Saturday, April 25, 2015

V is for Visiting

Stubai, Austria
One thing I think everyone who manages to live away from "home" (wherever that is) for a few years should spend time visiting other places.  It's part of appreciating the world around you.

We did our best to exhaust the UK while we were there, though we concentrated mostly on visiting the continent when we had longer stretches of time.  Our thinking was that there were so many places we wanted to visit--and many of them were so different--that we wouldn't have time for everything, so best squeeze in what we could.

Vatican City (and Rome), Italy

Hubs and I were lucky to be able to see the things we saw and do the things we did--ski the Alps; visit the beaches and WWII sites of Normandy; have hot chocolate in a cafe in Amsterdam; get lost in the canals of Venice; climb the walls of Dubrovnik.  The opportunity to see people and places in different countries was fantastic, and I feel as though my view of the world has evolved.  We did our best to blend in and experience these places in their natural state, though we did our fair share of touristy stuff.  All of it was fun and worth the time and effort.

Prague, Czech Republic
Was it expensive to visit these places?  Honestly, it depended.  Some were extremely reasonable--a cruise we took was an excellent deal for what it was and how much we got to see.  Some cities are more expensive than others; sometimes it depended on the time of year you went somewhere--Rome and Barcelona were quite reasonable in the off-season (we went in December).  But I wouldn't trade the experiences in for anything.

We heard about so many people and families who, well, just didn't travel.  I'm not sure what their reasoning was for not doing it, though almost anything I could come up with--expense, family-size, know-how, etc.--would be BS.  If you really, really want to see the world, there were tons of ways to travel no matter your life circumstances. There aren't any good excuses for not visiting the places you were lucky enough to be near, and may never be near again.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Well, that's not quite true... The only excuse that I could see being valid would be "time".  There was never enough time--and never would be enough, no matter how long we would be there--to see everything, so you just had to see what you could.  Some things slipped through the cracks.  Scotland was one, and I also wished we'd done some more exploration on the UK mainland. But hopefully we'll get back at some point. 

But the idea was to visit--to expand your world view.  To enjoy other cultures--their customs and traditions, their food, their languages.  To learn how people are the same and different.  Visiting other places wasn't something to be feared; it was to be embraced and anticipated. 

Village of Oia on Santorini, Greece

So, no matter what your circumstances are, please go and visit somewhere else, no matter where you live--another state, another country.  You'll be better for it.

*note* All pictures in this post are mine.  

Get ready for W tomorrow!

xoxo Sarah

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