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We left early in the morning at 4am. Christian, a friend of us, brought us to Leipzig airport. Huge thanks to him: it’s hard to find a taxi at this time.

It was a long ten-hour flight first to Seattle, where we had to go through the passport control and check our luggage again (since 9/11, the USA does not have a transit zone like many other countries).

During the flight, I was finally able to read all my old magazines, do a little work, eat chocolate, drink wine, enjoy the views of the icy Arctic, and dream about future plans to cross Greenland on skis. This time we couldn’t hear the children’s cries this time, but the traditional smell of farts kept tormenting us.

In Seattle we quickly went through passport control (this time I was hardly asked any questions at all, which is very unusual as I am a holder of a rather weak passport), received a new boarding pass to Anchorage and quickly took the subway to see Seattle. After all, 15 years ago I studied here in Tacoma, a neighboring town.

Seattle hasn’t changed at all: it’s exactly the same as I remember. There are just more tourists. I have very good memories with this city – it was my first time in a nightclub and my first time in a gay club 🙂

Somehow, the guest family where I lived during my studies began to suspect that I was gay and, specifically for the sake of the experiment, offered to go to this gay club. It was only in line, when I saw the drag queens, that I realized that this was not a “traditional” club.

Living in the USA at that time helped me accept myself as a gay man. I have come a long way in just one year in the USA: at first I was afraid of the word gay, and in the end of the year I came out.

In the US, I also learned to snowboard and, thanks to a Queer Youth Camp organized by an LGBT organization in Tacoma, I was even able to practice my climbing skills a little.

After enjoying the sunny and warm weather in Seattle and feeling melancholy for the wonderful past, we headed back to the airport to conquer the wonderful future.

Joseph, the third member of the expedition, was already waiting for us at the airport. A couple of hours later, the three of us, Joseph, Christian and I, landed in Anchorage and settled into a small but cozy room. Our plan for tomorrow is to buy food for the expedition.

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