Two suitcases, five carry-ons, three girls, two cameras, a patient husband, an overly excited nomadic mama and her five pairs of heels... all set for Europe for a few weeks.
Last year, we planned this trip to try to shake things up a little bit. We didn't count on buying a new home and moving away from the Valley, the trials and joys of learning a new house's quirks, or the unexpected sadness of Max's death. But life has a way of just rolling along and we're just going with it.
At one point, during the toughest part of the last month, Raf said, "This is the most poorly timed trip ever." I sulked - you have to know that I love traveling and that I have poured more than an ounce of excitement into this particular trip, in which I'll finally get to expose my kids to the experience of traveling on planes, trains and automobiles in Europe - and I eventually conceded that he was probably right. But I lied.
In light of sadness and change and uncertainty, the severing of all ties -- including language and customs and culture and home and the trappings of "normal" -- seems like the best thing for us, perhaps the ONLY thing for us to do now.
Raf is used to making "worst case scenario" plans now and he is suddenly unafraid to tell people what needs to happen with our businesses, etc., if we don't come back. Ordinarily, I might be worried about this, but there's a certain lightness to that existential way of thinking. We can perhaps be free to explore and do and be what we want, whatever that may be.
That's my story. Europe, you ready?