Three days into my 39th year and I am already learning little lessons that will impact my life in the biggest of ways.
1. Not knowing the destination is part of the fun.
Coco scheduled a quick birthday trip for the two of us to take a few days away from home before Mama & Papa Lowe descend on Vienna. She spent the better part of two weeks planning, buying tickets, and gathering ideas for our little Urlaub. The key element was my lack of knowledge about our destination. I was along for the ride. And what a fantastic feeling that was. I am a control focused lady, when it comes to my adventures. I feel more secure knowing and planning. Having all bases covered. But arriving at Hauptbahnhof on Friday morning at 6:30am, getting coffee, and then waiting to find out our platform number was exciting!
Was I anxious? Yes. Was the not knowing worth it? Definitely! And I will gladly let it happened again.
2. Train travel is under appreciated in the U.S.
I understand that people want to get there now. Maybe yesterday isn’t even fast enough. Our airports are so overloaded with travelers that want to be there Now! Now! Now! If I am being honest, I dislike flying in the states. Airports packed with unhappy people, stressed about security lines and making connections don’t create the vacation atmosphere most desire.
Train travel is the only way I want to go from now on. We walked into the station about 25 minutes before our train departed. We picked up coffee, pastries, and some OJ for the ride. We then made our way to the platform and boarded the train. A ride that cost only €36 each was for a first class ticket. Travel took just under 3 hours and we had the opportunity to see the Austrian countryside. We are currently passing through St.Pölten on our return train to Vienna as I type this. Spring rain is nourishing the landscape, washing everything in green.
3. Always take the stairs.
We wandered the beautiful city of Salzburg, our destination. We strolled down narrow streets lined with incredible shops, colorful doors, and cafés tucked in corners. We turned a corner and there they were. The stairs ascending to Kapuzinerkloster. After a previous 24 hours of insane walking and climbing up to Hohensalzburg, I wasn’t 100% sure of my commitment.
Looking back, it was the best decision I made all weekend. Halfway up the stairs/drive, there’s the smallest stopping point that overlooks a section of the city. I stood there, realizing that nothing else mattered in that moment. The cool, wet air filled my lungs. My heart filled at that moment with such a sense of awe. Had I opted to meet Coco elsewhere after she did that climb, I would have missed that moment. I don’t want to miss those moments.
4. Take that selfie with your person
Coco wasn’t a selfie person when we met. She preferred to stand behind the camera and click. During our 6 years together she’s slowly become the selfie taker of our family. No selfie-stick. I have to draw the line there. We took incredible pictures of the city from high points overlooking the landscape. But my favorite shots are of us. Smiling. Together. Enjoying this adventure called European Living. Looking back at the photos of the day, I look at our smiles with the city in the background and remember what we were laughing about just before. Those are the things that never make it into travel journals, because reflection doesn’t always capture the little moments together.