Years ago when I first traveled to Europe while on leave from my military duty in the Middle East I saw it through the eyes of an innocent young adult. Europe was nothing like imaged from all my prior reading in books on the continent.
I flew into Germany, quickly purchased a dress, Birkenstocks, backpack and finally a train ticket. I stuffed my military uniform into a locker on the American Air Base and headed out on an adventure.
I had an experienced travel partner with me and we rode the overnight on a train to Italy to stay with his brother. I then jumped on a train alone, travelled on to see an Air Force friend in eastern Italy. Everything was new and exiting. The old buildings, the landscapes, the crazy mopeds driving on the busy streets.
I have retold tons of stories of that trip over the years to friends and relatives. The newness of Europe to me was full of adventure and I thought it would be my only opportunity ever to visit the continent. From where I sit today that newness and sharp edges are worn smooth with experience there are things I just don’t see of my adopted country of The Netherlands anymore.
This week the Hubby and I are hosting one of my best friends from my home town in Minnesota. Yes, there is a threat of war on our continent and most of us have gotten little sleep as prices rise, refugees are now entering the country and the news is constantly repeating the play by play of the war in Ukraine like some sports show.
It is hard for me to see things as exciting and new. But, my friend is seeing and experiencing Europe with and through the eyes of an innocent child. Everything is new for her, the old Amsterdam buildings, the windmills, the Dutch countryside and the wonderful robust transport system we have in this country and it has lifted the shadows of the overhanging news of the war.
We have nearly forgotten that a terrorist is holding us all hostage with his threat of nuclear button pushing or super sonic weapons. Life is going on even if it is more expensive each day.
For Americans to explore the past locations that our ancestors came from since the birth of the USA. It will be harder, as this war lingers, to do such things without anxiety. My hope and wish is that there will be a quick and peaceful resolution, but from my professional background, old fears whisper “it will be a long and difficult road” before peace.
My advise to all my readers, come to Europe, live the experience, don’t let a terrorist win! Experience the continent and Carpe Diem!
We all want tourist from other places to enjoy the European continent in freedom and to see it for the diversity it holds.
Prayers for the citizens of Ukraine.💙💛☮️🙏
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