As we begin this season of thankfulness, I thought I’d look at the travel-related things that I am thankful for.
I am thankful that I have had several opportunities to travel to Europe and that I now have a platform from which to share my journeys. I am thankful for all my readers and hope that I can continue to bring interesting articles to you in the future.
I’m thankful for the distant relatives and friends from the Netherlands that I have come to know over the last fifteen years. I’m grateful for the meals and beds they have provided when we visited them, but I am more thankful for their friendship. I appreciate their concern when problems arise and their encouragement when the situation calls for it.
I am thankful for the small bed and breakfast establishments where I’ve stayed. It has been great to get to know the owners and learn about their lives. I am thankful for the small local restaurants where I’ve eaten. I have had some of the best meals of my life in Paris and Nice, France; Florence and Venice, Italy; and Amsterdam, Netherlands.
I am thankful that many of the old churches and town halls all over Europe were spared from damage or were rebuilt after the two World Wars. It is amazing to see structures that are older than our country. The Notre Dame Cathedral was started in 1163; the “New Church” in Delft, Netherlands, was started in 1396; and Munich’s Old Town hall was built by 1310. (The New Town Hall replaced it in 1874).
I am thankful for the advancements in aeronautics, so that I can fly from Chicago to Paris in eight hours. I’m thankful for high speed trains that take me in about two hours from Paris to Nice, or to London via the Chunnel, or to many other places in Europe. I am thankful for the slow trains that take me to almost any city or small town on the map.
I am thankful for the European Union that has made travel from one country to another much easier by abolishing passport checks. I am thankful, too that most of the member countries use the same currency – the Euro – also making travel between the countries simpler.
Most of all, I am thankful for my family – you have been the best travel partners I could ever have hoped for. Thank you for sharing my love of travel, for inspiring me in your travel with or without me, and for encouraging me in this new venture.