Back – and Desperately Avoiding Jet Lag

Mon, Aug 14, 2006 2-minute read

After visiting 5 countries (Italy, Croatia, Greece, France, Spain,) 2 micro-states (Monaco, Vatican City,) and returning with a connection in Sweden, I’m back – and now 367% as worldly!

The vacation was truly eye-opening.  My only previous international experience (aside from growing up in Canada, and moving here to the United States) was a low-budget resort trip in the Dominican Republic.  That trip gave me a filtered taste of a different culture, but had nowhere near the impact of a Mediterranean cruise around Europe.

By far, the biggest impact came from experiencing the rich cultural fabric formed by thousands of years of history.  The cruise was very port-heavy (12 ports in 14 days,) so I finally had the chance to experience:

To put North America’s 500-year history in perspective, I gazed on the steps of Barcelona’s Palau Reial Mayor – the same steps Christopher Columbus walked up to announce his discovery of America.  I stood in the Coliseum of Rome – where an exceptionally old participant in the project would have also have experienced the death of Christ.  I walked the streets of ancient Pompeii, where ruins built upon ruins vastly predate even that.

An aspect I didn’t anticipate was the awkwardness of trying to stumble around language barriers caused by me – and the rudeness of speaking with my travel companions in a language foreign to most others within earshot.

All in all, it was a great experience and I look forward to experiencing the next!