I’ve Crossed the Atlantic!
Going to Europe was always something I wanted to do when I was younger. I was kind of obsessed with it. I wanted to be an exchange student in France. If I’m remembering correctly, the company my dad worked for even had some kind of exchange program. I took 1 year of Spanish and 4 years of French in Junior High and High School~~NOT that I can remember anything now. I never did end up going to Europe though. And truthfully I kind of forgot about it. Things just never lined up for me to go.
Then, I married a man who doesn’t let anything stop him from traveling (including having a wife and kids!) If he wants to do it, he’s gonna do it. My hubby began his traveling early on when he earned a carpentry apprenticeship in Germany. He lived there for a year, right after high school. He loves being plopped into a place where he doesn’t understand anything and he has to figure it out. Since then he’s traveled to China to do a BASE jump off a bridge for a festival. He’s traveled to Malaysia to jump off the KL Tower. He’s been to Ecuador to see one of his best friends get married. And now, he’s been back to Europe again.
I personally just love learning about other cultures. Truthfully though, I guess I’ve been fearful about traveling with the current state of the world. . . . . . . . or the world as it’s portrayed to us in the news. And here’s a really weird thing. It might make you laugh. Or it might make you think, “What in the world is this girl talking about???” Instagram makes me less fearful of the world at large. Yes. I said Instagram. With Instagram you can see all of these people out in the world just living. And loving. And spreading good vibes. It makes me think that MOST people in the world are probably good and maybe I shouldn’t be so scared about traveling.
I was a little worried about traveling with people who are so much more adventurous than me, also. It was basically a BASE jumping trip that the guys were bringing their wives on. Or at least that’s kind of how it ended up. The other wives are so much more adventurous than me. It was supposed to be a trip where everyone could have input into the things we wanted to do. In the beginning they made it sound like the boys would only be trying to make jumps in the morning and then we would all be doing tourist-y things in the afternoons and evenings. The things that the other girls wanted to do were still way out of my comfort range, though. Plus, let's just say that the jumping wasn't limited to just the morning. Weather will do that to a jump.
Two of the things that the people in our group ended up doing together were the via ferrata in Switzerland and a “natural” water park in France. Nothing I wanted to do. Thankfully my hubby sat out with me while they did the via ferrata. What the heck is a via ferrata? You can find out on the Wikipedia page. It's basically an "iron road." At one point you are literally hanging off the side of a cliff. I said, "No. No. No. No. No." "No." And "NO some more." "No." And I got lucky at the water park (which was actually called a Canyoning Park) ~~ they had an observation area where I could sit. I got to watch them do most of their jumps there.
By the time they were done at the water park, I was thinking “I’m pretty happy I didn’t do that!” Ha!! Totally not my thing.
Another reason I hadn’t done any other International travel until this point was because of my kids. Usually the trips are during the school year and I just didn’t want to leave the kids, especially at the beginning of a brand new year. This year though, we asked my stepmom if she would come into town and watch the kids while we were gone. It just seemed best to have one person who could be “home base” while we were away. All of my friends said that they could all work together to try to work something out, but I don’t want my kids all over the place and I didn’t want to put everyone out.
It worked out really well. I think my stepmom really enjoyed the time with the kids. It was good for me too, because I could leave and not have to think or worry too much about what was going on at home. There was one time during the trip when I was just overwhelmed with all the BASE jumping, the constant moving around and missing my kids. It didn’t last very long though, and I was able to enjoy the last couple days in Europe.
The couples that we went with were talking about how to make another trip happen again sometime. I told my stepmom that it was a possibility that there could be another trip in upcoming years. Her reply was “Any time!” So, maybe I’ll become a world traveler after all! I’m so thankful to have so many people in my life who encourage me to go outside my comfort zone. Switzerland, Southern France and Spain were pretty darn nice to visit.
Have you ever been to Europe? Or do you LIVE in Europe? That’s what I love about blogging. You get to “meet” people from all over the place.