The Best Days

My husband and I have a deeply sincere love of travel, and we’ve been blessed to be able to pursue that love again and again over the years.

And, naturally, along the way we’ve collected memories of the world renowned variety. Seeing the Mona Lisa in Paris, drinking mass after mass of beer at Oktoberfest in Munich, seeing the tulips in full bloom in Holland. It makes for a beautiful collection of memories and stories to tell along the way. But travel, while exhilarating and exciting, can also leave you feeling exhausted and even stressed out at times. And that’s why, no matter how new and how large the place is, and how little time we seem to have to see it, we always leave space for something unplanned and those are the best days.

This photo is taken in a town in Germany called Ansbach. It’s a pretty little town. High pitched red rooftops, timber buildings, cobblestone streets, a lovely river … church bells ring out throughout the day. But it is of no particular world wide interest, I’d argue. Not much is there you’d otherwise travel 4,000 miles to visit.

But on a day to simply chill out, my husband and I ended up there. And directly in the center of town, there was an outdoor market taking place. People selling homemade bread and pastry. Cheesemongers selling cheese. Butchers selling meats. Vendors selling olives and sundried tomatoes and an entire assortment of marinated wonderments from the Mediterranean side of things.

We fumbled clumsily through our German and ordered bits and bites of treats from each of the various vendors, including a bottle of homemade wine we bought for two euro and looked for a place to sit down and enjoy an impromptu picnic. We stumbled upon a gorgeous park in the center of town — a big patch of green grass encircled by trails of roses and colorful summer blooms — and we made our way to park bench and nibbled at our last minute lunch for the better part of two hours, while we watched locals come to the garden for their own daily strolls. Everyone from moms pushing prams, stealing a little adult conversation, to men in business suits walking alone, trying to escape adult conversation, I’d imagine.

At moments we were quiet and just watched and observed while we ate plump raspberries and ripped off fluffy chunks of fresh bread. And at moments we couldn’t stop talking about what it would be like to live in Europe one day.

As it turns out, living in Europe is a lot like vacationing in Europe. It’s still market fresh picnics in parks in the middle of little towns, and people walking to find or escape conversation. It’s life at its finest. Slow, simple, a bit indulgent at times and always intentional.

So if you’re planning a trip abroad to this beautiful place, make your list of things you must see, but be sure to block out some time for not seeing anything at all. Just some time to get lost someplace special. These are without a doubt, always my most special days. And they will live in full HD color in my mind forever.

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