Things have been pretty quiet over here ever since autumn came around; that is because my final exams arrived, and I barely had time to sleep, not to think of reading books. At the same time, I was looking for a place for my mandatory research practicum, and I finally found one, in Canberra, Australia.
Oh boy. It was all pretty spontaneous, and with all the preparation it didn’t occur to me that at the end of it all I would actually have to go. But there I was, standing at the airport, my all my possessions in boxes in my parents’ basement, one suitcase and a bag by my side. On my way to the other side of the world.
I’m one of those people who really enjoys long flights, so nerves didn’t set in on the way, not even when I arrived in Sydney, and got the train to my AirBnB. But when I arrived at that house, meeting my host, settling into bed listening to the strange birds outside and the rush of traffic on the street next to my house, that was when it hit me. Here I was, 15.000 km away from home, alone in a city I didn’t know.
It is moments like these that I really appreciate books. I had brought one from Germany, and it happened to be Caraval by Stephanie Garber. And, in the end, it is not important where you read a good book – you are swallowed up by the story, and with the best of them, you forget all about your surroundings. That is what happened to me. I curled up on my bed, opened those pages, and just let myself sink into the story, and quite suddenly, all the anxiety and panic disappeared.
I’m not saying that Caraval is a perfect book (I’ll have a review of it up later this week). I had some issues with it. But for diving into another world, forgetting about my worries for a while, it was absolutely perfect.