The Scamp and Thanksgiving

Last year at this time I was in Scotland receiving my MSc in Education. I spent Thanksgiving showing my sister my favorite parts of the city, and really feeling good about being back in Edinburgh. I was extremely homesick for my life there, and I had not yet processed and mourned the loss of my life there. I didn’t eat turkey. I didn’t eat mash potatoes. I didn’t have to watch football. I dragged my mom and sister to my favorite pub and made them watch karaoke with the cast of regulars I used to watch every Thursday. It was magical.

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To continue my tradition of being overseas for Thanksgiving, I came to Estonia. I have had a very rough few months in the doctorate program, and the only thing I wanted to do was put as much space as I could between me and the United States. I spent yesterday being a tourist and wandering around the old part of the city and enjoying the snow flurries.

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I had a home cooked meal of turkey burgers, mashed potatoes, and a pear and parmigiana salad. Susanne cooked the entire meal, and she filled me with wine, filled me with good food, and we chatted all night. It was one of the best days I have had in a long time. There was no drama, no one calling me a racist, and no stress. I was able to end the day with a Skype call to my mom, and some yummy dessert.

This year, I am thankful for Estonia. I know that I should say I am thankful for my friends and family, and trust me, I am, but I am thankful for them every day, and not just on one of my favorite holidays. This year though, I am thankful for not being in the US, and have some much needed distance between me and the source of my stress and anxiety. I came here to get some clarity on whether or not I want to continue in the program, and whether or not the degree is worth the program breaking my spirit.

I have been to three different countries in 5 days, walked so many miles I lost count, and have successfully battled the language barrier here. Not once was I depressed, anxious, or stressed. I was a bit lonely on my trip to Finland, but that is to be expected when traveling alone.

This year, I am thankful for my little break from reality, from an adventure to curb my wanderlust for a bit, and for a chance to heal a little. The 365 days since last Thanksgiving have been a roller coaster of good and bad, and I am hoping that because I survived them mostly in tact, that in another 365 days I will be in a better place.

If Brittany Spears can survive 2007, I can survive this.

The Scamp and a Jetplane

The day has finally arrived. Tomorrow I will be on my way to Estonia for a week.

Not only do I get to spend time with one of my favorite people in the world, but I have an action packed week full of interesting destinations and culture, art, and history galore. I plan to detail my journeys for the next week. My mom has given me her camera which means I will have high quality photographs of my adventure.

See ya later California!

 

The Scamp Plans a Visit

In 54 days, 11 hours, and 29 minutes I will be on a plane to Estonia.

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This caged bird is getting a week of freedom. My credit card is sad, but my heart is happy. I will get to spend a week with one of my best friends, and get to explore a new country. I don’t care if it snows, or if none of my other friends can make it, the week long break from all that is going on in my bubble here is worth it.

The countdown keeps me going. None of the drama of the program, my frustrations with the research job, or any of my feelings about being home seem that bad when I know that in 54 days I get a break.

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This marks the third year in a row that I will not be home for Thanksgiving. I am extremely thankful for the chance to escape my gilded cage. I cannot wait to plan my adventure. I have already decided to visit Helsinki, and Latvia. My family is from Latvia, so I think seeing my roots for a bit might do me a bit of good.

The only thing that would make this trip perfect is if some of my friends from Scotland can come along as well. A year without seeing each other is far too long.

The Scamp and a Pirate Rubber Chicken

I’m jealous of a dog toy.

Not just any dog toy. I am jealous of a Pirate Rubber chicken. Most people know of his adventures (and if not, you can find it here: https://ascampabroad.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/the-scamp-and-a-rubber-pirate-chicken/). I am jealous because PRC gets to travel the world, visiting places I want to visit and spending time with people that I miss.

He was with me in Scotland, and then went back at my graduation.

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When I left Scotland, PRC went to Lyon, France with one of my favorite people. She took him all over her home, and treated him to a very happy Christmas

 

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From Lyon, he made his way to Talin, Estonia. He had the pleasure of staying with another of my favorite people from Scotland. She is on a teaching assignment there. After a few days in the cold he made his way to Malta and then to visit Mt. Etna. He certainly got to see some nice places (and make some new friends) on that leg of his journey.

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PRC likes warm weather though, so from Estonia, he moved on to Berowa, Australia. I have had a deep love affair with Australia since I was younger, and it just so happens that I was lucky enough to meet a lovely family who lives there when I was in Ireland two years ago. The head of the house is a wonderful man with an amazing sense of humor. He agreed to host Chicken for awhile.

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From there, PRC made his way to his current lodgings in Canterbury. He is going to have great fun learning maths, and hanging out with one of my favorite Irishman. It looks like he is already having a good time.

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I know it seems silly to be jealous of a toy, but it is not really that he gets to travel (although that is what I would love to be doing), but it is the fact that he gets to visit all of these people that I love and miss. When he made it to England, my trusty Irishman said that having Chicken made him miss me all that much more.

The feeling is mutual. I miss each and every person that Chicken has visited. I love that my friends have been so willing to take him and take funny pictures of him in their travels. My goal is to visit all of the places that the chicken has been and reunite with all of the amazing people that have been part of his journey.

If anyone would like to host chicken, feel free to send me your address and I will send him for a visit. If you would like to follow his travels, you can like his page and follow him here: https://www.facebook.com/piraterubberchicken4