How is it possible that I have not written anything on this space since January? Here it is late June and I have not once updated this site. Yes, it is pitiful I know...but let me tell you what I have been up to lately, and maybe you will forgive me for my slackness.
I decided a while ago, that I would not sit down and write until I was compelled to do so. I was worried that this site was becoming a laundry list of places I have seen and how to experience some pretty fascinating cities in only a few days. I was concerned that this "laundry list" approach was not only reflected on this site, but also in how I viewed my journey. While the list of places we have visited IS interesting, I questioned whether it was meaningful or not - perhaps it is interesting, meaningful and useful to whoever might read this, I don't know.
Anyway, I just stopped writing with no warning - and believe it or not, I discovered that a few people actually missed my writing - total surprise :)
Since my last post we have done so much - here's an overview of the highlights:
- Spent Valentine's Day weekend in Venice, Italy (how romantic is THAT?)
- Celebrated our 6-month wedding anniversary in Madrid, Spain and saw Adele perform the song that was our first dance at our wedding ON the anniversary day
- Visited Istanbul, Turkey and experienced a 7-star hotel
- Seen the Queen of England THREE times (Cambridge, Trooping the Colour, Royal Ascot)
- Helped a friend visiting from the USA celebrate her 25th birthday in London
- Visited a friend in Florence, Italy, with stops in Pisa and Cinque Terre along the way
- Enjoyed a two week vacation in Tanzania - including one week safari and one week on the island of Zanzibar
- And we are currently hosting some dear friends from the USA who are visiting and sightseeing for a week.
- Next week we are off to Vienna, Austria!
So as you can see its been an extremely hectic, exciting and memorable 2011 so far. I cannot begin to tell you all of the things we have seen and experienced these past several months. Its truly been filled with life-changing moments and an indescribable compassion for people - I think that my compassion for people in every corner of this globe has grown tremendously these past several months.
In addition to all of these wonderful experiences, the past few months have been a reflective time for me. I am absolutely shocked that our two years in England are coming to an end so quickly. I am so sad that this time flew by so fast, because it is something that we often wish would last forever. We have experienced a sense of freedom, adventure and spontaneity that I do not know when we will ever have again - but I do know that we will work together to make sure we keep this feeling a part of our lives and our children's lives, forever.
I have thought so much about everything we have done, and I try to always tell myself to be present in every moment (thanks Oprah), because I do not want to ever forget these memories and I want to make sure that I am fully aware and in every moment with no distractions - its really worked. I feel like I have been a sponge absorbing all of the cultures we have seen, history we have learned, and people's struggles and joys that we have witnessed. Who needs a tattoo to remind you of something when you have the presence of memories?
I am often overcome with emotion because I wish that I could put the experience of these past two in a box and give it to everyone I love (and don't love for that matter). I think we all deserve the opportunity to see the world - how easy it is to travel, how welcoming people are when you visit their part of the world, how much alike we all really are, how "good" we have it America no matter how bad we think it is, how much we can learn from others, how we are all generally good people, and most importantly, how much we can learn about ourselves through travel and openness to other cultures.
I do not know what the future holds for us, but I do know that we have officially been bitten by the "travel bug" (and lots of other bugs in Africa, but that's another blog topic!) and that this is not the end of our adventure. I do know that our children will have the opportunity to explore and see the world before they reach adulthood. I do know that I will continue to share our journey with anyone who will listen, because I know how fortunate we have been and how much it has impacted us and the people who have followed our journey.
This blog doesn't have many followers, and sometimes I convince myself that no one really cares about our journey - but I have to remind myself, and maybe others, that its so much more than places we have checked off on a map - its so much more than that. It's been bigger than that - we have been an awesome team, planned this journey ourselves, and executed our dreams. Its so much bigger than the monuments and historical sites we have seen, its the monumental memories and history we have made together - and I only hope that people see that.
I'll do better about my blogging, I hope you're still reading :-)