Recently I had a conversation with someone who was on their way to Italy. They were headed to Venice for the first time. I expressed to them how much I enjoyed Venice when I visited there eons ago. We chatted a bit of their plans and what I saw of the city. After the conversation I began to reminisce. I visited Europe during my first backpacking trip in my early 20s. What kept coming back to me about that trip was how, even through one of the most tumultuous times in my life, I was content. That trip was a “breather” from a trying time in my life, one that spanned almost 5 years. It was a small yet significant reprise for me. I can remember sitting on a train in Germany, listening to music after having had a laughing fit with my traveling companion Izabela. I looked out window at the Bavarian landscape, taking in the dark green of the Black Forest and the weathered castles poking through the trees. I smiled to myself – I could have gone on for ages in that frame of mind and heart. The word “happy” was insufficient to describe what I felt. I was content, so very content. Having had such emotional chaos I needed to know something else, even for a short time. To experience, to know that I did not need anything else at that time. My problems had not disapeared when I returned to Canada, however, I did have something to cling to and strive for as I worked through them. Perhaps that is why, to this day, that trip has been the best one in my life. I was content.
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