It’s a cloudy morning in Prague and I’m compelled to write a blog. It’s been 2 weeks since I published anything and that was 5 countries ago in Ireland. Since then, I’ve spent a night in England, a week in Italy, 5 nights in Switzerland, a night in Germany, and last night in Prague, Czech Republic. If that sounds crazy to you reading this, you can imagine it’s even crazier living it… I feel like my body’s still catching up with my soul. I also think I left a part of my heart in Switzerland.
Today my friend and I drive to Salzburg, Austria to fulfil our dream of singing, “The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music…” on the very mountains where Julie Andrews spun in circles with a helicopter flying overhead as she played Maria, distressed nun who wouldn’t be contained by the stone walls of the monastery. I’ve watched that movie every year since I was 5 and identified with each of the female characters as I was close to their age. Now I want to be Maria… not that I want to be a nun for the rest of my life, but I want to be brave, adventurous, and bring beauty into places of brokenness. And I want to sing because life is a musical and I’m pretty sure the people of Salzburg (or at least the tourists) feel the same way.
Back to blogging. Whilst planning this trip I had this fantasy that I would keep up a rigorous pace of travel and also be a prolific writer. If not in quiet evenings at a friend’s home or hostel (as if that’s possible!) at least I would write when I was on a train or plane or simply waiting in transit… In actuality, there’s plenty to do in those gaps, whether it be checking directions, contacting friends in upcoming cities I’m visiting, booking another flight, posting on Instagram, or catching up on sleep!
Not only is it difficult to find the time, but with the mountain of material amassing, I’m having a bit of writer’s block. How do I boil down a week of pilgrimage in Ireland with St. Patrick or traversing the ruins of ancient Rome and monastic city of Assisi? How do I capture my awe at the beauty of Switzerland which feels like the Japan of Europe with incredible beauty, trains running on schedule, and people who recycle in 15 or more bins? Does a half a day in Prague lend any credibility to ponder the fate of the Austro-Hungarian Empire which once ruled its vast territory from this city, or the democratic transition of a nation that was freed from socialist rule just 24 years ago?
It just can’t be done. This over achiever must admit some level of defeat and readjust expectations. Perhaps my memory will serve me better than I think and I can recount in a month’s time how I’ve followed the impact of the Roman empire which even laid infrastructure in distant England in the 1st century. Maybe in looking back on Europe, I can piece together the convoluted history of the marriage and divorces of the church and state as Christiandom sought to expand an empire or an empire sought to validate its right to rule through Christiandom.
The thinker in me wants to spend half a day every day processing and writing, but the adventurer has arm-wrestled the thinker and won, convinced that it’s better to take to the cobblestone streets and explore a castle then to grab my journal or laptop and find a hermitage.
Until I can sit still in one country for a few nights, my friends following my voyage will just have to be content with my vlog posts on YouTube and facebook and my verbose daily Instagram summaries & stories. Perhaps these quicker forms of communication are better adjusted to the journey of a voyager.
I want to also say THANK YOU to all the friends who have commented on instagram & facebook posts or sent private messages saying, “I’ve been there,” or “How beautiful!” or “What!?…” It means more to me than visiting another castle today just to have connection and relationship with you from the other side of the globe. So keep ‘em comin’! And I look forward to connecting more deeply on skype or face-to-face or through more developed blog posts in the future.
See you on the Voyage!
Yesterday’s Vlog in Berlin. To view more vlogs from my Europe Voyage go here.