What’s It Like to Live in a Snow Globe

Stephen F. Dennstedt

I’ve always been a sucker for Snow Globes. Little vignettes of romantic fantasy tucked inside a glass ball. The scenes are always idyllic: little cabins in the woods, snowmen (Santa Claus & Christmas Trees) and 19th century Dickensian England.

As a young introverted kid growing up 1950s Southern California I could lose myself in a Snow Globe. A couple of quick shakes and I could be transported to a different time and place—to a different world. Even in the midst of a sweltering Santa Ana.

Since departing the USA in late November of last year, to begin World Trek Part II, Joel and I have lived the fantasy. First Iceland for two weeks, then Ireland for three months (both the Irish Republic in the South and Northern Ireland) and now Scotland (for another three months). It’s winter of course and an unusually harsh winter for the UK. Again, Joel and I were born and raised in San Diego, CA so we’re more accustomed to sunshine and heat. Though Joel lived in Alaska for fifteen years his blood has once again thinned to Southern California consistency.

We spent our first six years (World Trek Part I) slō-travelling through Mexico, Cuba, Central America and South America. With the exception of the Andes Mountains (Peru, Chile and Argentina) and Southern Patagonia (Argentina) most of that travel was in warmer climes (often much warmer climes). Since leaving the USA for the second time (after a visit to family & friends) we’ve been bundled up in four to five layers of clothing (see my photo inset at the top of this post taken yesterday). It snowed all-day yesterday and is forecast to snow all-day today—for the most part it’s really cool (pun intended).

But then we don’t have to commute or work in it. We’re retired after all and our schedule is open and flexible. For instance when we first arrived in Scotland (Cairnryan) from Northern Ireland (Belfast) on the ferry we got stopped cold in our tracks. Storm Emma from the Atlantic had collided with the Beast From the East (from Russia) and brought most of the EU and UK to a complete halt. We were headed to Glasgow but got stopped in the small Scottish town of Ayr (Population 47,000) because the trains and buses had stopped running. No problem—we just hunkered down for a day and arrived in Glasgow one day late.

We have family and friends who live and work in the midwest and on the East Coast and I can’t even imagine trying to work in severe winter weather. Here is Scotland we just go with the flow—today we didn’t even leave the hotel for breakfast we just had our large traditional Scottish breakfast in the dining room (more expensive but more convenient too). Watching the large soft flakes drift down as we indulged ourselves with a second cup of coffee was relaxing, while those outside were braving the elements. Living in a Snow Globe is kind of neat as long as you have a warm retreat (and maybe a fire, whiskey and an old dog).


2 responses to “What’s It Like to Live in a Snow Globe

  1. Once you have been away from the land of ice and snow for awhile any return is shocking. A reminder of what you once (for some ungodly reason) considered the norm 😂.

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