A MEMORY FROM EVERY STATE I'VE BEEN IN
As in sovereign states, since I don't live in a federation, alphabetically. Inspired by @jessicaz, @tombatten (these must be all your notifications, I'm sorry) who I think did it before her, and a bunch of others. Not counting stops along the way because having to relive visiting Reykjavik airport would just make me sad.
- •AustriaWent skiing. Everything on tv was dubbed so I watched scrubs in German. Whenever I smell the body shop's strawberry lotion I think about that trip. I listened to Katy perry's teenage dream album a lot.
- •Barbados/Trinidad and TobagoTwo countries, but same trip and I can't remember what happened where. I was a toddler. My grandpa and I danced to the steel drums and when they took a break I went up and introduced us by pointing and repeating "Emma, grandpa...", Tarzan style. It was over Christmas, and a huge topless black man with a Caribbean accent was Santa that year.
- •CanadaJuly 2014. Saw the Niagara Falls, had a lot of Tim hortons, got lost off a highway in Vaughan, apparently thought this storefront was worth remembering. Toronto is probably the nicest feeling big city I've visited. There was a Beyoncé show one of the nights we were there and I kept seeing people wearing merch, which killed me a little.
- •CyprusTook bikes to a Greek themed water park with a bunch of attractions based on mythology. My sister went on one where you went on a water slide down through the body of the hydra, but I was scared of heights and chilled in the wave pool and "odyssey river".
- •DenmarkGot lost at Legoland age 5 because I was captivated by the orchestra fountain made out of Lego that both squirted water out of the saxophones and played jazz. Was taken to the lost and found but got scared cause I couldn't understand everyone trying to talk Danish to me.
- •EgyptNew Years 2008. My sister got cornrows (in retrospect I dodged a bullet), I was embarrassed because my dad threw up on a snorkeling boat, and I had a near death experience riding an adventurous camel that took off running from the others so the camel guys (herders? Whatever) had to chase me. I watched Blues Brothers in Arabic.
- •FinlandSchool trip. I still don't know what kind of educational benefit it was supposed to bring. Everyone was hungover on the ferry home, which added to my already terrible experience as someone who already gets horribly seasick.
- •GreeceMost recently may 2016. Went bikini shopping and while I was browsing a woman said "hello, sweetheart. Let me look at you" ran her hands under my boobs like a TSA agent, and in a heavy accent immediately went "this is not going to work, love, I will show you our section for the larger breast". They were very direct but I also got called sweetheart and love more times than I can count which was nice.
- •ItalyWent a couple of times over a span of 5 years. Missed the colosseum because it was too crowded and I was mad about being on my period in the heat. Ate constantly. Visited a bar in Castelmola where everything was phallic shaped (I am legit talking dick paraphernalia floor to ceiling). Got heatstroke a lot. Met Paul Anka at a restaurant in Capri and my grandma turned into a gushing teenager, which was cute.
- •PolandKraków. Took a bus to see auschwitz, which was one of the most horrifying and important experiences of my life. Town square was beautiful. Everything was a mix of old architecture and soviet era pea green cement. Toured a salt mine with a guide who smelled like raspberry gummies. Ate more than one kind of white chocolate with coconut, a combination I've rarely seen anywhere else.
- •SpainNever once visited the mainland. A lot of trips as a kid that I can't tell apart anymore. Rented a quadruplet tandem bike once and that's about it.
- •SwedenWhere I was born! A lot of memories. Always went skiing in the winter, always road tripped 700 miles south to my grandfather's old house in the summer. We were outside a lot. In my mind it's always either summer or snowing.
- •ThailandSaw the big rock island from that one James Bond movie. Visited a Muslim fishing village built on poles in the ocean. Fed bananas to fish on a beach. Was blessed (I think? I hope) at a Buddhist temple guarded by aggressive monkeys. Grandma got a massage with oil and forgot to reapply sunscreen afterwards so she turned the color of a cooked lobster.
- •TurkeyFebruary (?) 2015, long weekend in Istanbul. Taxi driver almost hit someone then got out of the car and they screamed at each other for 3 solid minutes. Ate at the hard rock café 3 times because I get uncomfortable when someone ushers me in at the door. Went inside the blue mosque and it was one of the most beautiful buildings I've seen. Spotted Andy samberg's Turkish twin on the back of a bus. EVERY car was white.
- •United KingdomVisited with my family growing up. The first place I went abroad without my parents, to a music festival with my best friend. Moved here September 2015 for school. They still haven't updated their plumbing for the 21st century but it's lovely. Had my first ever nandos, it was moderately cheeky.
- •United StatesDidn't bring the extra cents for tax on the plastic bracelet I bought at the Empire State Building but the nice cashier let it slide. Burned my butt sitting on the asphalt at Disney World. Watched Princess Protection Program on Disney channel in bed while eating Hershey's cookies and cream. Watched them break the news that Michael Jackson died on E! Had to tell waiters to "hold the mayo" on things I didn't think were humanly possible to put mayonnaise on.