I think this is the first year I’ve really appreciated Icelandic autumn, and I’m not sure if it’s because it was an exceptionally warm and beautiful one, or if it’s because I knew I was leaving before winter started. Whether or not if was because fall was good or I didn’t have to worry about dreading winter, I have been looking forward to leaving on a jet plane to West Africa ever since I booked it in midsummer. The sunny beaches and lush forests are starting to call my name.
I am going to travel with my cousin Villi, who is a strong, tall Viking man but looks a little bit more like a Colombian drug dealer with his shaved head, tattoo and dark skin (he is also half Guyanese). So I’m banking on him to protect me and pretend to be my husband when the appropriate situation calls for me to be married. The Gambia is 90% Muslim but supposedly very safe and tourist friendly, so he may be more handy in Mali or Guniea-Bissau.
This trip will be one of the first I take with company for so long, and also the first without a computer so I’ll be blogging from my iPhone. Not sure how that will work out but whateves. I would much prefer to go old school and carry around some pen and paper to handwrite about my journey, but then I wouldn’t be able to share it online and assure my mother I’m still alive. But that got me thinking, why does no one write anymore? Will the next generation just grow up learning how to type on screens? Even so, people write and type less, I feel like. Maybe writing is more stressful because people don’t want their thoughts to be permanent or reread or personal to themselves. And then half the things we think we don’t even feel comfortable sharing in the first place, so writing it down makes us scared of everyone judging us all the time for the crazy things we think. I say screw them and think whatever you think, you’re the one deciding to read this. Now I should probably say something brilliant I’ve been thinking, but instead I’m going to go back to what I was talking about before my rant.
I’m leaving for The Gambia, we need to get to Senegal, but first I fly through Paris and Barcelona. I only have 6 hours in Barcelona, where I plan to walk down the Las Ramblas, drink Sangria, and find Villi at the airport. I have 2 nights in Paris to meet a handful of amazing people, both new and old friends, and drink a lot of good wine. I’m not sure I’ll miss Iceland too much while that is all going on, but maybe the heat, Mosquitos and water in West Africa will stir a few homesick strings in me.