I woke up to an unfamiliar voice in the dark. "Wake up!" He said. "We're 40 minutes late." Who was talking to me? Where was I? Then the pounding headache reminded me the bad decisions I made the night before that seemed otherwise at the time. I was laying on a single bed at the Loft hostel in Reykjavik, Iceland. One of my roommates, Eric, was urging me to get up. 5 newly acquainted friends including Eric and I agreed to meet up at 9am and drive along the Golden Circle and check out the landscape. It was the most popular and accessible tour route in Iceland that anyone can visit without a technical guide .
I was this close to flaking on them.
No joke, I haven't drank like that in ages. But the conditions were perfect. It was a Saturday night. It was the first day of vacation for the majority of us in the group. And we were in effin Reykjavik! No matter how much we were all in denial and tried to keep our alcohol in check, it was just a matter of time before we all turned up and drank like Vikings.
My friend Mark and I arrived in Paris on the high speed train from London on the night of January 11th. It was the night of the rally. My emotions were mixed. So many of my family and friends expressed their concerns for the tragedy that hit the city and my safety. But it was also my first time immersing myself in the magic of Parisian culture. I was torn. Should I roam the beautiful streets of Paris worry free and let my guard down? Or should I pay my respects and empathize for something that was bigger than me? Taking the cab to our hotel, I could hear the police sirens I've only heard in the movie the Bourne Identity. Every 3 minutes we heard one pass by. I felt like I just got away with killing an assasin! When we checked into the hotel, the thought entered my mind. It would be great to show my support for the thousands of people who are rallying against terrorism and join them in their chant. In retrospect, I'm kicking myself for not going. It would've been one of the most defining moments of my life!!!...... Did I have the right to go? Was it my battle to fight? I played it smart. It was my first night in a foreign city on somewhat of an alert. I didn't know the language. I didn't know the metro system. Hell, at that point, I only had $20.00, £10.00 and no euros in my pocket. God forbid if the worst happened, the last thing I wanted to do was search for an ATM that I couldn't understand the buttons. I never went. I played it safe. Being pummeled by a stampede if a gunshot was fired was not the way I wanted to start this leg of my trip.