We might hope it to be with the memories to go with them. And hope we bring home only good memories.
What I have learned is not everything goes as planned, and sometimes that can be an opportunity to experience something not common to my own life, both good and bad. People sometimes ask what makes one want to travel, especially in this uncertain climate of world unrest? Is it the wanderlust bug or just getting away from an ordinary life?
It is lots of things, but learning from other cultures is a big draw. Sometimes what one learns is often historical or even current with the times.
Above is the Black Sea in Constanta, Romania during a freak storm in October. Far out in the distance is the Ukraine and Russia. This was during the uncertainty of the 2014 crisis between Russia and the Ukraine.
Below is the Shoes on the Bank of the Danube, in Budapest, Hungary. It is a memorial sculpture to honor Jews that were killed during WWII during the time of the Arrow Cross terror. The people were told to remove their shoes before they were shot to fall into the Danube. It was a moving reminder of what people faced during that time.
While in Germany in 2015, I was there during the immigration crisis and the terrorist attack in France on November 13th. All of Europe was on alert. Now it happened again in Nice, France as I head to England. I wonder what to expect when I touch down at Heathrow Airport. I bet security is at an all time high.
Last year, I was confronted at an open market by a group of young Syrian men approaching me on the street in Cologne, Germany, so I know first hand how unnerving seeing Muslim young men can be. I was very unnerved by their angry demeanor and demeaning bravado. There was no doubt in my mind these were unsavory, hate-filled characters. Germany has learned not all immigrants were truly there out of need.
WWII bombed out building in Bulgaria below. Learning from the past…
Now, I head to the UK after the Brexit vote. With the attack in Nice, leaving the EU does not seem quite as bad an idea. At least the UK can deal with national security on their own terms now.
It seems the world is changing for the worse. Each time I travel, the world is becoming a little bit different. One thing to be thankful for…at least this is not a time back in history where we had to leave our shoes on the dock in Budapest. Hungary was a very beautiful and friendly country. My favorite place in all my travels? Prague. I wanted to live there.
Old Town Hall Tower built in 1338 and the Astronomical Clock in Prague built in 1410 AD above. Twelve Apostles appear on the hour, every hour, and a small trap door opens where Christ marches out ahead of his disciples.
The skeleton of death tolls the bell to a defiant statue of a Turk. Sense a big disrespectful middle finger salute to a certain group of Pagan invaders?