I'm still ruminating on the theme of wandergrief, looking back, sieving through, rummaging among my memories of past travels where I felt wandergrief. This was not the first time I'd been down this road.
What lessons from the past can I take comfort in? What hangover cures might there be?
This time, it is from Stockholm, Sweden in August 2014. I fell in love with the Baltic Sea here. Can a body of water have this much appeal? I don't know. Looking through my photos, again I noticed one thing - I avoided doing the touristy things for most of this trip, and did what I was drawn to in spirit and soul. Yeah, I saw some of the iconic sights here, but mostly, I went swimming in the clear, cold waters of the Baltic Sea in the archipelago around Stockholm.
In the end, I was held hostage by it, willingly. I couldn't not be enchanted by the wood and water, the silky smooth gliding of water over my skin, and its chilling but invigorating glacial cold. Classic Stockholm Syndrome.
Stockholm, Sweden in August 2014. Fell in love with the Baltic Sea, the grey granite, the spongy mosses, the pine trees. Didn't do much in the city - a pity, the little voice in my head said, that I flew half-way round the world and didn't spend much time in Stockholm city.
But catching myself, I thought, why not? Sweden's natural landscape draws me in and holds me captive, and I'm willingly captivated and enraptured by its beauty. Stockholm syndrome, for sure.
There's a private dock that's a 10-minute walk from the house, where it's quiet and peaceful by the Baltic Sea and at most times I was the only one there. Swimming from this dock on sunny days was the highlight of my stay here. The sea felt really cool and clean, more like a freshwater lake than salty seawater, and with no strong waves meant I swam much further outward to sea than I usually dared!
Wood and water, sunsets and sea. Mesmerising moonrises. Contemplating my very first jump into ice cold freshness. This dock, this sea, this weather - the highlight of my stay in Stockholm. Burning this scene into my mind forever.