Adventures in Europe Part 2
Part two of a three-part series. Read part one here.
A baguette and cheese picnic under the Eiffel Tower, a slow stroll across the Charles Bridge in Prague, walking out of the Sistine Chapel with a neck ache. These places are some of Europe’s highlights and the reason why millions of Americans travel there every year.
As we planned for our yearlong adventure around Europe, we spent months planning what to see and where to go. What kind of trip was this going to be? Where would we stay? What did we want to learn, to see, to experience? My husband and I had both backpacked across Europe when we were younger, hopping from one great city to another with nothing more than a Eurail pass for our train rides, a few things to wear, and a growing collection of souvenirs. But this time was different. We were going with our three kids and our dog, and we had different needs and hopes. We knew this trip wasn’t going to be the typical “Europe’s greatest hits” kind of trip. Instead, we wanted to experience “real” culture, meet people and blend in whenever possible, and stay a bit further from the more touristy spots.
We thought about what we wanted our daily lives to look like while traveling. We knew we wanted the kids to spend time outside, to have space to learn and play, to work and write and to walk the dog. We made the choice to see Europe by staying in smaller towns, and it’s been better than we could have imagined. We’ve been getting to know the true character of the people, their culture, the rhythm of their daily lives, their festivals and food. The great cities still hold a special place in our hearts, but these smaller towns are definitely becoming a part of our family’s greatest hits.
Follow more of my worldwide adventures in part three of this series in the December 2016 issue of Vancouver Family Magazine.