Good friends reconnect over a few drinks and plans are made for traveling abroad!
We hadn’t seen each other in years but once we started talking there was no time distance. All the closeness that we had in our earlier lives came back. We talked of many things but once we started talking of travel a plan was hatched. I love to plan the travel and am always ready to go; my companion had the desire and the general locations so together we hatched an itinerary and started our countdown to the trip abroad.
We began talking more frequently as we planned the details of the trip; we talked of what and how to pack and what excursions to take. I made some reservations for different experiences along our itinerary.
My companion was not accustomed to packing lightly; an extra day before the trip was necessary to combine our efforts in getting the luggage under control. We were going to be handling our own luggage for parts of the trip and it needed to remain manageable. We were taking trains, planes and boats across several European countries and neither of us was feeling up to lugging lots of extra accessories!
We laughed our way through the trip and both of us felt lighter and happier than we had in a long while. We were sorry to say goodbye to our vacation together and immediately started planning the next trip.
Everything went as planned and we enjoyed each other’s company and found out we were excellent travel buddies! I did it!~
I’ve been watching the migration of refugees into Europe and reflecting on the movement of peoples and the changes they bring.
Being of European descent, I have always felt at home when traveling in Europe. I know that I am the outsider from America and that I don’t really fit in like a local but I try to respect the host country’s customs and enjoy the environment and culture I am visiting. I know that my ancestors brought a part of the European culture to America and used it as a foundation for building their new life.
Watching the refugees flow into Europe – and other parts of the world – reminds me that we all came from somewhere. Very few of us are indigenous. Back in our ancestral dna was an intrepid soul that felt the need to move. My husband has ancestors that moved because their family lands had already been divided out and nothing was available for the younger sons. I have Irish ancestors that moved because their lands were no longer life-sustaining. I have Eastern European ancestors that moved because of the oppression of their government. Everyone moved because they were seeking change and opportunity to provide a better life for themselves and their family. I like to believe that each generation has added something to strengthen their new community.
It’s part of the movement of life and we must embrace those refugees and give them the opportunities that we all had at sometime in our lineage.
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I like packing. It’s the anticipation of the upcoming travel adventure, I think. Packing itself is a simple task: you put things in a suitcase or container and close the lid hoping you have everything you need. I always think – am I going to be able to buy a replacement for anything I missed in the packing process? If I’m traveling to somewhere a little more remote then I’ll take another look at what I’ve got in my bag.
After I’ve packed I usually take everything out, do a double check, and repack. I love using the travel bags that are similar to space bags. Not only do they protect my clothing from any liquid that may get into my bag; they also really help add space to the suitcase. I do have to make sure I weigh the finished bag to make sure it stays under the airline regulation. When everything is shrink-wrapped you can add so much more to the bag – but it gets pretty heavy if you’re not careful!
I have a thing about luggage. Is it normal that I look at the luggage section of the Macy’s catalog before I look at the clothes, shoes or jewelry? I’ve done so much better over the years in curbing my urge to actually BUY the luggage; I definitely have more than I could ever use.
Luggage has changed so much as the airline regulations and fees have evolved. My first luggage set was a gift from my parents. It was for my trip abroad in the 1970’s. It was an olive green shade of suede Hartmann soft luggage. The suitcase was only about 18×24 and it had a rope as a handle. (Hey, it was the 70’s!) I also had a matching carry on piece which was a shoulder “flight sized” bag – also with a rope strap. I was feeling incredibly hip and worldly and much more confident about the travel adventure ahead of me because of the special luggage I was taking with me. I still have no idea how I traveled for 6 weeks with what I put in that one bag.
It seems that the luggage changes every year and I feel compelled to at least “look” at the new stuff because maybe I will “need” it. I’m trying very hard to quash the buying urge that always hits me when I see new luggage.
The bags I use today have been with me for the last few years. I have one large bag that must be checked in; it’s for the longer trips and both my husband and I share it. Each of us also has a smaller bag which meets the carry-on size regulations; we can use these as our only bags on short trips and as supplemental bags on longer trips. He also carries a backpack with his laptop and medications and headphones; I take a large, light sling-shaped shoulder bag and keep my tablet and treats in it – I also tuck my purse into it when boarding so that I keep to my limit of one handbag. Once I’m at my destination I can use the sling-shaped bag as a shopping bag!
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