When was the last time you stepped outside your comfort zone?
Maybe it's time to take a trip - alone!
I love my life! I really do. I have been blessed with a loving partner, comfortable home and generally good health. Everything else is really not that important. Yes, I suffer from the same annoying life distractions as everyone else: I have bad days, production snafu's, missed appointments, clogged drains, and car trouble but I choose to see these things as the part of the texture of life. We need these low points to highlight the good things. This everyday up and down rhythm of life is what makes up our comfort zone. We don't like everything about it but we can deal with most of it without too much trouble. So why mess with a comfortable thing? Because life is all about the journey - right? It's life's mental challenges that invigorate the soul. So much emphasis is put on exercising the body but the mind and psyche need to stretch and bend too. We need to nurture the whole self. It's important to never stop setting goals, striving to live our dreams and to step outside our comfort zone.
Well folks, I'm doing some stepping this summer!
My life long dream of travelling around Europe by myself starts in two days. My cool army-style rucksack and camera equipment is at the door and I'm putting my last pairs of Inspire leggings in my small carry-on suitcase. I keep thinking about how much lighter I could travel if I was still in my 20's but at 56 I am going to need that extra pair of comfortable walking shoes and few more creature comforts than I'd have cared about then. Of course I'll be wearing Inspire Active Wear leggings much of the time. What could be more comfortable?
I'm excited but nervous!
While I am no stranger to travel, this is the first time ever that I will take an extended, multi-destination trip outside of North America all on my own. I will be visiting 4 countries and getting around by plane, train, bus and car. I will stay with family, in a camper, in Airbnb's and hotels. I will visit Amsterdam, Hamburg, Flensburg, Berlin, Brussels and London and a bunch of small towns and rural areas. I plan to bicycle, kayak, hike, camp, shop, sight-see, and take photographs of everything. I'm sure many new textile patterns and stories will come out of this trip.
I would love to hear from you!
It's going to be quite an adventure. As I've gotten older I've found these sorts of experiences more unsettling, at least before they begin. Once I get going I'm sure I'll be fine but I will definitely be operating outside my comfort zone. I would love to hear from you about experiences that have taken you outside your comfort zone. How did you handle the unexpected and unknown? Do you have any adventures planned?
I will be posting photos everyday of the people I meet and the places I visit so join my on my adventure on my Instagram page. If you have visited any of the places I'm going, let me know your favorite spots and activities. I'll visit them if I can. See you soon!
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Day 1: Depart from Orlando and fly to Amsterdam. Arrive the morning of the next day.
Day 2-3: In Amsterdam I will be staying in an Airbnb room with a view of a canal. I’ll spend at least one day touring the city and may take a local train outside the city to see windmills and the country side.
Day 4: I will start my train trip to Germany. Instead of the fast inter-city trains, I will be taking slower local trains with many stops and changes as I make my way north and then east. I plan on staying in Groningen, Holland since there is a train stop there but I’ve not made reservations to allow for a change if I want.
Day 5: I will arrive in Hamburg, Germany where my cousin Sabine will meet me. We plan to spend the afternoon checking out Hamburg before driving home to her house outside of Flensburg. It’s a wonderful old city only 5 miles south of the Danish border.
Day 6: Sabine and I will prepare for our camping trip in Denmark. She has a wonderful little camper trailer which we will pull behind the car.
Day 7-10: We plan to drive north to Denmark to a camping spot on the North Sea where there are white sandy beach and dunes. A bit like home but definitely cooler. We will camp for 3 days then head home to Flensburg to prepare for Berlin
Day 11-13: I will meet up with my friend Doris for the drive to Berlin. She has a friend who lives in the city so we will be staying with her. I love to visit new places with people familiar with everything. I know Berlin is a vibrant artsy city and I can’t wait to see it. We will return to the area around Eutin, which sits between the cities of Kiel and Lubeck northeast of Hamburg.
Day 14-15: I will spend the next couple of days visiting family. My father is from Germany and survived the war as a child. I have lots of aunts and uncles and cousins who all live either in or close to Eutin where my father grew up. It will be fun to catch up with everyone. We plan to bicycle and kayak and hike while in the area too.
Day 16-17: These are work days. Cousin Sabine is turning 60 and we are throwing a big party for all her friends. We will be working hard to decorate and prepare for the big day!
Day 18: Happy Birthday Sabine – it’s Party Day! If you want to leave a Birthday greeting for Sabine, send her a note via my Instagram page. I'll make sure she sees it. :)
Day 19: I had originally planned a full rest day after the party but I ran into problems with train scheduling so, after breakfast and a sad goodbye I will have to catch my trains to Brussels. The trip will take 9 hours and take me through Hamburg and Cologne. I will arrive in Brussels around 9:00 in the evening so I’ve booked a hotel near the train station.
Day 20: I get to spend the whole day in Brussels before catching the EuroStar train to London after dinner. Thankfully, it’s only a 2 hour trip on these super fast trains.
Day 21-22: I love London! I have some interesting shops I want to visit and I may take the train to Windsor. This will be my 3rd visit to London this year so I've already been to a number of museums. As a Canadian, I have a special affinity for the royals and luckily I have a personal connection with a young lady who works for the Queen at Buckingham Palace. She is make arrangements for me to tour Clarence House where Charles and Camilla live. It’s only open during the month of August for tours. A tour of the Houses of Parliament sound interesting too.
Day 23: I fly out of Heathrow airport, London. While I will be sorry my adventure is ending I know it’s going to be good to be home!