More and Less

I’m fascinated by a movement toward minimalism.  Over the holidays a blogger suggested simplifying by making a more and less list.  What do you want more of and what do you want less of in your life?  Without a doubt, I want more travel.  More experiences for our family and less stuff.  Stuff breaks easily, rarely retains its value, has to be kept organized and clean, and I most definitely need less things to clean up.  Travel is messy and often times down right ugly, but it requires less clean up and gives back more to me than a load of laundry ever has.  But I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t say that I like stuff.  I’m typing on stuff.  I take pictures with stuff.  I have stuff and by some standards around the world, lots of it.  Travel can actually induce the desire to acquire even more stuff.  But I want less stuff and more travel.

Because of the recent American Airlines merger and an article from Milescoach, we decided to cash in our miles to go to Europe, specifically Germany and France.  Why not?  We may not always have this chance and the baby will probably never remember this trip except in pictures, and it’s on the more list.  If truth be told, travel pushes us to the very limits of our comfort zones.  Crowds, different languages, crazy schedules, jet lag, overpacking, under packing, different foods and basically the inability to have everything nice, neat and wrapped with a bow.  I often foolishly believe while in the comfort of my own home that I am in control.  Travel pushes me over the edge of reality.  I cannot control every variable, nor should I.

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I’m beyond excited (as is my husband) that we got an entire bulk overhead row to ourselves.  You know that means the baby is going to sleep blissfully the entire flight and wake up refreshed and ready to begin this adventure.  Which really just means that I will sleep just as well and be refreshed and ready to conquer jet lag.  This is travel pushing me over the edge – so much leg room, so little opportunity to stretch out across two seats.  The baby slept on me and I slept very little.  I am not in control.

There was a recent study that came out regarding a very small group of people that thrives on only 4 hours of sleep.  That is not me.  I am not those people.  I thrive on somewhere closer to 8 hours.  I didn’t really take any pictures of that because bleary eyes and short tempers don’t make for exciting pictures.  When we look back on our pictures of Heidelberg, I would much rather Lola be reminded of the giant barrel in the castle than the lunatic mother that turns into a version of The Hulk on little sleep.

What we thought was the giant barrel.

DSC_5647The actual giant barrel.

DSC_5653and someone’s arm in the way.  Alas, it’s just a picture of a giant barrel.

The gorgeous views – part of the reason people visit Heidelberg.

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Outdoor cafes with sheepskin and blankets and giant pastry balls covered in chocolate.  Is there any other reason to visit a European city?  No, really.

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This is what happens when your camera is on and swinging freely on your shoulder.

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The real reason to visit any other place – faraway or close to home.DSC_5646 DSC_5638

 

 

 

 

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