I'd like to say that Ellyn left me the last word, but in reality, she fell asleep and we agreed that we wanted to get something posted before we fly out this week.
A year or so before with left the US, both my parents and Ellyn's mom were asking us what the kids wanted for Christmas gifts. Ellyn and I responded that what the kids needed more than gifts were experiences. We wanted them to provide memories of things that they did with there grandparents and an opportunity for them to develop talents or interests that they hadn't yet discovered.
This philosophy was amplified when we had the opportunity to live in Europe. It's interesting what happens to you when you're living on a fixed timetable. You begin to live life with a certain type of urgency. You find yourself making the decision to just go for it rather than wait. While to many our past three years may appear as an outrageous travel diary of dozens upon dozens of places visited and checked off a list (and we did have lists), we did try to truly experience the places we visited. We did extensive research when we traveled and tried to understand the history and culture hidden within.
In the midst of it all, we learned a lot about this part of the world and ultimately I hope that those we met learned a little bit about us and our home. Life is about experiences, and more importantly, how those experiences shape ones character. Hopefully, we have become a little more aware, a bit more humble, slightly more informed, a little smarter, more compassionate, and most importantly, a lot of fun to be around.
And oh, by the way, if you are interested in seeing a bit of Europe, give us a ring - We've checked that box. ;)