In the first 4 days of my travels abroad, I have come up with 4 false starts to this next blog entry. Where I falter is in trying to write about the places I’m discovering (so far, London, Riga, and Tallinn) in my own voice, without the singsong marketing pitch I’ve been paid to infuse into most of my travel-related writing. I mean, really …. can I slog my way through a single sentence about a European city without using the the word “charming”? The challenge is on.
There is a book that a friend gave me that only serves to further intimidate me where travel literature is concerned. It is called Eat, Pray, Love, and it contains some of the most resonant work I’ve encountered in a long time. In it, the author writes of her year-long journey around the world to rediscover her sense of pleasure, her connection with the divine, and her capacity to love.
Me? My travels may not be so multi-tiered, but I am on a quest of sorts, too. Sure, I’ll take a little perspective on life–a heap, if I can have it. And I’d love to have an experience that reminds me that yes, I really do have my shit together, thank you very much. But what I’m really after is so much simpler–color in my cheeks, a glimmer in my eyes, and fire in my belly.
Let’s call it the Baltic Glint. After all, this is what I have dubbed the glittery Eastern European manicure that I scored from Riga’s award-winning nail spa. (If you have ever seen a full set of multicolored, gemstone-laden, acrylic nails, perhaps you know what an adventure it was for me to let these people near my hands. Don’t worry, I went low-key.)
The real Baltic glint is a stretch of limestone coast along Scandinavia and Russia that is visible from much of the Baltic states. I haven’t technically seen it yet, but am fairly sure that I will today, when I arrive on the tiny island of Muhu.
In fact, my bus leaves in 25 minutes … I’m off!