Getting on planes and cars, sleeping in
many unfamiliar places and often not enough while moving through different time zones,
are all triggers for anxiety for me.
And still, there is nothing that brought me more joy and wonder, more freedom,
and more acceptance of myself and others, than traveling the world.
For many years Stockholm was for me the place where my highschool friend N. lived. She left (or I should say ran away) when we were in 10th grade and unlike other people that cut all connections when they left the country, she kept in touch. I will never know if all the letters we sent back and forth for a few years survived the censorship filter of the dictatorship I was living under and she escaped from, but the ones that made it through were enough to keep our friendship alive. In 1990 after borders were open she came for a visit and with a group of friends we had the best of times. I got lots of presents, among them a half a kilo chocolate, a bright pink and black bathing suit that I wore till it shredded to pieces, and the latest LPs from Roxette, George Michael, and Pet Shop Boys that I still have. My world was so small, that all this made me love this city before I knew much about it.
I arrived in Stockholm on a late afternoon, but it was hard to tell what time of the day was. …