Lund, Sweden and Copenhagen & Bornholm Island, Denmark
Tonight, I just got home from one of the most unforgettable weekend trips. My wonderful friend Cameron is living in Lund, Sweden for this semester and deciding to visit him was one of the best decisions I've made!
The trip was far from easy, as the voyage to him included a train from Angers to Paris, then a bus to Paris airport, then a plane from Paris to Copenhagen, and then finally one last train from Copenhagen to Lund, Sweden. There were a few minor bumps in the road, including almost missing my flight, and then after just barely making the airplane, missing my train from Copenhagen to Lund late at night. At that point, I had already had a quite long and stressful travel day, so missing my last train to get to the hotel was definitely challenging. But through this, I noticed my strength. I was in Europe, alone in a country I've never been in before, and stuck in a train station where there was no information employees working (because it was so late at night), and I have never felt so strong. I kept going, because I knew I had to and it was worth it. Every difficulty that I go through, I become more and more resilient. And noticeably, if this would have happened to me even a year ago, I would been sobbing feeling helpless, but I truly just laughed it off. This year (turning 20 and on) has been completely one of the most transformative years of my life. Everything has drastically changed in so many ways, and every day I am growing deeply and on the path to finding myself. I do feel like there is not one "self" for us to find; truly we grow and change every day of our lives, and this experience is so deeply impactful for me in the most beautiful ways.
After finally reaching Cameron, I went right to sleep, as the following day he showed me his college town (which was absolutely magnificent) with buildings as old as 300 or more years old. The university library (pictured above) is adorned with vines growing up each and every side, giving the campus more and more character. Cameron and I also found an art gallery in the basement of a stunning old cathedral. Seeing Lund was absolutely awesome, and spending time with my best friend in Sweden was an experience I will never forget. After exploring Lund, Cameron and I traveled to Copenhagen for the night, which was by far one of my favorite cities in the world. I only wish we could have spent more time there!
The next day, Cameron and I traveled to an extravagant island off the coast of Denmark, which was larger than expected, and had some interesting experiences trying to find ways around the island! If there is anything I have learned with traveling (which is exactly what my aunt Linda told me on my first trip to Europe in 2010), is that you really do get what you get. Expectations are not only silly when traveling, but can actually negatively alter your experience! When traveling, go with the flow, because the truth is, it will work out the way it was meant to.
This week is my last week in France, and I'm feeling bittersweet. I'm looking forward to going home and seeing those dearest to me and finishing off the remainder of my summer in sunny California, but living here in Angers has been a metamorphosis, and this experience has changed me for the better forever.