Those Who Wander Are Sometimes Lost as Hell

J.R.R. Tolkien was one of those pure geniuses whose words never fail to inspire me. And even though it’s true that “not all those who wander are lost,” it’s also true that plenty of them are lost as hell. Including me, as it turns out. (And also John Travolta.)

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To be fair, I always feel at home in Whiterun. Travolta, not so much.

It makes sense, when you think about it – having lost my father, quit my job, binned or packed away most of my stuff, and left my friends and family to travel as far away from home as I’ve ever been – it’s hard to imagine a scenario where I wouldn’t feel a bit lost.

I feel like Samwise Gamgee at the edge of Farmer Maggot’s crop fields. Not only is this the farthest I’ve ever been from home, but as we’re now past the seven-week mark since I left Halifax, it’s also the longest time I’ve ever been away from the Maritimes.

Amidst feeling lost and confused, I’m trying really hard not to take for granted the beauty and opportunity of where we are at the moment. Prague is amazing, and we’re having a really lovely time here. You should definitely (wait for it)… Czech it out! 😂

This is only a very small sample of photos, but these have been highlights for me so far.
Vítkov Park near our Airbnb is stunning; Freya Kočkafé, the cat café in Žižkov, is a dream come true; and Prague Zoo absolutely earns its place in the top five zoos in the world.

I’m also trying the 6 Days to Decisiveness challenge, seeking out yoga and therapy (which I’ve been sorely missing since leaving home), and somehow still attempting The Artist’s Way, even though collecting rocks and leaves last week felt like a bit of a stretch.

What brings you back to yourself when you’re feeling lost?

-Janice

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Moving Sucks and Harry Potter Rules

Oh man, it’s been a time. Since arriving back from Ammydam, we’ve had to step on the gas pedal to get ready for the *true beginning* of our own vagrant story.

MOVING SUCKS

Obviously. We’ve had to sort, chuck, store, donate, and pack a ton of stuff. Which I’ve already done at home. On one hand, my experience was probably helpful to Matt in his struggle to downsize. On the other, how the hell did I get roped into doing this AGAIN?

That’s love for you. On the bright side, I got to see some of Matt’s cool old video games, as well as to delight in the discovery that he has FOUR copies of my favourite game, Final Fantasy VIII (all in semi-working condition), plus one FFVII for good measure.

Unbelievably, we’re now sitting in Matt’s near-empty apartment, ready to fly off to Prague tomorrow. Our Euro Journey™ is about to officially begin, even though I’ve been overseas for six weeks. After tomorrow, neither of us will have a home base as such. So, the past six weeks have been a nice way to dip my toes in as a novice nomad.

HARRY POTTER RULES

Amidst all the chaos, I had booked us tickets to The Making of Harry Potter at the Warner Brothers Studio in London last week. It was INCREDIBLE. Being the huge Potterhead that I am, it was absolutely mind-blowing to visit the Great Hall, see the Gryffindor common room and Harry’s dorm, walk through Diagon Alley, and board the Hogwarts Express, among so much else. Here is just a brief and woefully inadequate selection of photos and descriptions of our amazing 3-hour tour.

Here’s Matt at the entrance to the studio tour, before we knew just how amazing this place would be. The potions classroom was SO detailed, and included self-stirring cauldrons!

The Great Hall was stunning, though smaller than I imagined. I had to mock the big ol’ bird at the entrance to Dumbledore’s office. Walking through Diagon Alley was a huge highlight!

OF COURSE I bowed to Buckbeak! Only a fool would do otherwise. The enormous model of Hogwarts, featured in so many scenes from the films, left me utterly speechless.

The wands were all labeled with the names of those who worked on the films, including J.K. Rowling and Emma Watson. I found A OWL! And ran through Platform 9¾, obviously.

Here’s my favourite photo from the tour, when Death Eaters emerged for a bit of LARPing! Matt and I are hardcore Hufflepuffs, which I learned is J.K. Rowling’s favourite house.

There is literally too much to say about the experience. Visiting the original sets, seeing amazing props and costumes, and getting to learn behind-the-scenes stuff was so incredible. If you want to see more, I’ve uploaded some videos to my Instagram stories.

NEXT STOP: PRAGUE

Phase two of The Great Europing™ (I’m still workshopping the title) starts tomorrow. Turns out life just keeps coming at you whether you have time to write about it or not! But I’ll do my best to keep yas in the loop as we go to Prague and beyond. ❤️

-Janice