Edinburgh 2018: Respite in the States and Icelandic Adventures

I write from a bright, cozy coffee shop in downtown Reykjavik, Iceland. My view includes a slow stream of tourists, bright-roofed buildings, an eclectic mix of modern and Tudor-esque architecture, and a dusky blue bay surrounded by barren brown mountains in the distance. For the past couple hours, I’ve enjoyed the serenity and chatted with my lovely barista and new friend about life and God and family. Life is truly grand.

 

My view

 

I haven’t been able to keep the blog current enough over the past several weeks to avoid having to write overwhelmingly brief and muddled catchup posts. I apologize. But life looks like it may be on the cusp of reentering some sense of normality. For this post however, it will still probably read like an unceremonious pile of hurried updates.

 

Like I mentioned in my last post, I discovered to my chagrin during my stay in Edinburgh at the beginning of the month that I would be unable to procure a UK student visa while in Europe and would have to travel back to the States. That felt like one in a series of unfortunate circumstances that made me question whether I was right in pursuing Edinburgh or was completely wrong. I started searching for roundtrip tickets back to Chicago and expressed to God that I couldn’t tell whether these obstacles were in alignment with or in opposition to His leading — and if they were non-Divine hindrances, I asked that He bind them and help make the details fall into place.

 

Some of the scenery from my bus ride into Reykjavik

 

From that moment on, the road smoothed. I found really cheap airfare, was assured by my academic program director that I wouldn’t have a problem getting enrolled in my classes even though I’d have to start a week late, a housing arrangement bloomed out of nowhere, and then, after submitting my visa application on Friday afternoon, I received my official acceptance on Monday and my passport arrived safely on Wednesday morning. Since I had been told it could have taken up to two weeks, it was incredible providence and allowed me to fly out on schedule yesterday evening. God came through in spectacular fashion and provided breakthrough.

 

A chance to spend some time with siblings and friends while in Chicago

 

Thus, I found myself back in Chicagoland and with my family this past week. I enjoyed getting to see them ever so briefly and got to see a few others (but certainly not all the folks I would have preferred to see) while back in Illinois. Then, in a whirlwind, I boarded a plane late last night bound for Iceland.

 

I had chosen a budget airline, WOW Airlines, to get back and forth this time around. Headquartered in Iceland, they are one of the lines responsible for encouraging tourism by offering cheap flights with long layovers. Thus, I arrived in Iceland this morning and will stay until catching an early flight tomorrow morning. I’ve bused into the capital, Reykjavik, and am currently enjoying the stark mountainous terrain and quaint, colorful, wilderness-outpost-turned-touristic feel of the city thus far. Who knows what adventures lie in store.

 

Moral of this post: Sometimes, it seems, you have to ask God to clarify whether mountains in the way are ones He means you to traverse or ones that He’s waiting to conquer in your stead.

 

Onwards towards Edinburgh! Until next,

 

-LS

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