11. Go to Germany
Okay, so maybe I cheated. I knew I’d be going to Germany this year for work, so I added it to my list. Therefore, it may technically have been the first thing eligible to be crossed off the list, but still, 6 months later, I have yet to post about it. That’s about to change RIGHT NOW!
The day after my birthday, I set out with a group of students and headed off to Germany for a week. It was a great trip, filled with long walks through the park and city center, tiny bakeries and coffee shops literally every block, good conversations with the directors of our program and various students, fun adventures with friends I haven’t seen for a long while, and of course, stumbles through the language when communicating with the locals.
It reminded me again of my love for things new, for exploration, and even for independence.
I will remember talking with some great people on our bus ride from Frankfurt to Leipzig my first night there, imagining what was passing by in the blackness on either side. I will cherish the memories of sipping a latte in a cafe on a busy street corner on Saturday, not understanding much of what was being said around me, but feeling so happy in my heart, and enjoying my book. I will remember waiting by the big window in my borrowed flat for my friends (Americans who have been living in various places in Europe for some time now) to come from the train station, and seeing them materialize slowly on the sidewalk through the early morning light and a gentle fall of snow. I will remember using Skype to play a game with my husband who was back home in the U.S. I will never forget the slick metal slide on the walk home from church, and will be thankful that I chucked decorum and slid down it, laughing as I clambered up the side of the hill afterwards. I want to keep in my mind the warmth from an Italian restaurant and the hours of conversation that happened over a great meal.
This is an example of what travel does to me. It preserves these moments that are forever connected to that time of my life, reminding me of all the blessings I have, and filling me with a feeling of thankfulness and love. Much more happened throughout the trip, but simply recording those few moments will not fail to transport me back to Germany in my mind, and it is good to have them finally written down, however crudely.