Saturday, November 7, 2009

What I Learned in Germany - Relationships make everything meaningful

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I got back from a week in Germany on Sunday, November 2nd, 2009. It was a crazy trip as my friend and I discovered that their father had passed away while we were out hiking.

Long ago, I went on two major vacations. Once on a cruise to Alaska, and years later, on a bus tour in Europe (which I'll never do again since you spend the best part of the day in the bus, because no one wants to sleep on the bus at night, but they do sleep anyway during the long transit on the highways).

The cruise turned out to be a lonely affair. The bus tour had you grouped with a bunch of mostly couples, so there was more of a chance to socialize. I remembered that the best time we had on that tour was when we pulled into Italy (if I remember correctly) in the evening. It was snowing. We had a bunch of South Africans who'd never seen snow, so we brought them out back to build a snowman. Naturally, the first thing that happened when we hit the snow was to get snowballs flying. We had such a blast. And it had nothing to do with Europe.

After that, I lost my desire to travel. Never again was I fixated on any place. "It's not about where I'm going, it's about who I'll be with."

I've heard stories about the generations before us that they'd travel to a country only if they knew someone there. It sounds funny sometimes. But on my trip, it was everything. I had only one week there, and I have no idea when I'll go back, or if ever. I gave up touring Frankfurt on my own to stay in small villages and see friends. (In fact, the museums we tried to go to were either partially or fully under renovation!)
And I wouldn't change a thing.

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