Well, here it is. My ex-pat anniversary. 365 days since I’ve been out of the States and counting! Exactly one year ago I was sitting in the airport in Washington, D.C. waiting for my plane to Reykjavik to start a new life adventure. Fast forward to today- I am sitting in an airport in Vienna waiting for my plane to Copenhagen to start a new life adventure (my exchange semester there).
It has been the most incredible year of my life. I finished half of my master’s degree program, traveled to five new countries, hitchhiked around Iceland, learned to read Old Norse, started an addictive film photography habit, fell in love, and spent my first Christmas away from home. From the moment I arrived in Iceland, I knew it was where I was supposed to be. I have been challenged intellectually, socially, and emotionally- which of course has led to immense personal growth. Most importantly, I’ve learned how important it is to be surrounded by good friends when you are in a new home (I say this rather than ‘far from home’ because the states doesn’t feel like home anymore). I have been so blessed these past 12 months with interesting, loving, adventurous friends and a whole host of fascinating new acquaintances and encounters. Today is the last day of two months of summer wandering before I get to Copenhagen and start the mad scramble for a room/apartment and start my summer course in manuscript studies. I spent June driving through the west coast and Westfjords of Iceland with my mom and hitchhiking the rest with a friend-found-on-the-go. I spent July in Finland, blissfully free of responsibility, exploring Helsinki and beyond with my (Finnish) boyfriend and getting to know his delightful family. He joined me on a mad dash through Tallinn, Estonia and Riga, Latvia before I hopped over to Austria to spend a week with a friend I made in Iceland.
I’m excited (and a bit nervous) to start my semester in Copenhagen. I’ve never lived in a city that size before, but I think I’m up to the challenge. And no matter where I go or what situation I’m in, I know I will have peace and joy in the assurance that God is in charge. I can’t wait to see what new twists to this novel of my life come in the next chapter (year). Hint: Scotland and Canada might be in the works.