"Travel is intensified living." Rick Steves, Seattle Travel Writer
|Along a canal in Amsterdam|
|NEMO Science Museum|
|3 week old Baby Giraffe|
|Brace cubs at Artis Zoo in Amsterdam|
|Brace family bike ride|
|Prisengracht canal at night|
This year in Spain was much different than I expected but so rich in a variety of experiences and so much exposure to different cultures than our 2 urban American kids were used to. A lifetime of memories for sure. But most importantly for me, I think I learned that it is not the life experiences to look for but slowing down and experiencing life, whatever it brings. It's not about the places you go and things you see but the people you meet and how you spend your time, the ability to stop and appreciate that which is right in front of you (or inside of you) the entire time.
We've made some amazing new friendships that I hope last a long, long time, learned some new things about what it's like to be the underdog, not understand what is going on. We've survived some tough times and seen and visited places most people will never get the chance to see. Epic for sure. I hope I survive the transition back to normalcy and ask for your help as readers to help ease me back to our lives in the Pacific Northwest. Although I am really looking forward to catching up with all my wonderful friends back home, and will enjoy sleeping in my own bed again, I don't want to give up on the adventurous life we've had this past year. I just need to remember that one can find adventure wherever they are and that if you just slow down and pay attention, beauty, quietness, nature, change, differences, occur on an hourly basis, wherever you are.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and for letting us know that you were thinking of us. Although it was really hard for me to give up my support network while away, I don't think I could have experienced such tremendous personal growth unless I was forced to spend so much time alone and isolated from my friends back home. And now I know for sure, that life is good, wherever you are.