I want to hug the trees.
The thought came unbidden to my mind as the train swooshed into the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
My whole body relaxed, like a giant sigh of relief.
Home, I thought. It feels like coming home.
Only a few days ago, I was thinking about making Pennsylvania my home base. About being near my best friend (and, let’s be honest, near a certain man I’d unexpectedly met while housesitting in Harrisburg). About having somewhere to hang my pictures. About still traveling, but having one particular place to come back to.
And then I landed in Germany, met up with my expat friends, ate a Schnitzel, and remembered again why I travel the way that I do. And why I love Europe particularly.
With each passing day, I became more certain that if I do choose to someday have a home base (something I may well eventually do), it would have to be in Europe. Where I can comfortably live without a car. Where good, fresh food is a priority. Where I can take a train an hour in any direction and encounter a wholly different culture. Where I’ve fallen in love with the landscapes, cultures, lifestyles, and people.
From Germany, I took the train into Switzerland, winding around the mineral-green lakes, then into the Alps, feeling gratitude welling up inside.
And so I pulled into the vast and beautiful valley, thinking that I want to hug the trees, to kiss the clouds, to press my face against the warm earth, and to stay like this forever.
Suddenly, I can’t imagine being anywhere else.
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