Europe – come on folks, is this not where the forefathers of North America came from?

Can you imagine going back to the home of the men, women and children who had the courage and determination to literally carve out and create “The New World”?

… seeing the lands they fled in search of new beginnings – bringing with them their craftsmanship, their experiences, their culinary delicacies, their languages?

… riding throughout the countryside seeing the vineyards, the olive groves, the villages and the people, all seemingly from a different world?

… learning more history while standing on the soil where this history was created?

… strolling about the market places, tasting the foods, the wines, the beers (oh yes, they know how to brew)?

… taking in the cities and their fashion shows, art galleries, theatres, operas, museums, historical buildings and, yes, a few good concerts?

… and relaxing in the evenings, watching the sunsets from a whole new angle, seeing the night sky filled with stars – even ones you may have never seen before?

It is still planet Earth, just simply from a new perspective.

Now off to check out the oceans, beaches, cliffs and castles: hear the water smashing into the rocks and the birds squawking. See the fishermen come in with their day’s catch, exhausted but happy. Stroll down to meet them, help them out while chatting and laughing.

It’s now time for some ale up at the old pub, a trip to the family home enjoying more conversation of old, and new, while tasting the foods from the past and present. What a place, what a life … for it is certainly full of life.

Wake to a sunrise unlike any you have seen, smell the salty air knowing you are on your way to another experience within this fine continent.

Where to go? So much to see and do, so many to meet, so much to learn and so little time.

Yes, I can start to see why people of long ago headed to the unknown New World: it was for the change.

Who knows if it’s for the better or worse, but a change does bring on a new perspective … a new experience. That feeling of freedom, that flying with the moment.

Like riding the rail system through mountains and valleys today, like one could never imagine. Entering villages of unsurpassed architecture and, once again, the foods, the beverages, the conversations, the smell and feel of fresh mountain air – Oh my God, have I died and gone to heaven?

I fly back to Canada with my mind absorbed in all I have seen and done. Landing with a slight sadness, yet a heavy side dish of home sweet home. I look about, and everywhere I look I can see faded influences of the continent I just left.

Appreciation begins to overwhelm me. It’s a whole new perspective.