Be careful out there. They do things differently. Not necessarily better or worse, just different.
      Bob Patee


 We have begun our voyage and I am pondering traveling.  New and different “things” to see and do.  Excitement, yet scary becausethings are different.  Seems as humans we get used to the same.  I once read predicatibility is good as it diminishes stress and to a certain extent that stress reduction can lengthen ones life.  But it seems humans are designed to adapt.  We have spread all over the world adapting to various situations, climates, and environments.  

One thing I have learned in life is we are not designed for easy.  Sitting around always taking the easy way leads to a sedentary life.  Like the joke about the fellow inquiring of his cardiologist, if it is ok to start an exercise regime.  The cardiologist responds with a question of why no one asks if it is ok to sit on the sofa and watch TV for hours, which would be unhealthy in itself.

We are designed to explore, we are designed to work.  Our bodies crave movement and the same with our minds.  Variety is the spice of life. Exercise has been proven over and over to help ones health.  The same is true of the mind.  Intellectual stimulation, allows one to ponder new wonders.  To question and find answers, or just wonder in amazement.  These are human endeavors.  

And there is no exact answer to what is the best way to do these endeavors.  We are all different.  We did not inhabit the arctic, or the tropical jungles, or the prairies by doing the same things.  Everyone is different,  we have different personalities, different egos, different political ideals, and different goals and ideals.  It makes us “us” and makes us interesting.  Hence we all seek different avenues of exploration.  Some prefer to stay in the same place, I think of it as exploring the details of ones environment.  And that is good.  I find it exciting when someone tells me the joy of their home and what is happening there whereas myself I find new places exciting.  Seeing how else something is done and why.   

South America was awesome in that aspect.  People have adapted to the altitude of the Andes, and figured out making a living on the windy regions of Patagonia.  It was exciting to see the incredible cultural development of the Incas and learn of their demise from a so called more advanced civilization with the integration cultures over the years.

And now we are traveling to Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.  The cultures are heavy with European history. (European history was made in Europe, and only later translated into textbooks) I am excited to see the castles and learn how they lived in those “Middle Ages”.  Why did they spend massive amounts of time, energy, and lives to build these monuments to human endeavors.  (Apparently it took two centuries to build the Köln cathedral)

Perhaps I am rambling on, but as I sit here looking out the window above the straights separating Canada and northern Greenland and watching the stewards and stewardess’s selling cartons of duty free cigarettes, my mind is rambling.      This to me is exciting.  

Now for a few practicalities.  Before South America I tried learning Spanish.  I had taken numerous classes without much success, even spending a bit of time in Mexico,  finding my mind just can’t quite grasp it.   Then I signed up with Rosetta Stone language classes before heading south last fall (spring in the Southern Hemisphere”, I could get by but sign language worked out better.  

Now I am heading to Germany and am trying to remember and learn German.  I used to know a little having spent a summer there in 1967, but again my mind can’t seem to grasp it.  Again I signed up for Rosetta Stone language class and was progressing I thought well, returning the information by rote.  But then I had an Internet half hour one on one class.  Alas everything I said was in Spanish.  As I sit here listening to German being spoken with airplane announcements and general conversation, I find myself thinking in Spanish.?????  The joys of travel, embarrassing oneself, hopefully being able to laugh at it.  

It I find with the little I know of the language it lets one see the nuances of a culture.  People tend to open up more.  Everyone has told us most everyone in Germany , at least along our route speaks English, but seems limiting for us.  Alas I hope so, although it is sort of fun to figure it out.

But looking out the window at the cliffs, fjords, and ice of northern Greenland makes me want to explore more.  What is the feeling of being down there like.  Are there many people there as I look down?  What is their culture which lets them survive.  It is a exciting to see in person what I’ve only seen in pictures.  Even though still in this pressurized compartment miles above, it still is fascinating.  

And how to cope with the time changes.  Our wheels left the ground at anchorage at 1:35 pm and will be in this aluminum time travel machine for approximately 11 hours arriving Frankfurt shortly after 10 in the morning.  Where does the night and my sleep time go?

But excited to see Günter and have him show us about.  Last fall I remember riding with him, listening to his stories of grandeur about his home.  Now I get to see them and reconnect with his adventures.

Frankfurt or more precisely Aschaffenburg and great more to come .

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