Changes Since Europe
Do you think your trip has made a change in you at all? Do you see yourself going back to anyplace in particular or do you see yourself going to some new places in Europe? Or elsewhere? I am just wondering if your recent experiences have made a world traveler of you??
Guess I'll take these on one by one. There was certainly a lot to think about over there.
Do you think your trip has made a change in you at all?
Oh, most definitely. I'm much more relaxed. My must-do-it workaholism is temporarily at bay. It's not that I don't take my job seriously; I do. I just don't take it as seriously--as if work and only work are worth living for. That's a good thing to learn before I push myself into a heart attack by age 50. And the trip was an excellent reminder that there are plenty of worthwhile things to see and do here on Earth. Space is not the be-all and end-all of existence. And given my recurring discomfort with man-made heights, perhaps I'd be better off staying on ol' terra firm anyway.
As regular readers of this blog will note, I did a lot of studying for this trip--languages, history, art--so I would know recognize and appreciate what I was seeing when I got there. It forced me to have a more balanced perspective on life. It's not all about the words in my head. There are people to meet, foods to try, places to go, exercises to do, a God to give due honor to, etc....oh yeah, and it wouldn't hurt to share the whole shebang with someone so everything isn't locked up in my head all the time. I would say the trip definitely helped my progress toward a more balanced life, progress that was probably long overdue.
I find myself walking more. I did the math, and I think I walked about 14 miles this past weekend, so I picked up a hiking/exercise habit. And that can only be to the good, as I was approaching Homer Simpson levels of "fluffy."
Do you see yourself going back to anyplace in particular or do you see yourself going to some new places in Europe? Or elsewhere? I am just wondering if your recent experiences have made a world traveler of you??
There are things I missed on this trip due to lack of time or money. I would've liked to see:
- The International Space University in Strasbourg, France.
- Peenemünde, Germany, the site of the V-2 missile launches, which happens to be near...
- Greifswald, the home of my maternal grandmother.
- Munich...you know: Oktoberfest and all that happy stuff.
- The Large Hadron Collider, currently the world's largest atom smasher.
- The Globe Theater in London to see a (recreated) Shakespearean play as it was meant to be seen.
- Salzburg, Austria, home of Mozart and, yes, the von Trapp family.
- A live opera...something by Mozart or Puccini. I'm flexible.
- Prague, Czech Republic, just because I've heard it's a beautiful place of culture.
- Ireland, ancestral home of most of Dad's side of the family (Leahy? Dorsey? Ya think?).
- Greece, birthplace of Western civilization.
- And a whole list of stuff I missed on this trip because there wasn't enough time, like the Arsenal in Venice, Versailles, the Pitti Palace in Florence, the D'Orsay Museum, the Moulin Rouge, Normandy, Mont St. Michel, etc., etc....
So yeah, I've got the travel bug. If I keep living below my means here, that allows me to travel well over there. Now that I know I can function well over there with a decent amount of preparation, I'll probably do it again. There are also places elsewhere in the world I'd like to see, like Hawai'i, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, and wherever else my fancy takes me. There was a couple on my tour in their 70s, and they were climbing to the top of the dome of St. Peter's. I should be so vigorous!
My parents have encouraged a love of travel in me and my sister, both to see beautiful places and to expand the range of our experiences. Colleen did her European "Grand Tour" in 2001 (pre-9/11), so we've both gotten a taste of that part of the world. As a writer, I appreciate travel because the sites, sensations, and experiences expand the space of the imagination. Nothing can be more rewarding or worthwhile.