Moving on

When we get out of the glass bottle of our ego and when we escape like the squirrels in the cage of our personality and get into the forest again, we shall shiver with cold and fright. But things will happen to us so that we don’t know ourselves. ~ D. H. Lawrence

During my lifetime I’ve seen continuous changes in society from the variety of food choices to our access to ever evolving technology. Other noticeable changes observed  are personal values and family structures, the move towards equality of the sexes,  housing styles and career opportunities. But one thing that remains consistent over time is the human desire to travel and see other lands.

Many friends traveled overseas when I was in my 20s but my adventurous spirit was lacking which led me to marry and start a family in place of travel. Perhaps I subconsciously viewed traveling as a negative thing.

My father traveled to Europe when I was a child leaving my mother to keep our family and home running smoothly. He was away for months every year building business opportunities. I didn’t fully understand the loneliness and frustrations my mother felt when dad was away but I sensed it was difficult for her, which worried me. Dad sent postcards depicting snow topped Swiss Alps, chalets, people in German costume, cows with cowbells and grand castles. I had no idea nor did I wonder where in the world the scenery in the bright postcards existed, I associated them with my mum being apprehensive.

Later in life my parents enjoyed many trips to Europe together creating wonderful memories they treasured forever. My siblings traveled overseas independently as young adults visiting many of the same places Dad had been to. I am the only family member who has not yet been to Europe.

It wasn’t until my 40’s when something stirred within urging me to explore my fascination for Asian counties which created a turning point in my life. Traveling to Japan, Malaysia, China, Singapore and Thailand awakened my senses, challenged my sense of self, and changed my perspective about life. However during these years my desire to visit European countries laid dormant.

Nobody comes back from a journey the way they started it. ~ Unknown

Fodors_Jan22

My husband Peter traveled around Europe as a young man but now in his 50s wants to visit there again with me. So with the tiniest hint of trepidation I agreed to take a six-week trip together to Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, France, Austria and Italy in September this year.

I vow to travel with my mind and eyes open and hopefully will share my experiences and thoughts about my journey on my blog as I go along.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

Bon voyage!

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36 thoughts on “Moving on

    1. Hi Pat, thank you for your best wishes. We have one week to go before we head off on our European adventure. I’m getting a little nervous but also very excited. Love to you from Jenna

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  1. wow…how wonderful that you are open to this grand and beautiful adventure. and it will be! ❤ i'm looking forward to your posts; i was in switzerland and italy last summer and miss europe sooo much. i think i was born in the wrong country!! 🙂 exciting!!

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    1. Thank you I am getting excited as the date of departure draws closer. Where did you like best in Switzerland and Italy? Do you have any advice about visiting these areas? Love Jenna

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      1. i was visiting family in the french part of switz so mostly i was bonding with them. this was after 5 weeks alone in italy so i was happy with that hehe.

        as for italy – wow so many amazing things. i went to 10 or 11 different cities and they were all so different. each has its own character. for me italy was about soaking it all up – the food, wine, coffee, scenery, language…amazing, amazing, amazing, and i can’t wait to go back. next time i will have a hubby to travel with – heheheh!!! ❤

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  2. Oh my, your blog swirled and twirled and bathed me in Grace.

    I have been fortunate to travel quite a bit. We actually lived in Europe for three years.
    It changed our lives forever. For the better.
    We all came back more curious. Seeking new things around every corner.

    Here’s to you and your adventure!
    May your enjoy safe travels.
    Hat…check
    map…check
    open heart and mind….. check
    Enjoy every single moment.
    Bon Voyage!

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  3. Jenna I’m so happy for you that you’ll have this adventure and even more happy that you’ll share it with us in your blog! I’ve admired you so much and gained much insight into reaching for the stars and not giving up. I’ve added you to my Heroes In My Garden page on my blog–it wouldn’t have been complete without you! ❤ http://healingbeyondsurvival.wordpress.com/my-heros/

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  4. Well, I will be living vicariously through the experiences of you and your husband 😉 I have been to Singapore, Japan, and South Korea on business within the last ten years. And although visiting somewhere on business is nowhere near what it is to visit for personal reasons, you still get some semblance of the culture half a world away.

    I have dreams and aspirations to visit Europe as well, both the big cities and the vast countryside. There may be a small part of me that feels a trip may not meet my heightened expectations that have been building over the past twenty years. But, as you say, it is important to explore with eyes wide open. You may just discover something about the foreign land, or better yet, yourself, that you never imagined.

    Best wishes for an incredible journey! I will look forward to the travelogue until I can visit in person 🙂

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  5. The trip to Europe with your husband will no doubt give you a completely different perspective from the one you have because of feeling the stress from your mother when your dad was there and sending his postcards. It’s the best thing you could do for yourself. Those countries are beautiful and exciting with lots to see, so relax and enjoy it with an open mind – you will be surprised!

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  6. Jenna, this is so GREAT! You are traveling at the perfect time of year to visit there. Most of the crowds are gone by mid-Sept. and though most service folks are so done with tourists, 😉 the pace is easier and waiting lines reduced. Fall harvests create wonderful culinary choices, the temps are cooler. I absolutely adore Italy, it is my favorite of all.
    Are you traveling by train or renting a car?

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    1. We are travelling by rental car to explore the Piedmonte region, Lake Como Cinque Terre and Tuscany in Italy. I am looking forward to enjoying the local food and wine. Love Jenna

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      1. I am envious! Lake Como is beautiful, Bellagio is the most visited, but I liked the quieter town of Varenna. Cinque Terre is so picturesque, but bring your hiking shoes as there are so many steps to climb! And Tuscany is divine (fabulous food, OMG!) The Uffizzi Gallery in Florence is my favorite museum and Siena is not to be missed. However, Umbria is less touristed than Tuscany, which you may want to consider. I follow a blog where a woman highlights events around the region you may want to check out: http://villainumbria.me/
        Can’t wait to hear all about your trip!

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  7. It’s so interesting how our experiences as children stay with us well into adulthood. I think you’ll probably be able to shake the remnants of your association with European travel now that you’ll be going from a different perspective and with someone who will enhance your trip even more. I hope you have a wonderful time when you do go (I’m sure you will!), and I can’t wait to see pictures and hear about your experiences!

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  8. love the quotes….and you have a blast!!! My oldest daughter is living in England,now and went to college in Germany, but we never did go over there due to helping pay for our other kids and schooling etc…she is now moving to Sweden this next year, but I plan on going for a LONG visit! Look forward to your posts, jenna- Bon voyage!:-)

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  9. WOW Jenna—6 weeks!!! Oh I am envious!! I, for some reason, have always had the travel bug—seeking the spirit of adventure. It may have to do with my love of history, being an art teacher or being adopted and having an intrinsic yearning to find a past—my husband on the other hand is so far from that. He spent a year living on a small island in the Pacific, American Somoa, when he was just starting out, managing the new Bulova Watch company that was built on the island. He hated his time away, even though, as a young man, he should have viewed the opportunity as an adventure but as it was merely to get the plant up and running, not a long term appointment, he still missed home too much. Sadly today, for me, he is not one to seek adventure. I’ve taken several trips abroad with my aunt and friends, once even having taken a group of students on tour. Part of me could live life somewhere in Europe—I love the small historic towns and villages, the history, the beauty, being able to walk almost everywhere I’d need to go—but I am not proficient at learning languages–just enough to get by—and I’d need to be able to be fluent. I have found my travels to be so rewarding, as you will I trust. All of the people I have ever encountered have always been so gracious and kind–despite how we American may be perceived, I always felt most at home. Thankfully I was viewed as an individual and not a political representative–as I always was keenly aware of the fact that I was a guest as well as a mini ambassador—my behavior could reflect as positive or negative—and I wanted it to be very positive indeed—I was their guest having to eschew my own norms and attitudes, adopting more humble and open ways as I traveled.
    My best to you Jenna—I do hope you’ll find some opportunity to keep us updated on your travels as I will love reading about your adventures!!!
    All the best Jenna—-Julie

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    1. What a thoughtful comment, thank you Julie. I am very lucky indeed to have the opportunity to travel and will enjoy every minute. I hope to post about the less obvious things I see rather than the traditional tourist icon photos and stories. I tend to enjoy the simple everyday things I see when traveling around. I agree we are guests when we travel and should be respectful of all cultures and customs. Love to you from Jenna

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