Dancing in Stockholm will be just like this, right? Right.
This blog is now one year old. I’ve started many blogs over the years, but this is the first one I’ve managed to write in regularly for an extended period of time. This is the 99th post. I can’t really believe it, but there you go.
Not everything I’ve written has been particularly noteworthy, but I feel like there have definitely been a few good pieces. And perfection was never the goal – this has more been an exercise in will power and perseverance. It’s hard to keep your eyes on a goal when the payoff is so far away. When I decided to properly plan my Trans-Siberian trip after 10 years of thinking about it, I knew I couldn’t go right away, because: money. But I needed something to keep me focused, so a self-imposed assignment seemed like the thing to do.
I’ve had some big ups and downs in the course of the past year of planning for this. And some incredibly instrumental outside shoves in the right direction. I’m now in the kind of pre-final stages of planning, in that I’m waiting for the time when booking opens up for the trains that I need and the time is right for applying for visas. It’s been the most frustrating stage yet, because I’ve committed, but there’s not much to do but wait for the gates to open.
But committing myself to writing here has been more of a help to focus than I imagined it would be. Sometimes I’ve hated my self-imposed deadlines, but sometimes they’ve produced some fantastic, last-minute, honest writing that I may not have done otherwise. And a few times they’ve gotten me out of some serious ruts, in writing and, once or twice, in life.
The shape of this blog will continue to change as I get closer to this trip, and of course, when I’m finally on it. The shape of the trip itself continues to shift. Lindy Hop has become a pretty major part of my life in the past year, somewhat unexpectedly, and the idea of leaving it behind for three months is not something I’ve been too thrilled about lately. So I’ve been trying to figure out how to integrate it in my plans. I keep having to remind myself that this is MY trip and it can morph into whatever I feel like it should be.
Last week, when I was doing a trawl of swing dance websites for new info on things that might be happening in my planned path, I found out that there’s a big swing dance camp weekend planned in Bangkok for the last weekend I’m supposed to be away. I felt like this was the universe going ‘Hey, THIS IS FOR YOU!’ It’s at a fancy resort, and as it’s a week before my birthday and the end of what will likely be a pretty crazy trip, I decided I definitely have to go for it. A holiday from a holiday. With a lot of sweating, but it’s Southeast Asia, so I’ll be sweating constantly anyway. May as well work for it. (I don’t know how much it will cost yet, but money is a thing I still have time to make a bit more of, so I’m trying to.)
But then of course, I thought, I can’t go to a hardcore, full-on Lindy weekend after not having danced at all for nearly 3 months.
That got me looking more seriously into where I can dance along the way. And there are LOADS of places. I need not take 3 full months off. I can quite literally dance everywhere. Stockholm, Moscow, Beijing, Shanghai, Hanoi, Saigon, Phnom Penh, Bangkok, and who knows where else in between. It doesn’t mean I’ll do nothing but dance, but it’s one thing I can do to make me feel more at home in the world. And as the Lindy community is one of the most friendly, enthusiastic, welcoming, and lovely I’ve ever encountered, it seems to me a fantastic way to meet people from all over with an instant common interest.
And just like that, Lindy has become part of the thing. A bit of a boost while I wait for those gates to open.