I’ve heard it said that you can’t go home again, but I beg to differ. We’ve spent the last few weeks creating a home base and establishing ourselves as residents of Wooster, Ohio, where Greg’s parents still live. We haven’t lived here since 1985 when we moved to Texas – Greg for graduate school at UNT and me for work as a hospitality consultant. Lots of people talk about southern hospitality, and for good reason – people are kind and friendly in the south. Why else would we have stayed for 32 years? But people are generous and thoughtful and warm and welcoming in the Midwest too! Each time we checked one more item off the list - new driver’s license, car registration, car insurance, doctors, etc. – we were amazed at how comfortable it felt to be “home” even though we have matured (i.e. aged) quite a bit since we left. We miss our friends in Texas and feel helpless as those we love are struggling with illness and dealing with the horrific aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. But we feel welcomed in Wooster. It will be a good place to come home to after our 9 months abroad.
After coming home from Canada, we also took 5 days to help our son David get set up in New York City so that he can pursue his Acting career. We had so much fun with him and are so excited for all that lies ahead. He’s subletting a great apartment for a few months while he learns the city and he’s interviewing for jobs. Hopefully he’ll hear some positive news in his job search soon. He’s also working with other actors to help them create new projects, and he’s auditioning for shows already! He doesn’t quite feel it yet, but he’s going to be just fine. We are so proud of him. Our older selves know that he is at an amazing juncture right now and that as long as he pursues his craft with dedication, persistence and passion, it will all turn out great.
As I write this, I am literally on the plane, headed to Copenhagen where we’ll stay with Chelsea and Sam for a little over a week. The last few weeks have been interesting and a little crazy, but really good. It was so nice to spend a little more time with Greg’s parents and the rest of his family. It was wonderful to see dear friends and reconnect with old ones. We bought things that we think we’ll need for traveling and got enough medicine to last us while we’re gone. We sold one of our cars to a good friend. But in the end, we are carrying a backpack and a suitcase, each, for 9 months of travel in Europe. I hope we have everything we need. We have each other, which is the most important. We also have our passports and credit cards. I think we’ve got it all. Let’s hope we budget and spend our money well. We can do that. We are excited. Maybe I’m a little apprehensive. But even way back when we were dating in high school, we wanted to backpack through Europe and travel the world. Some people do it while they are young and agile. We are doing it now while we still can! We are so very fortunate to be able to do this. After Copenhagen we'll work for a few wineries in Denmark and Italy, housesit in the UK and teach English in Poland. We have lots of unscheduled time too, so who knows where we'll end up? Won’t you follow our journey? It probably won’t be what we expect. There will be challenges along the way. But it is going to be amazing. Someday when we are much older and in our rocking chairs I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to say that we stepped out in faith to experience the world, and we became better for it.
Are you planning a trip somewhere in Europe? We can help with that! Remember that we are always available to you and your friends and family for custom trip planning to Italy, France, Ireland, England and all of Europe. We also still have spots available on our small group trip to Tuscany and our small group trip to Piedmont! We'd love for you to join us! You can always reach Betsy at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to help you make your travel dreams to Europe come true!