For years, it has been the same routine now. Online when checking in, I pick a seat on the right side of the plane, by the window, because that is where you can see the city when you fly in. I pack and leave the house and think that I detest traveling and that maybe this isn’t worth it. I get annoyed in the queues at the airport. I get on the plane, I put the Melissa Horn playlist into my ears, I fall asleep. I wake up when the plane shakes, going through the Scandinavian skies. Then, only moments later, we break through the clouds and the fourteen islands reveal themselves. Blue and green lies below us and my eyes quickly find the Ericsson Globe to navigate from there. Of course, I have to focus a little to orientate myself: Kaknäs Tower, Skansen, I look upon miniature Stockholm, and it all feels so familiar. I even see the yellow and white tiny train that is Arlanda Express. The sail boats, so small now, seem to sit still on the shining sea and lake. The plane continues north, suburban areas, a grey stone church becomes apparent. Trees and trees, more trees than Düsseldorf has in total meet me just on this part of the route. That glorious view takes away the hassle of traveling, the second thoughts. Always has. Always will.

The sun greets me as we touch down. Not the hot, western German sun, no. But this one shines long into the night.


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