“Travel and I”

Anna Lesiczka
26th January 2023

“Travel and I”

Sometimes when I open the door I feel happy. It comes for an unknown reason and lasts for a second while I hold a handle. Sweden has a strange system - in many doors, you don’t have to touch the handle but just press the button that opens it for you. It can take away my pleasure. Although some doors are still able to open by forcing the handle instead.

My friend was studying in Lund when I still lived in the Netherlands. He invited me to visit during spring break. I checked it on the map and estimated it was too far away from Uppsala so I decided to visit my friend in England instead. Thinking about Sweden, Uppsala was the only place I was interested in. Now I live in Stockholm, where I need approximately one hour to get there.

And I was waiting more than three months to do it. But finally, we went. It was freezing. We arrived after 11. The city looked dead. Nothing was open. Soon she had a headache so we found a pharmacy. Later I bought a swimming suit. It took me so much time to take all my winter clothes off. And yet it was too small.

I was standing in front of the Empire State Building with my friend from primary school. We didn’t come to New York together. We just happened to be there at the same time. She was working as a babysitter and taking an English course. And what I was doing? I don’t really know. I just graduated from high school and I received a leather sketchbook from my cousin. I was strolling around Manhattan and sketching.

She told me that she feels bad being there only by herself, without the family - that her parents, her brother, and her sister can’t see what she sees. Every time she experiences something nice, she thinks about them. Was I thinking the same? I don’t know. When you travel with somebody you can lose a lot as well.

I didn’t like Uppsala at all. It’s okay -  I was prepared for it. In my dreams, it was the “Fanny and Alexander” place, but in reality, it’s just a small student town - the type I dislike the most. 

I knew I can go  any time, but I wanted to wait before leaving  Stockholm. There was a pleasure coming from expecting this journey, although it’s only one hour drive. She told me some time ago that she lived there once and would like to visit it again with me.

Late at night, I found myself checking out residency locations in Southern Spain. It’s the place where I’ve never been and I have no intention to go. Yet it was giving me a lot of joy to look at the photos. Imagining myself there, it is almost an abstract space. I knew I won’t do it.

I am sitting in front of the screen, forcing myself to write. I never work like this but soon I will be gone from here. Therefore I can’t leave this case open.

Before every travel, I prepare myself for death. It’s either a death in common sense or a symbolic one. I don’t expect to meet myself as I was when I am back (if I am ever back).