If I were rich enough to endow a prize to the sensible traveler: $10,000 for the first man to cover Marco Polo's outward route reading three fresh books a week, and another $10,000 if he drinks a bottle of wine a day as well. That man might tell one something about the journey. He  may or may not be naturally observant. But at least he would use what eyes he had...
-Robert Byron.

This is my favorite travel quote. I love the part about reading books and drinking a bottle of wine everyday. I already do that.

Interestingly, I received the book Marco Polo’s Travels from a college professor at Penn State. I did exceptionally well on an exam in my tourism class, and the professor, a Portuguese fellow, wrote a nice note on the inside cover wishing me luck in my own travels. I still haven’t gotten through the book. I will one of these days.

Time is running short in Sweden. After being abroad for nearly three months now, it’s suddenly nearly time to return. I’m already regretting the things I didn’t do, while enjoying the memories of the things I have done. But one month still remains, and much can be experienced in that short time. I’m finally out of my rut, finally out doing and experiencing things. It’s so easy to be lazy and disgruntled about your situation, but when you finally step outside and make a real attempt to experience the world, it’s amazing how quickly your attitude can change. Fuck that mood changing like the wind business - time is what you make of it, and I have the power to control my mood, I just have to do it.

I’m writing this from a café in Uppsala, one I’ve never been to before. It’s called ‘Café Cappuccino.’ Not a very original name, but atmospheric nonetheless. I chose it because there are large picture windows framing the people outside as they walk and bike by on the street. Lots of light shines through these windows, and it’s a beautiful day outside today, much too warm for February in the far north.

Mia’s dad brought me a new bike the other day. Not new, but new to me. My green machine got two flat tires in a span of about 2 hours, and the wheels are rusty and shot, so in the dumpster it went. Now I have a nice little green girl’s bike, with a lovely swooping frame, big brown saddle, and silver fenders. It’s about 4 sizes too small for me, and my knees nearly rub the handlebars when I pedal. I look ridiculous on the thing. It’s much better than walking.

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