After I finished nursing school I went on a dream of a Europe backpacking trip adventure. I went alongside two of my dear nursing school buddies. We bought a ticket into Paris, France and out of Athens, Greece. Our only mission: get from Paris to Athens in 5 weeks.
Friends, it was grand.
We arrived in Paris late due to detours and thus missed our bicycle tour in the city of love. Instead we strapped on our massive packs, hopped on trains and snuck away to Versailles. Since we had just enough money to last the 5 weeks, we booked our hostel in the outskirts of Paris and did not have time to shower and shed our travel gear. So we toured that grand Castle of Versailles with our dusty packs leaving a trail of grime behind us.
|packs at Versailles|
|they were GOOD|
We did obligatory pictures at the Louvre and Eiffel Tour then scurried our way across the border and spent a glorious week in southern Germany. We spent 5 splendid days waking up early to see the city come to life, ate our weight in street meat and sipped on frothy pints at the English Garden. We found a group of musicians that we followed religiously every evening. We would sit on the nearest bench with our feet swollen through our chaco straps and our cheeks kissed by the sun. We would sit and feast on fresh strawberries as we listened to stringed instruments carry us away.
The journey continued as we got lost in the Alps, fascinated with the snow peak glory speckled with herds of fluffy sheep. We somberly ventured to the concentration camp of Dachau and I felt like I saw in black & white the entire visit as we ran our fingers along the walls that whispered stories of suffering.
We arrived late at night to sleepy Austrian towns in search of something filling. We hiked the cobblestone streets that wove thru sleepy towns and hungrily sipped down strange concoctions of soups and ravenously ate the stale bread offered since all the shops were closed. I got a little crazy in Switzerland and decided to go sky diving and then got whimsical and wanted to sit in Italian cafes and chat all the day long as rain pummeled the city. Then in Greece I was hungry all the time. We found a 24 hours bakery that we deemed ours and went as often as possible, munched on the delicate tarts and chocolate drizzled pastries, and dream grand dreams. We tried our first and last ouzo, rode 4 wheelers along narrow roads just above the Aegean Sea, and watched magnificent sunsets and dreamed about the life our God had woven ahead of us.
It was a fantastic trip that was formative for me in many ways. Most of all, it nourished my journey woman heart and reminded me to dream after a few tough years throughout nursing school.
I write all of that in order to write about why I have NOT been writing on here lately. You see, when we backpacked Europe, we had a blog. But our blog posts consisted of lists. Those five weeks were so full and the days were so packed that each spare moment found us sleeping, laughing hysterically with each other, or hearing the stories of friends we made along the way. I complained to the other girls every time we made a blog post that I wanted long, poetic posts about the sights and the people. So they readily received my willingness to write. But then once the time came to open a computer and make an update, I laughed…said they were right…they rolled their eyes…and we resorted to the bullet points blog posts. It was basically a list to let our people know we were alive and were successfully making our trek across the continent.
So, alas, I am making a list for you.
Because I want to be writing, but my days and months have been full. They have been full of…
-one little baby boy learning how to walk and making our bellies ache from laughing at his curious shenanigans at 10 months old.
-one big boy starting speech therapy and battling sickness and continuing to shed Light all around
-one middle boy seeming to grow into a man, talking long sentences, and making us laugh all the day long.
-returning to the hospital, this time as a medical/surgical nurse…NIGHT SHIFT style.
-keeping the family alive when Raja went back to India for 3 weeks (it was a wonderful trip for him…perhaps I will share more on that later)
– trying to maximize time with my little sister before she graduates
– doing this book study with 2 dear ladies
– TRYING to see more of my grandparents…all 3 of whom happen to be in Jax.
-learning to love my husband better than myself
– getting back into running
-joined this company of amazing people as a JOYNER trying to share their goods and stories with anyone who will listen;)
– keeping in touch with Meena (Hadassah) who has a new job (at JOYN, mentioned above) and who has been going thru a lot of reconstructive surgery lately
– just trying to stay alive and keep my people alive in the US of A…having reverse culture shock more than I could have imagined.
Dear one, the days are full and I keep making bullet points of all the glory. But my mind is itching and I do love to write and I do want to declare what He is doing. So I will be revamping the blog a bit…adjusting the blog site and such. I do hope you will stay tuned.
with love so deep.