Well...we have both made it safely home. We had a bit of a delay yesterday at JFK airport due to weather, so we had been up almost 24 hours by the time we landed, but we were safe. After all the sad things we had heard happening and waking up to a travel advisory we are glad to be back on US soil.
So, here are my final thoughts about this trip. Some of them are funny, some serious, some just were things on my mind. However, all of them hold true for me.
1. I was able to add 7 more places to my 1,000 places to see list. I am in the process of getting a total tally and hope to get a area on the blog where I will place that.
2. I will stop taking ice for granted. This includes the fact that when I sit down at a restaurant they will give me a FREE glass of water.
3. It sometimes embarrasses me the unimportance the education system in America puts on learning a second language from an early age. I don't know that I came across one person on my entire trip that wasn't able to communicate some English and this is because they teach it from an early age in schools.
4. I will NOT take for granted the fact that I live in the USA and have had the freedoms I do my entire life. In three of the countries I visited from WW II until 1989 they lived in fear or complete restriction on their lives. To be told what to do, where to go, and when to do it would be beyond horrendous.
5. The USA needs to look to Europe and develop more outdoor eating/drinking/gathering areas. Even on a very warm day a garden eating area with a fresh air breeze is so relaxing.
6. Although to us our gas prices are high we need not complain....theirs are the equivalent of 8.00 a gallon.
7. Next time I head over to Europe I need to change up my exercise routine. The 2 miles I walk daily helps, but I need to find some hills to climb. It seems like every old town sat on a hill.
8. America needs to get its train system back to the way it was. Oh the places I could/would go if we had Europe's train system.
9. God is good. God's beautiful creations of this world both natural and man made are a site to behold. I feel privileged that I am able to see so much of what is out in the world.
10. It is important to know history, understand history, learn from history, and refuse to repeat all the horrible things people have allowed to happen to other people and to the land.
11. Travel is wonderful, but home is where the heart is. So, I will continue to travel, love it, and learn all I can. However, when the trip is over home is where I want to be.
Until the next trip....