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The Baltic region of the world. That’s one of many things I don’t know. I’m there now, and I remember when I first started writing in 2000, I was taught to write what you know. Easy. I knew then how to learn to write a book and get it published. I knew about nursing, city living, aging, and moving away from the city. At some point, I learned about writing what you don’t know. Do research–visit the places involved, observe with all five senses, and read extensively.

As I sit here this morning on a Vikings Homeland cruise ship, observing the 5-8 foot swell of white caps through floor to ceiling windows in a large comfortable lounge, decorated in blues that make the Baltic Sea look dark gray, I’m thinking of the places I’ve been to already on this trip that I knew little to nothing about.

Meeting a Viking in Norway

Vertical Apple Farm in Norway

The Little Mermaid, Denmark

North Sea Colliding with Baltic Sea at Tip of Denmark

Remnant of Berlin Wall

Holocaust Memorial, Berlin

Trip-Sioux Falls, Chicago, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Russia, Finland, Sweden

This trip feels like a crash course in European history. There is so much I don’t know. Lots of wars. Lots of ethnic differences. Lots to ponder when we get home. One thing I do know: we are all part of one great humanity.