Here it is. My almost empty suitcase. Just some maps and guidebooks, and the swimsuit - which I didn't even use - that need to be put away.
Yes, I am back! At least my body is. My spirit still lags behind. Sorry folks, but despite all the lists and careful packing I managed to forget one thing. My usb cable to connect the camera to my husband's laptop to share photos while traveling somehow did not make it on the list. It enjoyed a nice break together with my sewing machine and computer.
At first I was very upset. It's kind of strange to be cut off from the internet world completely.
We had already decided to leave our phones home, and I was okay with that. But I love photos and having an artistic outlet through them. It felt strange not being able to share the many beautiful things I saw along the way. Yet it was really good to be free from it all and just live and enjoy the moment.
The trip was amazing. Barcelona - Frankfurt - Nieder-Olm - Weimar - Berlin - Frankfurt - Barcelona where the stops. There was a little sightseeing. But this trip was mostly about visiting family and old friends - reconnecting.
It took us 23 hours to get back home to Colorado. From the cool German vinyards to the burning hell of wildfires all around us. The children were the best little travelers you can imagine. They showed great patience and resourcefulness during the many hours they had to "wait" while I was visiting with old friends and family members. Often people not quite their age or people who did not speak English.
I am sad to admit that my kids' German is not very good and my conscience is telling me that I have failed my children terribly in that respect. I have spent these last years grieving for my mother and my lost home. I must also face up to the truth that it wasn't just the lack of money that kept me away for so long. It was also the fear of facing my home without parents and the home I grew up in. Maybe, I thought, if I stayed away from it all the pain would lessen. Well, it did not. Grief is a strange thing.
Important people in our lives die. We must learn to continue and live our lives without them. I am sorry I missed out on so much. There is a huge gap. I was afraid the gap may have gotten too big to get across. I was happy to find that the love of family and friends can close a gap any size and we can make it across easily. If you have such gaps in your life don't hesitate and try!