June 17, 2018
Spent the day wandering around the Old Town in Tallinn, Estonia. A town within a Medieval Castle and it really is beautiful. I learned that Estonia was under the Soviet Union up until 1991, when they declared independence. However, looking closely, you can see remnants of Russian presence. It’s colourful, historic and breathtakingly magical. I was able to have some alone time wandering the cobblestone paths of Tallinn. It felt very nice to sit peacefully at lunch and enjoy the flavours and sounds around me…It was very sunny today, heat I haven’t felt in a while. This heat that was once my friend made it a much more challenging day. I tried my best to listen well and take it slow. My walking was a bit more compromised but I took my time. Despite it being a bit discouraging and sad, I didn’t want to give up. Slowly, I’m beginning to process my diagnosis and new reality. I continue to experience residual symptoms and as a result, I am reminded of all of this. Slowly, I’ll be able to wrap my head about it.
June 20, 2018
We have arrived in Helsinki, Finland. The last few days have been quite a whirlwind. Two days in Russia with two excursions left me exhausted. The first excursion was an evening at St. Catherine’s Palace. They led us through a smaller museum that was filled with old carriages that were used by the Royal family. We were then driven to the Palace where we were greeted with an extravagant golden gate. We entered the courtyard where vodka and hor d’eouvres were served. We eventually scrambled into the entrance of the palace as it rained on us. The palace was absolutely stunning! Each room had so much character: gold decor, a deep red amber room and sculptures that crawled from floor to ceiling. Everything was over the top and wonderful…Today, we ventured around Helsinki, Finland. What a peaceful place! The people are very friendly and respectful. We walked around the city and eventually ended up at the Market Square where they sold fruits, vegetables and souvenirs. It is absolutely beautiful. There is something so homey about Helsinki. I also didn’t know Finland was known for their reindeers. Tomorrow we will be in Stockholm, Sweden for a bit of time before we all take a day at sea to head back to Copenhagen. These two weeks have passed by very quickly…especially the last week.
June 21, 2018
Trying to write on the top deck of a cruise ship is proving to be much more difficult than I imagined. Stockholm was bone chillingly cold and rainy. However, it was still enjoyable as we saw the city as it usually is. We didn’t get too much time in Stockholm so we took another hop on hop off bus and rode around the small city. We got off in the Old Town where we wandered a bit (despite it raining really hard!). It was quite the cute little town nestled within the big and elegant Parliament buildings. We stopped by a cafe and ordered a hot chocolate in hopes of warming ourselves up. The cafe reminded me a lot of Tango Palace. One more day at sea before we arrive back in Copenhagen. One last day of not thinking about my future or any sort of relationships with people. I’ve been so sleepy this entire trip which is a sign that I have allowed myself to relax. But I’m hoping I can carry this acceptance and ease in my heart as I head back to Toronto…I’ll have to confront my diagnosis and start the drug treatment (and talk to Barbara about it). I’m not even sure if I’ve begun to process it yet. I feel like I have accepted it, but I truly don’t know.
And that wraps up the journal entries! I’ve gotten to see so much on this trip. I feel very blessed and am entirely grateful for my parents for gifting me this precious experience. I’m certainly a person who loves travel but when I’m settled, the heart doesn’t strive for it. Anyone else feel the same?