It’s my 11th morning waking up some place in Europe. My family and I have toured around Munich, Salzburg, and Venice. We are currently spending the next few days at a B&B in Southern Germany in a town called Untermuhlegg…a place so small that I ran in and out of it in all four directions during my evening run last night.
I am drinking coffee on the back deck of the guesthouse and waiting for the 6:45am bells to chime on this church across the street. It is now a Catholic church but we learned from the nice man who owns our B&B that it was a Celtic church many, many years ago.
Each time we pack up our backpacks and head to another location, one of us will inevitably say in our best Bilbo Baggins voice, “We’re going on an adventure!”
These last eleven days have brought with them a combination of emotions. There have been times we’ve been blown away by the beauty of it all and must remind ourselves that we are actually here. Every now and then, one of us will let out a “verbal pinch.” My husband did this last week in Venice. After returning from a run he said to us: “I just went for a run in Venice.” Or yesterday when we went on a day hike and each of us at one point along the path proclaimed: “we are hiking in the Alps.”
There have also been moments of nervousness and stress, especially when we climb back into our rental car and set off to a new location on the map. I guess that’s what happens when you decide to journey to far away lands. The smallest everyday tasks become foreign again. It’s amazing how normal activities like trying to find your way out of a parking garage or shopping at the local grocery store can be so different from what you are accustomed to, especially when you factor in the language barrier. Thankfully, the few years of German my husband took in school have helped to rescue us from several moments of clueless panic.
But, there have been many times when we’ve simply had to journey along using the trial and error method. I’ve had to remind myself (over and over) to find the beauty in those moments too. It’s okay not to know what’s around the corner. It’s not the end of the world if you take a wrong turn and the trip takes longer than you first anticipated.
I am reminded again that the best adventures in life will involve inconveniences, unfamiliarity and uncertainty. I have indeed experienced all of the above on this trip. Yet, I wouldn’t trade this experience of stepping out of my comfort for anything. I am thankful for this experience and this adventure. I am thankful my family and I decided to leave the shire eleven days ago. Or rather, considering the landscape, maybe it is more appropriate to say… I am thankful we decided to come to the shire. 🙂