A Goodbye Hug From LA

10941916_10153046459166796_4915290060608507823_nI was never a window seat kind of girl.

Years of business travel – by and large short, domestic flights on a weekly basis – killed the novelty and the joys of flight in favor of pragmatism. Give me the aisle, dammit, so I can freely use the loo, grab my laptop and/or do deep knee lunges in the aisles of the plane should the urge strike me. For my flight to Copenhagen, however, I chose a window seat. Mostly so I could lean against the plane while sleeping (as opposed to drooling on an innocent stranger or slumping over my armrest into the aisle), but at least in part so I drink in every last bit of LA. She has been mine for the last sixteen years of my life, and this is the longest I’ve ever left her.

Leaving felt startlingly raw. Over the past few days I’d felt the warm embrace of so many friends, of dinners and drinks and well-wishes. The goodbyes were emotional, not sad in the least – joyful – but I might have found myself sitting in the middle of my living room floor crying into my stuffed hippo Hector a few times. The planning of my trip has been a staggering production. Twelve cities over six weeks is no joke, and being the cost conscious gal I am, it wasn’t feasible just to “wing it” with a eurorail pass. Well, maybe it was, but I can only accommodate so much uncertainty. So the rabbit hole bits of my journey are the cities themselves, I have absolutely nothing planned in each one. I may know a few bartenders, or a photographer, or a friend of a friend, but by and large I am alone. Left to wander, to follow any rabbit down any hole. Discovery, freedom and possibility will be my home for the next six weeks.

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