I’m writing to you from one of my usual haunts; a plane seat. The busier my life gets the more this has become the place where there are no other demands on my time and I can just write. Unlike most flights I take, today Eric is sitting beside me which gives me so much enjoyment; it’s nice to have company even when he is fast asleep. We are on our way home after an incredible 12 days touring all over Belgium (with a little Netherlands and France thrown in for good measure). It was our first time in Europe and it was glorious!
Many people are surprised to learn that Eric and I haven’t gone too far from North America; we did mean to go far from home for a while – but life gets in the way! For us it has been the never ending list of financial goals; but we finally got the big renos done on the house and we knew we had to go to Europe and finally see the places we have wanted to see for so long. This trip was a beer focused trip – Belgium is considered the best beer destination in the world so naturally it is where Eric and I decided to go for our first trip to Europe. Although honestly, our trips are usually beer focused no matter where we end up!
Eric and I live a pretty hectic life; since I am home less than half the time our limited time together is generally jam packed and not so relaxing. It’s something we constantly have to work on. It comes with our jobs and has been like this for more than five years. So, for our vacations we actually get much more chill time together than usual; we have long chats and drives, sit for hours drinking and eating, and go to bed at normal times for more than 6 hours (that last one is sad but true, we are sleep deprived night owls!). Each time we travel we learn more about each other and this trip was no exception.
I learned Eric’s French is rusty but very much still there, and that despite being half Dutch that language is incomprehensible to me. I learned that driving into downtown Bruge requires the best teamwork possible; the narrow cobblestone streets that twist and turn are treacherous, especially when packed with distracted tourists and bikes. I learned he is willing to try any local food and so am I if he is (raw herring anyone?). I learned that even in the most practical footwear I will trip my way across countries (and I have the bruises to prove it!). I learned a weekend of touring 10 sour beer breweries will make me very sick and that Eric will be there to do what he can to make me feel better. But mostly what I learned is that together we have each other’s back, in every place and situation. And that no matter how far we are from home, that if we are together we ARE home!
Travelling can be tiring and exhausted people can get on each other’s nerves; which happened to us a few times (especially navigating in an unfamiliar country). But Eric and I have discovered that as we age together it gets harder and harder to be mad at one another. Irritated sure, but actual anger? Not often at all. If we are it is usually linked to needing food or sleep…
Eric and I also learned 12 days is more than long enough away for us – we are both homebodies and are longing to get home to Newton and the house (and to to binge watch tv episodes on our couch). I am eagerly awaiting the sight of our front door and opening all the curtains and blinds to flood the house with late afternoon sunshine. But I know that soon enough we will begin to dream and save up for our next trip! And until then we will talk and think about all the wonderful things we did and saw on our last trip!
I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful spring weather, I’m going to start by mowing our lawns as soon as we get home!