We’re three months into this 12-month trip around the world.
We had two months of rapid travel and one month of living in the same apartment, which feels like two different trips. The first two months of travel through Turkey, Greece, Ireland, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden gave me good insight into how I want to live my life with my family. The one month in Konstanz gave me good insight into how I lived my daily life in Maryland and how it might look and feel when I get back. Maybe this feeling won’t last, or maybe it will change, but nevertheless I’m having a strong feeling about travel being a part of my very being, about my family’s very being. What if we studied a language each year then took a 2-4 week trip to a country that speaks that language natively? What if we got an RV and traveled the U.S. for an extended trip? What if we took more guided trips and group tours? What if…?
During this third month we had a fun trip to northern Germany for a friend’s wedding, an enlightening and emotional trip to learn about Theo’s family ancestry, and a lot of staying put in a town where we don’t speak the language or know any of the people. In that town - Konstanz, Germany - we began to establish a world-schooling groove and had a small-scale Oktoberfest experience and a bit of sight-seeing. We closed out Month Three with a brief stay in Italy that included a visit to my ancestral home, and two long driving days through France and Spain to get to our latest stopping point: Seville.
There have been some changes to our routines and rhythms in this third month. We’ve all felt a bit restless and even bored. The kids began bickering again, something they had done very little of since we left Maryland. I started, then stopped watching the TV news. I’ve been more engaged with things at home through social media and online news. I’ve begun watching new-to-me shows on Netflix (Orphan Black). We resumed daily exercise as a family by taking on two 30-Day Challenges (Flexibility and Core). I’ve self-diagnosed plantar fasciitis in my left foot. I’ve spent a lot of time and thought on planning the February-July leg of our world tour. I’ve missed my family and friends while still feeling like there is no way I’m ready to come home. I’ve cooked dinner! I’ve forgotten so many of the little things that happened earlier in the trip, and only remembered them again when looking at photos or even credit card receipts. (I had no idea I’d feel gushy with reminiscence while reconciling our accounts. But, I did!)
We have just over two weeks left in Europe, then we say goodbye to our trusty 9-passenger steed and hop on a plane to Africa. I find the thought of all we still have ahead of us exciting and slightly nerve-wracking. It's a little like the feeling on the big incline of a roller coaster - we're definitely on a ride, but we're moving slowly. There's anticipation building for the speed and turns ahead and the accompanying rush of adrenaline. There's the knowledge that there will be some slower, gentler spots for catching our breath before the coaster takes off again with speed and thrills. Although I am not a roller coaster fan any longer (I'm terribly phobic of heights and incredibly prone to motion sickness), I can appreciate this comparison and give thanks for not being travel-phobic. In fact, I may just be a travel-junkie the way others are addicted to riding roller coasters. I'm not even done this ride and I'm already thinking about repeating it and choosing the next one.