I’m first writing this from the evening train between Vienna and Prague (I think we’re getting close to Pardubice but don’t quote me on that). The swaying of the train, some good music in my ears, and the glow of small Czech towns passing by the window outside gets me to thinking pretty easily.
This trip has been a bit of a revelation for me. As I sit on the train, I feel like I’m returning to something in Prague. It’s quickly become home on this trip. Staying in an apartment has helped. Cooking a few meals has too. But it’s more than that. After visits to seventeen countries and with my passion to travel being fully explored as often as I can, I’ve grown in a way that feels suddenly tangible on this trip.
After a particularly nomadic few years, a singer/songwriter I listened to about ten years ago entitled her album “Home is where my feet are”. She explained that for her, happiness in her life came down to living to that mantra. Simple and profound, I adopted it as a personal challenge and a rallying cry to which to aspire in senses both literal and metaphorical.
I know I’ll remember this trip for a lot of the experiences and moments – my first European soccer match, a whirlwind thirty hour stopover in Vienna, tasting unfiltered and unpasteurized pilsner where it was first brewed, kissing my wife on the Charles Bridge, sampling all varieties of Czech food…. All of those memories and many, many more I’ll cherish forever. But what I’ll remember most from these two weeks is the sudden realization I had as I sat in a jet-lagged stupor in our Prague apartment on the first day of this trip. With every chance to feel foreign and out of place, I felt resolutely and entirely comfortable. For the eleven days so far, that feeling hasn’t wavered. Indeed, home is where my feet are. And from where I stand, I’m pretty proud of that.
More to come in the weeks ahead on what has been an outstanding trip.