It has been a while since I returned to continent of my bloodline, and I must say, even as the plane touched down at the Zurich airport, it felt great to be back.
The idea of this trip was spawned once it was announced one of my favourite cousins in Italy was planning on getting married on May 22nd, 2010. But as everyone knows, one week in Europe is never enough so I made arrangements to stay with a good friend of mine outside of Zurich, travel around Switzerland with him and then head over to jolly o’ England to meet up with a business partner for a weekend before finally making my way to the wedding and the carnival schedule of visiting relatives.
Switzerland greeted me this past Friday with cloud cover and a steady forecast of heavy rain, but still with that, I’m just happy to be here.
Not surprisingly, as Monday morning came around and my buddy went to work I found myself looking for something to do for the brief periods of time between torrential downpouring. Within this time I accomplished two things:
1) Of 4 or 5 grocery stores I managed to shop at the most expensive.
Now, I don’t know if any of you have ever been mugged at gun point but I am guessing the feeling of grocery shopping in Switzerland would make someone feel equally victimized. Mind you, as I stepped off the plane last week and saw a sign for a 25 CHF ($25 usd) club sandwich, I realized I should probably up my traveling budget for this trip.
2) I managed to find myself a nice Italian coffee shop to hang out at. Leave it to me to visit the German part of Switzerland and source a spot to eat gelato and drink espresso every afternoon. Seriously, every afternoon. They speak to me in Italian and I do my best to return the favour. So far there’s been no sour faces so I guess I’m doing ok.
Though the remainder of this week I am planning on covering Lucerne, Basel, and Bern either on my own or with my buddy this Sunday morning we really kick it into gear with a road trip that defies most logic.
Between Sunday and Thursday of next week I will be visiting Salzburg, Austria; Munich, Germany, and then Lugano, Switzerland, in the Italian part of Switzerland. After all of this, we will be leaving Lugano around noon so to make sure I can catch my 7pm flight to England for the weekend. should be quite the whirlwind for those few days.
But in all of this flight and travel confusion, sometimes I need to stop and realize that this is the life that I wanted the freedom to explore, these are the opportunities that I one day dreamed I would have the chance to experience.
It’s hard to not take these trips or moments for granted sometimes, or get caught up in the pirate-like prices in this country or the fact that I may have to build an ark should this rain continue as it has been. The fact of the matter is that I am a very lucky guy, and for whatever reason, my trips to Europe seem to always remind me of that.
North American mentality can drag down even the best of us into the Joneses mentality, and even when I am home I have moments where I need to remind myself how pointlessly empty the race of material acquisition is.
Coincidentally enough, a few books I have read lately on success, marketing, and philosophy have touched on the same point;
There is truly only one thing on the planet that is worth having money to buy, Time (for the point of this discussion I am going to include Health in this definition of “Time”). And within that acquired time, is the freedom to live your life as you choose. Yes, this is a much denser notion to possibly be covered in another post, but I thought I would share it now as even the past few days has made this fact crystal clear.
Time allows you, not just the luxury of spending time how you choose to spend it, but also with whomever you choose to spend it with.
Geez, I’ve only been over here for 4 days and I’m already having revelations, I’m sure after a month I’ll have the cure for cancer.