A Lesson from a Month of Travel
Not too long ago, my husband decided to switch jobs, an opportunity that left us free from constraints for 4 weeks. We imagined where we to go, what we could do…Oh, the possibilities. Our only little problem was school, but after working with teachers and administration, we used Christmas holiday and 2 extra weeks to plan for our journey. With excitement building up, we had 2 months to plan our little adventure. Three things we knew for certain were 1) We would be traveling during a holiday season, which would make hotel and train reservations a little more difficult, 2) my husband needed to attend a conference at some point during the trip 3) we would only carry a backpack and a have carry- on luggage.
After scouring the map, we finally narrowed our itinerary down to the island of Saint Martin, Spain, Italy, and Austria. It was a downright crazy selection of countries. The first week was on beautiful Saint Martin, where we could enjoy some sun and my husband could attend his conference. The second week we bounced from Madrid and Barcelona, Spain to Genoa and Bologna, Italy. Christmas in Italy is so different from here as everyone gathers in the plazas to be with each other. The third and final week was in Austria, where we skied in Innsbruck, enjoyed New Years and spent a couple of days in Salzberg. In four weeks we had 5 plane flights, 6 hotels, 2 apartments, 1 train ride, and an overnight boat ride from Spain to Italy. We tasted some of the most amazing food; from tapas in Barcelona, to picking out your own lobster in Saint Martin, to french fries and shaved beef kabab on pizza in Italy. Experiences that will last a lifetime.
Here’s what we learned.
Respect. Respect all people no matter their shape, size, color, or gender. Respect for the taxi driver that spoke 10 languages. 10! Respect for the hotel manager whose advice was priceless. Respect for the tour groups who constantly walked in front of you and stopped in the middle of the walkway. Respect for all cultures, their food, and their traditions. Respect for each other. Through times that we were lost or tired, through a sprained ankle, through a toothache, through places we didn’t enjoy but someone else did…respect. We learned that even though we are different and we value different things…that’s alright as long as you have respect.
Here are some of the links to my review of a few of the places we stayed.
The Westin Dawn Beach Resort and Spa: St. Maarten, Saint Martin
Apartamento Olmos: Madrid, Spain
Hotel Sonnhof: Mutters, Austria
What are some of the things you have learned from your travels? I would love to hear about them.