Welcome to my blog

Tromso, Norway
Tromso, Norway. Waiting for sunrise in 23.5-hour daylight.

Hello! It’s finally up, my new blog. I’ve been writing a journal since late June and now I’m ready at last to publish the things I’ve seen and experienced this summer. You’ll find (almost) day-to-day entries of my family trip across continental Europe and Scandinavia in July; though, now that I’m typing this up in my Berkeley apartment, with club recruitment deadlines and statistics homework piling up in my face, it feels more like a beautiful dream from a year ago, to put it in the worst possible cliché.

It’s definitely not a professional travel blog; in fact, I didn’t think I’d even publish it at first. I have, however, tried to follow Don George’s tips (he is an excellent Lonely Planet writer) and keep my descriptions as un-brochuresque as possible. Since I’m just starting out, I’d also love to hear your comments or just a “hey, this is cool, keep me entertained because I have nothing better to do”. Your participation is what’s gonna make writing this blog for me bearable F-U-N. I LIKE FUN. Plus, for me at least, this blog sort of extends my summer holidays by bringing me back on a weekly basis. And that can’t hurt either you or me- we both win! Take that, zero-sum games.

So I actually started writing on June 29 on my flight to Frankfurt and ended on July 28, a couple days before I flew back to San Francisco from Oslo. Now that I look back, some of my entries were hella long while others were more crisp bullet points on what I did that day. I’m still deciding how often I’m going to publish and am leaning toward twice a week, with a day’s worth of writing per post. How does that sound? To be clear, I wrote everywhere- plane/ train/ hotel/ endless waiting halls/ the streets of Prague/ under the Eiffel Tower etc, so the emotions and impressions I’ve engraved into my writing at the time, from Oslo to Venice and everything in-between, were poignant as freshly baked bread from the oven.

Yes, it’s my 19th birthday today. Happy birthday to me! UNDER 20s, PUT YOUR HANDS UP! Hello? I couldn’t resist. It was my last chance to holler as a full-fledged teenager. They say youth is wasted on children but… whatever. I suppose this blog is a tiny birthday gift both for myself and all my friends, homies (those of you who I didn’t get to catch up with in Hong Kong, you have no idea how much I’ve missed you!!), and, most of all, my amazing family who made this impossible journey possible- and so crazy, personal, and unforgettable too! Thank you all so so so so much for your AWESOME birthday wishes! They do make my day and several had me laughing although I knew I shouldn’t be. It’s great.

Without further ado, I’ll tell you all about my summer. I’m sure many of you fellow travelers may have graced the very same spots I have visited- I’m excited! It’s so fun to identify with one another. Otherwise, besides catching up with my life, I hope to offer you a taste of Europe from a young Cal Bear’s amateur but energetic eyes.

P.S. To any readers based outside the United States, I humbly apologize for the mm/dd/yy format. It bothered me too to no end when I started college in California, but -alas- I’m guilty of conforming.

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