Sep 16, 2015

Adventuring into the Surreal

The Blue Lagoon is calling me to it’s steaming healing waters.  I’m on my way to Iceland;  what better place to kick off my mid-life transition world tour?  I bought the tickets in January in an attempt to get ahead of what I assumed would be a stressful September birthday.  So, instead of sulking at the growing number of candles on the cake, I’ll be soaking in thermal hot springs and just beginning my adventure abroad (the first of many…as my “three-year plan” revolves around the places I’ll go).

I’ve taken myself abroad a few times in Europe, backpacking through Italy, usually.  I’ve studied in  London, Siena, and Florence, have been to Paris a few times, and had a wild weekend in Barcelona.  For the most part, I’ve stuck close to the Mediterranean, but this trip will be different as I expand my horizons farther than before. 

My itinerary:  Reykjavik, Iceland…Bergen, Norway…Venice, Italy,…Barcelona, Spain.  

One thing will be consistent…the surreality of it all.  From the otherworldly terrain of Iceland…to the Dali and Gaudi influence in Barcelona, this will be a “trip” like no other.   

Wasting no time, I’ll head to the Blue Lagoon shortly after landing in Reykjavik, hoping to quickly undo any kinks acquired during traveling.

I will be joined on my second day in Iceland by my friend Maja where we will have a few days of exploring the vast tundra and various thermal hot springs before we fly to her home of Bergen, Norway, “the gateway to the fjords.”  

Though I’ll be missing the 7 mountain hike that happens every spring in Bergen, the seven mountains will still be there and available for hiking (weather permitting) and, if the frigid waters allow, a kayaking trip in the Fjords.  After a week of this nordic adventure full of somewhat extreme natural elements (and if I’m lucky…Shamans), I’ll fly south to Venice, where both the climate and the feel of the trip will change.  

In the middle of this short week, the screenwriting program begins.  I’ll be attending class live via skype at 4am from an apartment in the San Marco neighborhood in Venice, as long as my WiFi allows.  I’ll take on the extravagent life of a jet setting-world traveling writer, at least temporarily, as I drag my laptop to cafes and on trains to spill out fresh ideas.  Between espresso shots, I’ll attend La Biennale di Venezia (for the third time).  

I call it the “Disneyland of International Contemporary Art.”  The entire city transforms into an art installation, with two main hubs: the Giardini and Arsenale, where each country has it’s own pavillion and and artist or two to fill it.  In addition to wandering the expansive grounds in those main locales, there is a city full of pop up galleries and installation art juxtaposed with the architecture of this unique water-filled ancient city, all making for quite a surreal experience…almost as surreal as my final destination: Barcelona, Spain.

Barcelona could be considered the capital of surrealism.  From the influence of Gaudi, the proximity to the birthplace of Dali, even la Segrada Familia, there must be something in the air that let’s minds run wild and be translated visually.  Led there by destiny, I suppose, Barcelona will be an exciting end note to my journey, or perhaps a place where I will find inspiration for the beginning of a new one.  

And so, my next few post will be from abroad, distanced from the day-to-day grind, and filled with new perspective and inspiration.  

...to be continued....