One year later.
366 days.
One full orbit around the sun.
One giant zigzag across planet earth.
One girl, one year older…

There was a moment,
one year ago,
in between everything,
when time stood still.

The moment when I fell in love –
with my city,
with my life,
with the great adventure.

There was that moment, and the few blissful weeks that followed,
full of friends and celebrations and goodbyes.
One chapter closing. Another bend in the path.

There was the summer in Hyde Park with Pimm’s and pink sunsets
and train rides to see friends,
when everything felt so simple.

Then, the early yellow dawn of Vietnam and the crow of roosters.
There were the adventures on motorbikes, exploring the infinite hidden alleys and rooftops.
There were the humid nights under yellow lights, flying over concrete in the dystopian city.
There was the never-ending anxiety of this foreign place.
And there was my precious escape on the coffee ship where the wind tangled with my hair
and the city noise became a mere echo.

There were the countless hours in a nauseous haze of airplanes where time disappeared.

There was the smell of pine trees and crisp breeze on my skin in Stockholm at the end of summer.
There was the towering beauty of Budapest when I walked until my feet ached
and I waited until sun set over the Danube, and the parliament building slowly came to life,
illuminated against the deep blue sky.
There were the train rides
and grey, rainy Vienna
and sunny parks in Prague.

And once again, there was my lovely, lonely London when I walked the streets by myself,
missing the ghosts of my friends and memories long past.
Again, the dark tunnel under Heathrow.
Again, endless hours on planes,
and a full 24 hours of darkness.

Then, a new start somewhere very, very far away…

The homesickness,
a sunny beach,
a cold spring,
the 96 tram,
and step after step across the city.
A lot of time spent writing, reading, thinking,
reflecting and watching the clouds from Carlton Gardens.

An ex-convent turned hostel,
a crew of British rascals and a New Yorker having a laugh.
Some nights of dancing in clubs and jumping in mosh pits,
but a lot of questions and uncertainty and…
phone calls to some friends very far away.

And then it was over.

Six months of quiet.
Six months of figuring out who I am,
filled with demons from the past,
and small reminders of
the great adventure.

Here we are,
one year later.

Everything has come full circle from that April evening one year ago.
And now, ready for the next chapter,
the next bend in the path.

The path that has no wrong turns,
the path that led me here.

After all,

It’s not the great adventure I’m in search of,
it’s the great adventure I’m on.