Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The travel bug that never leaves

Neuschwanstein Castle
Perhaps the title of this post could have used a bit more work, but then again, I've never been real good at one liners or attention grabbers, even though I know how necessary they can be in this digital age. But I wasn't going to let
that prevent me from writing this post. You see, at some point in my life, I realized how utterly attached I am to traveling and experiencing far away places, especially those in Europe. My heart gets so happy and excited when the structures illuminating themselves happen to be several decades or centuries old. Castles are particularly a sight to see. I imagine all sorts of tales that would exist had I lived there in the middle ages. Suddenly I am the damsel that just so happens to fall in love with the prince. Or I imagine myself to be Robin Hood's daughter, very well skilled with the bow and arrow. But mostly I'm curious about the people who lived inside those castle walls and the events that took place there.

It isn't a rare expression for me to become emotional at times while scrolling through photos of other countries, marveling at the countryside, oohing over the charming alleyways, stone homes, floral filled window boxes, or cobblestone streets. There's a beautiful image in all of it, a perspective that doesn't leave you. It's almost as though every time I visit I am placed under a spell that is constantly urging me to come back.

Obidos, Portugal

I know there are multiple factors that have all contributed to this desire I have to surround myself within the charming and character-filled places like Obidos, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, or Zurich. Some I owe to books like Paris to the Past and A Moveable Feast, some to characters like Robin Hood, the Three Musketeers, or King Arthur and some to movies like Leap Year, Midnight in Paris, or Julia and Julie. But much of it I owe to my German mother and to the Europe trips my parents took my family on.

As a child, when I wasn't traveling, I took to the hallway bookshelf, where flipping through each family trip album was one of my favorite things to do. It was in those photos that I had convinced myself that London was my favorite city in the world, even though I had no recollection of my visit there. But the four year old me in those pictures convinced me that I most definitely loved every aspect of London, from the Royal Guards in their black bearskin hats, to the train rides, to the London Tower, and the grey covered skies.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber
It was also in these albums that I began to realize that many of my favorite family memories must have all taken place during long summer days on my Oma and Opa’s farm in Germany. Saying hello to the birds, watching my mother milk the goats, fishing in the pond behind the house, enjoying imitation coffee at “coffee time” (too little to drink the real thing!), filling buckets with berries in exchange for 5 deutschmark, riding bikes down the road to the house, feeding the chickens, sneaking in a strawberry or two from the garden, and playing Malafizspiel in the kitchen nook.

These memories and the new experiences I have each time I venture across the ocean, leave me constantly restless to be back to experience and learn more. So until my next trip, I will continue using the weak remedy of adventuring through books, blogs, and photographs.


  1. Oh, yes, that deep longing, so painful and yet such a blessing... I didn't travel until my college days but the first taste of Europe created in me a thirst that remains decades later. If it were not for the ever elusive time and money, I would be there right now.

    1. Such a blessing indeed. Somehow it creates more awareness and provides greater perspective, not to mention lots of beautiful scenery. I'm right with you...if it weren't for money, I would also be there right now.