I colored my hair pink. Flew to Rio and spent one week at the carnival. It was beautiful. Felt like a full-circle moment. Even though my trip didn’t start in Brazil, in my heart it did. So it felt good to end it there. Go out with a bang as my dear friend Emma said, who convinced me to come even though my bank account screamed no. And then it was over. Just like that. I left South America and the 11 months behind me. Cried in a bathroom stall in São Paulo. Boarded my flight back to Sweden and landed on a cold afternoon in Stockholm. Feeling empty and full all at the same time.
Home is strange
Returning back home is strange. Really fucking weird. Sweden is quiet. That is the only word I can use to describe it with. It is so, so quiet. And clean, and expensive and beautiful. But mostly quiet. I took a bus on my first day back which was packed with people, and no one said a word. I wanted to scream.
It’s sort of a reverse culture shock I think. But wow, how I had missed it too. Sometimes you don’t realize it until it’s actually in front of you. When I saw my friend greeting me at the airport I felt like my heart was going to explode in my chest. Even the sight of the grey March sky almost made me cry.
But now I am home. In Kiruna. Preparing for the PCT. Getting my last visas and permits in order. Force hugging my little brother and watching The Lord of the Rings with my dad. Buying gear and testing out my shoes. Drinking too much wine with my childhood friends and eating my weight in all the Swedish food I’ve missed. But mostly just trying to enjoy it as much as possible. My time home will be short. About four weeks before my flight for San Diego. The right amount of time to get everything sorted but also too short to really get used to it. Which is maybe good. Or bad. I haven’t decided that yet.
When I arrive in San Diego I will stay at my sweet friend Vanessa (shoutout!) and her family’s house for a few nights. I will have time to buy the last stuff, organize some things, and arrange a few resupply boxes. After that I will sleep the final night at Scout and Frodo’s place – the infamous trail angels of California. When I wake up I will take my first steps on the Pacific Crest Trail on the morning of the 9th of April. Ouff. Writing that makes my heart race.
It’s less then a month away, which is crazy. But I don’t think so much about it, if I’m going to be totally honest. It’s so many things that will happen before that, and so much stuff that needs to be done. So in my head I’m more stressed about just getting to the Southern Terminus then to actually hike for 5 months. I’m very sure that everything will figure itself out, if I just get there. And sitting in my childhood room in Sweden overthinking daily milage or the amount of snow in the Sierras isn’t going to change anything. But actually getting my 6 months visa will. So we’ll see.
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