Travel Log // April 30, 2019
April 30, 2019 - Today is the day I head to Greenland. I have a three day layover in Copenhagen, one of my favorite cities, as I thought it’d be a good idea to transition to the unknown in a somewhat familiar place! I’ve been there about three times prior. The first time was a layover in my mid-20s meeting my Danish friends for a cooking out, party adventure, and then rushing to the airport to make my connecting flight. The second time was for my best friend’s wedding a year ago, now in my early 30s, where I was able to meet her beautiful little boy. Now here I am again, the starting point for a one month immersion in an unknown place - Greenland.
It was a crazy day. I thought it was a good idea to put the rest of my stuff in storage on my way to the airport...during rush hour traffic. I’m usually a meticulous planner, coordinating the necessary logistics like a well-oiled machine, seamlessly making my way from one place to another. However preparations for this trip have been different. To be honest, I’m tired, uninspired and discouraged. I’m seeking a sense of purpose, the thread connecting all the fragmented pieces of my life, a new starting point, the premise to my story - and intimacy, connection, a place where I belong.
I’ve packed up all of my belongings, which consist of mostly books, art supplies and one box and a suitcase of clothing, a few pots and pans, a blender, and my beloved red bike. My lease is up and I haven’t bothered to set something up for my return. Will I return? Maybe, maybe not? It is the same question every time I travel abroad.
I’ve made the decision not to return to my job. The pay is low. There is no “upward mobility” and the environment is draining as I feel as though I’m keeping the whole ship afloat. I walk into work resentful, and I finally got honest with myself. This is not the life I want to live. I want to write, travel, make art, support visionary people, take photos, make films - and simply document the intimate mundanity of everyday life.
Fortunately for me, the flight has been delayed. How did I manage to purchase a ticket scheduled to board during rush hour, on a weekday? Normally I purchase red eyes flights, both domestic and international. But this is not a normal trip, and my mind is someplace else.
I make it, and going through the normal TSA annoyance. I must have a metallic vagina, because the agent’s metal detector is going nuts near my hu-ha. She proceeds to give me a long explanation of where and how I will be touched, an explanation which touches the line between gynecological exam, foreplay and some Bay Area sexual consent workshop.
“Are there any sensitive spots? she asks. I shake my head no.
“I’m going to check under your breasts with the back of my hand”, she continues.
“That’s fine, I don’t have much, go ahead,” I stated matter-of-factly.
After discovering my honeypot is non-explosive I am free to go.
I have to remember to look up the place I’m staying for the next three days in Copenhagen - actually it’s located just outside of Copenhagen in Dragør, a place I’m altogether unfamiliar with, so much for landing in a place I know.
In order to avoid exorbitant SIM Card charges, roaming fees, the more common two-phone or international phone switch, and the international plan with a two-year contract phone plan - I google directions using Google Maps and take screenshots of both the Map and the individual written directions.
It usually works flawlessly every time, and I save a ton of money and logistical finagling trying to find the best/ cheapest spot to getting a phone in my destination country. I first used this #travelhack in Berlin where when I tried to purchase a SIM card in Wedding (a neighborhood in Berlin with a large immigrant population) I kept coming across red tape: “Where are you staying?” “What’s your resident address?”. I eventually got annoyed with all the runaround, and went to the more touristy Postdammer Platz, purchasing a phone card without incident.
Hmmm, I wonder what that was all about.