour if I have broken something yet? To which I more often than not have to reply “yes, twonwine glasses”.

Social hours: the Americans on my team as well as a few from Holte one of the other teams in our league decided to have a good old Mexican night. And all the people said amen. To a Texan, there’s literally nothing better than some tacos and good ol fashion margaritas. That being said we all over indulged a bit on the margarita part but ended up having a really good time, ironically back at my work place. Bopa (my cafe) was hosting a party that evening so the night was filled with work friends, volleyball friends, dancing, drinking, and just a good ole fashioned time.

The night before also proved to be a good time. D aka Ebola got an invite from our men’s team libero, the notorious Fabio aka most underrated aka best libero in the league, to attend a silent disco in studenthuset, a bar that college kids flock to. We ended up going entirely too late, missing the silent disco part, searching for Fabio for about half an hour in a sea of 18-20 year old kiddos. Grandma felt old. Luckily a couple of the other boys from the team were at a nearby club and we caught up with them. Upon arrival the adorable setter Lasse aka Niel because Lasse is entirely to hard to pronounce, picked me up and spun me around. What a grand entrance. Considering the “men” on our men’s team range from 18-22 years old I still felt like a grandma but I loved one.

Side Side Note: Why am I on the metro you ask? Because my best best friend (no one be offended there are so many of you) is arriving in literally 8 minutes. My beautiful redheaded crazy hilarious best friend is coming in from Berlin for the weekend. That’s right ladies and gentleman Case Face is making a second appearance. The getaway we talked about while living so close in Europe is actually happening. Hopefully next week I’ll have highly entertaining tales to tell of, from the adventures that are to come.

EVER Wanderlusting,

IJ

side side side note: I just discovered metrosity isn’t a real word. But in my mind it meant a really really bad situation….thanks case face for the realization