Two weeks ago, before my boyfriend and I came back to the US, we set out for one of our last adventures in France before we move. We chose northeastern France, near the German border for two reasons: first, neither of us had been there in over 15 years, and second, there are few better places in the world to spend a pre-Christmas weekend. (More about our trip to Alsace-Lorraine in a future post.)
I took this photo (below) while driving just outside of Colmar, France. I like how you can still see the low-hanging clouds that had earlier brought snow (as we passed through the Vosges mountains) and rain, while glowing yellow and pink as the sun sets over the steeple of one of the hundreds-years old churches that appear throughout the countryside. The steeple is a very small part of the picture, but is immediately recognizable to me. Seeing church steeples across the landscape is one of my favorite parts of driving through Europe. It’s remarkable, as many of the towns that are home to these architecturally exceptional old churches, are tiny – sometimes only a few hundred residents.
The realization that my boyfriend and I will be moving back to the U.S. at the end of January hasn’t quite hit me yet. The reason for the move is utterly practical: lack of working visas, more and better career opportunities (especially for me), higher income, greater purchasing power, etc, etc. I know relocating is the right choice, but I will dearly miss being able to pick up and drive for 3 hours to another country! We’ll still travel to Europe, I’m sure, but our exploits will only begin after an 8 hour plane ride.
So as our time in France comes to a close, I’m making a list of everything I want to do in the next month, and going through my mental photo reel of memories from the past almost 2½ years. I would imagine that everyone is reviewing their own reels from 2011. May you appreciate your accomplishments and the opportunities you’ve had, and have the fortitude to achieve your goals for 2012.