Time for our yearly wrap-up spotlighting some the highlights of our time in Europe over the last nine monthsRead More
I read Anne Frank’s Diary when I was a young girl – about the same age as Anne was when she went into hiding with her family to try to avoid Nazi persecution. Eight people lived in this small apartment in the back of a warehouse for 25 months, relying on the bravery of others to survive. Anne’s experience, expressed in her own words, made an enduring impression on me. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to be Anne in those tumultuous, dangerous times. The combination of boredom and fear would have been overwhelming, yet the strength, courage and optimism exhibited by her in her diary is both moving and inspiring.
I have wanted to see the Anne Frank House ever since I first read her diary, long before my first trip to Europe. When my kids were young and we were planning a trip to Europe with them, I read The Diary of Anne Frank to them in anticipation of visiting Amsterdam. Our plans for that trip ultimately didn’t take us to Holland but my aspiration to visit this poignant place never changed.
In 2010 I had the chance to travel to the U.A.E. and Egypt on an international business faculty tour. On my way to Dubai, I had a long layover in Amsterdam on New Year’s Day and I stored my bags at the airport and took the train into town. I really wanted to see the Anne Frank House on that short visit, but the tickets were all sold out. I spent a great day wandering the city, but did not get to visit the Secret Annex.
This trip to Amsterdam was different. One of my objectives for our time in Holland was to complete this journey that has been 40 years in the making. The world has fortunately changed dramatically since Nazis occupied the Netherlands and forced unreasonable and unacceptable restrictions on innocent Jews, simply because of their religion. But there is still undeniable and intolerable oppression in the world and we must learn from history. Visiting the Anne Frank House reinforces my understanding of the philosophy of The Golden Rule, taught by most world religions: Treat others as you want to be treated. Such persecution, discrimination and tyranny should never have occurred in the first place, but they did. Some of those who were forced to live under those conditions did their best to take care of one another. I want to learn from their encouraging example.
My international management students read a book called Travel As a Political Act by Rick Steves. It’s an excellent reminder that we are privileged to have the chance to travel. We should make the most of our opportunities and learn as much as we possibly can wherever we go. The Anne Frank House tells a terribly sad, yet ultimately inspiring story. I am grateful for having the chance to visit and be reminded of what I learned as a young girl – that kindness and courage are important under all circumstances, for all people.
I encourage you to go, learn, and grow from your travels! If you would like to talk with me about making YOUR travel dreams come true, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t wait to hear from you!
Most of you know that our daughter and her husband moved to Copenhagen earlier this year. Chelsea and Sam are loving living in Europe and we are thrilled to be visiting them in just a few weeks! I’ve had a blast planning this trip, with Chelsea’s help. This will my our first trip to Denmark and it will be so much fun to be there for Christmas!
We are lucky to be staying with Chelsea and Sam in their apartment so we’ll get to feel like locals while we are there. I love that. It’s so nice to experience what it would really be like to live in a European city rather than being there only as a visitor. We’ll be in Copenhagen for 6 days and will thoroughly explore the city’s museums, canals, restaurants, bars and bicycles. I can’t wait to tell you all about it! Chelsea said she carried her Thanksgiving turkey home in her bike basket. So fun....
We also plan to travel to Amsterdam. I have only been there one time and it was on a 6 hour layover on my way to Dubai. It was on New Year’s Day. I flew over the Atlantic on New Year's Eve. When I arrived in Amsterdam I took the train into town and walked the canals, witnessed the aftermath of the previous nights’ celebrations, looked longingly at the Anne Frank Museum and the Van Gogh Museum, and vowed to return one day. This is it! The 5 of us will be there for 3 days and we are staying in a houseboat. How fun is that? Pretty awesome!
From there we’ll take the train to Brussels and grab a car and drive to Dinant, Belgium, hometown of Adolph Sax, maker of the saxophone. This will be a bit of a pilgrimage for Greg as the sax is his instrument. It will be fun to explore this pretty town. We rented an Airbnb that will be great for us. We’ll be able to get food locally and cook a meal at “home.” Love that! After Dinant we will go to Bruges for New Years. After watching the movie “In Bruges,” a dark comedy starring Colin Farrel, I absolutely can’t wait to explore this beautiful town. It is absolutely stunning.
We’ll head back to Copenhagen so Sam can work for a few days before we go to Bergen, Norway where we’ll rent a cottage and go cross country skiing. The hytte we found on AirBnB has a sauna with room for 10 people so if we get too cold we’ll just pile in the sauna to warm up. Can’t wait!
We’ll fly back to Copenhagen and then turn around the next day and fly back to Texas to complete our last semester at Tarleton. Exciting times ahead.
I look forward to telling you about our first trip to Scandinavia in upcoming blogs. In the meantime, if you, or people you know, would like any help with YOUR travel plans or even if you’d just like to talk to me about where you’d like to go, drop me a line or make a comment, below. I'm always available to talk about travel! Please send me an email at email@example.com