Life’s Big Adventures – Europe and More – Osprey Packs Experience
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Life’s Big Adventures – Europe and More

Photo by Mark Jobman

My wife and I recently took an adventure to Europe. This little trip had been on the calendar for about 2.5 years; a way to celebrate a career accomplishment that my wife was working towards. We planned it to be a backpacking trip through Europe hitting all the major destinations: England, France, Monaco, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Denmark. Our adventure was going to be traveling town to town, country to country sleeping in hostels, and on trains to experience Europe. But a few months before our departure we were dealt one of life’s many unremarkable rewards that would change our plans completely: yep, Jr. Jobman was on the way.

Overly happy and ecstatic about the future we decided that the last thing that we should do was put an overstuffed backpack on my pregnant wife’s back. She would be 15 weeks along when we would depart for Europe, a critical time for mom and baby. So, our plans changed from a multi-week backpacking adventure, roughing it where needed, to a southern European cruise trip, hitting up some of the most beautiful coast line cities in the Mediterranean. Not quite the adventure that either of us had envisioned but it turned out to be a great decision for Jr., Mom, and Dad.

Our trip started in Barcelona, traveling from there to Villa-France, Monaco, Pisa & Florence, Rome, Naples, Santorine and Athens, Greece, and Kusadashi, Turkey. More than enough places for us to fill our two weeks with culture, adventure, and, of course, more ruins then we ever could have imaged.

During our trip there were so many events, places and people that will always spark a story or a memory of this amazing adventure. However there are a few memories that standout the most. First, one of the most mysterious and incredible places that we visited was Vatican City. We entered into St. Peter’s Square and your eyes just wander from corner to corner through this amazing, historic place. Every inch of the square seems to catch your attention to raise questions. Once we walked through the massive square we entered into St. Peter’s Basilica. Here an eerie calm and quietness runs over your body. Just like the square, the Basilica creates a mysterious feeling as you walk through and see the ancient statues, murals, and alters.

In Kusidashi we shared some Turkish Coffee with a Turkish rug maker, a drink that’s thick as mud. I hesitated slightly but took in the aroma of the coffee and then took a sip out of the small espresso cup. It was surprisingly smooth and pleasantly enjoyable. Once finished with the liquid, the bottom of your cup is coated with a thick brown espresso mud that has a richer aroma of a fresh brewed coffee.

Finally, the one place that we can’t wait to revisit would be the small Greek island of Santorini. We visited the black beaches on the east side of the island, the sand of which looks like poppy seeds. The island of Santorini is small and quaint, and white structures with blue roofs dot the hillside. The architecture was amazing to witness. The residents build their villages right along the ridgeline, a ridge that is towering 800+ feet above the sea; a picturesque image.

Each place carries its own story, its own taste of European culture; its own adventure and memories. It wasn’t the type of adventure that we typically take part in and write about but it was surprisingly a great change of pace for the two of us. If you haven’t traveled through southern Europe you need to put it on your list.

But nearing the end of the trip we quickly began to realize that our next big adventure will include three of us. We have traveled many places throughout the world, stood atop amazing mountains, and found ourselves in breathtaking places, but I can only image what the adventure that we are about to enter into is like. Hopefully we can pass off our own sense of adventure to the next generation!