Inspired by some latent memory of Alec Baldwin’s admonition to “always be closing” in Glengarry Glen Ross and the fact that I brought one adapter for European power for three devices on my trip, I had fallen into reminding myself all the time to “Always Be Charging” to make sure that my camera and phone were ready at any moment.
To some extent that motto is an appropriate description of the way I tend to travel: once I arrive in a new destination, haunted by the knowledge that I am unlikely to ever visit again, I find myself charging from place to place to see everything I can in the limited time I have. With the apparent exception of Reykjavik, that seems to be a reasonable position. And to be fair to myself, I haven’t minded racing through cities and seeing as much as I can, but my vacations have often resembled my work days in their pace and intensity.
When I arrived here in Bergen, I held true to that form. After passing through customs, I raced down to the exit and caught a Flybus to the city just as it was leaving. A quick ride through town, a brief stop at my incredibly delightful Airbnb stay, and I was out the door, ready to race into the city. Two blocks later, I snapped my first picture, and “Battery Exhausted” appeared on the screen. “Always Be Charging” let me down.
It turned out great, though. After dropping back by my place to plug in my camera, I just started wandering the city on a cloudy, warm day that just kept getting nicer. I watched people strolling by the harbor, enjoyed a coffee and Skillingsboller, the cinnamon roll special to Bergen, and took in the city as a whole rather than checking off locations to see.
A few hours later, with both the camera and me fully charged, I was able to race around and take in the individual sites.
One of the reasons for this long trip is certainly to learn about the importance of keeping myself fully charged, not constantly worn down by the ticking of a thousand tiny clocks always reminding me that there’s one more thing that needs to be done right now. I may not always have the wonders of Bryggen to remind me to put my tasks aside and enjoy relaxation, but I hope to take away the lesson and apply it to simple joys like a long afternoon coffee at the Merc or really savoring a Saturday afternoon without thinking what I need to do, and which plug needs to be fully charged at all times.
A last few photos from Iceland and some from my day in Bergen below.