Hej! I am in Stockholm again. Following my seven country trip back to Sweden and the rush of the first week, I've felt a little disoriented. I don't normally believe that I burry emotions or thoughts but there's a lot seeping out these days when my mind wanders that reminds me of having to consciously take the time to reflect over some of what I have lived, to slow down. Sleep and dreams help, but I have a tendency to convince myself of them being negligible, then this mixes with the pressure of finishing up my master's thesis by June and also preemptively applying to a few jobs. Busy thoughts about thinking.
Over the next two months, I want to focus my posts on catching up on stuff I have left out from Peru. I also have a lot of infrastructural changes in the pipeline leading up to the blog's second anniversary in May. I mainly want to visually simplify the layout so that it's easier to read and each post feels like a stronger unit on its own rather than part of one long stream of information. Looking at the search hits leading to the site forces me to recognize that East of Heart has become a reference for travel information as much as it remains a medium to publish thoughts and experiences at a point in time.
The wall of postcards that accompanies me to each new set of living quarters, here in my comfortable new publicly-run student housing room (I finally had enough days on the waiting list to apply for one, 653!)
One place I often find myself going back to in thoughts is the ocean. I had originally planned on learning to surf from the very first day I touched down in Lima, but the city and country's complicated relationship with the sea and the cold grey days of winter that lasted until January gave me the excuses to lazily take distance. I kick myself admitting that I didn't get on a board until the second week of February! When I did, and in large part thanks to my friend Fabio whose enthusiasm, practical nature and passion for the sport were hard not to follow, I was instantly sucked in by how enthralling a sport it can be. I also sucked in a lot of salt water. I went out four times in Lima and once in São Paulo, mostly learning how to read the water and duck under waves, but I am completely hooked. Putting together the stamina, strength and agility to gracefully negotiate the line between getting hit over the head by and taming the raw natural power of the ocean for an instant is a feeling I can't shake off. I can cope with no longer mountain-biking, but if this fascination doesn't die down, it might very well determine where I choose to settle one day.
A surf competition south of Lima (in Chilca) and some impressive rock cave formations along the coast there. Below some extreme footage of Aussie surfer Jason Polakow surfing Jaws wave in Maui.