My husband practically forced me to take a trip to Europe, much to my initial hesitation. (I know! I’m weird!)
Boy, am I glad he did because I had the most wonderful time.
I’ve been to Europe before on a guided tour where we were shuttled by bus from one tourist spot to another tourist spot in what felt like an Amazing-Race-pace. Our itinerary was set before we even left the country. The guides made sure we hit ALL the pertinent tourist spots across 5 countries.
This trip was the complete opposite. We went to Europe without ANY idea of what we would see aside from the idea we wanted to go to Paris and the event we were going to attend. I was used to set tours with my dad so I was getting antsy. Hubby S… cool as a cucumber.
Turns out he was right. On the bus in Nice on the way to the hotel, we met 3 cousins who we clicked with immediately and went on to spend the rest of our trip with. They told us they were going to Amsterdam so we decided to do the same after Nice and before going to Paris. We booked a flight and lodgings online then and there.
Every morning, we would wake up and discuss where we would go over breakfast. Then we would just go. We took buses and trains almost everywhere. We got lost. The men kept consulting the map. We kept walking around endlessly. Sometimes we had to eat on the run. My feet were always sore by the end of the day. However, I found that getting lost, the endless walking, the waiting for buses or running as the subway train pulls in made our European vacation not just a tour… it became an adventure.
Experiencing a beautiful city with my loving husband and new-found friends was so much fun. I found that walking around a city allows you to discover plenty of little gems in a city that you would miss if you were sitting (or snoring) inside a tour bus.
Walking around allows you to people-watch. Taking the public transports (not taxis) allows you to see how people normally live (granted this is only possible in first world countries with terrific public transportation). We could spend as much time (or as little) as we wanted in each place without worrying about a deadline. Having our own itinerary allowed us to set our own schedules and to join fun activities like the Segway tour of Paris or take advantage of the electronic guide tour of a museum.
This trip allowed me to rediscover and enjoy cities I’ve already seen before in a whole new light.
Best of all, our trip made me appreciate how cool and wonderful my husband is.
I know I mush up about my husband every few months so this really isn’t new. Bear with me.
Hubby S is really a wonder. He is fearless and fun and adventurous. He never lost his temper (even though I was starting to so my irritation fizzled out to embarrassment in seconds). I was reminded just how charming he is. He patiently escorted me to all the stops I wanted to see. He didn’t complain when I booked a hotel far from the center of Amsterdam and kept reassuring me it was just what he wanted anyway.
The trip brought to the surface, once again, why I fell in love with him 17 years ago, why I still love him so much to this day, why he really is my best friend and why I am so very lucky.
This trip was a revelation. Left Cebu in tears but I came home with a bigger smile than I thought possible.