Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Road Trippin'

My second song title as blog title, I need to stop that! Anyways, just listening to the RHCP (guess the song..) with Myth Busters running in the background while I'm typing this; I wonder whether songs are going to inspire me or just distract me from what I really want to say.. I guess we'll see.

With yet another big move ahead of us (yes, I'll write about it AGAIN, because that's what's on my mind a lot these days!), I am thinking about all the trips, big and small, behind me. Growing up, we were lucky that our parents decided that traveling and broadening our horizon is a good thing, therefore we got to go on a family vacation abroad about once a year. Over the years I've been to Italy, Spain, Greece, Austria, Bulgaria, just to name a few. School took me to Hungary, Ireland, and France. The summer before I started 12th grade I went to a summer course to England to prepare for my English finals. This was my first trip all by myself, and it was the best experience in my life so far. I stayed with an English family, who had 2 kids about my age. We partied at home and went out clubbing together; I got my first tattoo this summer, sang my share of drunken karaok,e and was robbed for the first (and only) time. And of course I improved my English; it was then that I discovered, that I am somewhat talented writing, and that I enjoy it. I think my first attempts at creative writing from this summer are still hidden somewhere in my old room at my parents' house. This trip definitely taught me a lot, not only academically, but also about life; I came back more confident and independent, having learned the one or the other lesson (never EVER put your back to your purse, even if it's to keep your drunk friends from running off).

The next defining trip was the trip with my best friend Sonja to Istanbul. It was the last trip as a single woman, the last before graduating college and starting a life in a foreign country. It was only a long weekend, but we enjoyed discovering an ancient city so full of historic treasures. We ate at little taverns on the streets and had vodka lemon drinks with way more vodka than you would ever get in Germany. We caused confusion about our nationality at the spice market, bought real Pashmina shawls (yes, the ones made of silk and cashmere) for a fraction of their price back home, and acquired a year's supply of tea. We saw Topkapi palace, the Blue Mosque, and the Hagia Sophia together, and survived various trips on the local dolmus. I will never ever forget this trip with my best friend, which brought us even closer together.

About 9 months after my trip to Turkey, I embarked on the greatest adventure of my life. Newly married to the most wonderful man in the world and a recent college graduate I entered a plane to the US to start a life with my new husband. We stopped in Maryland where I got to meet his parents and grandma before traveling on to our new home for the next two years, Manhattan KS. Only two years later, we had just become new parents a few months ago, Richard quit the Army, I quit my job, we packed all of our belongings and moved to Washington State to start a new life. Here, we have made our home, met new, wonderful people who have become our family and watched our daughter grow from a little baby to the most beautiful little girl one can imagine. We went through some difficulties, but always came out on top and stronger than before. After a trip back home to Germany we decided on yet another big move back to Germany in order to be able to provide a better life for Lily. When we found out a few months later that we were expecting a second baby, we knew that we had to make definite plans and decisions now, and decided to move once our little daughter was born.

This date is less than two weeks away now. At the moment, both of our little girls are sleeping while I am sitting here, musing about our lives, our past, our future. More than ever I realize, that life is not a straight path to our ultimate finish line; it is all up to us how we shape the course of our lives. In order to have a fulfilled life we must not live for the end, but in the here and now. We should learn from the mistakes in the past, plan for the future, but mostly enjoy the present, with all the gifts in it. Who knows when we reach the finish line; stop looking and realize that your journey is your destination.

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