Needing home away from home

I arrived in Amsterdam last night after six days on the road in Vienna and Prague. I was supposed to spend a couple days in Berlin before arriving here; instead I spent just a couple hours in a suburban train station there waiting for a connection.

It’s funny how your priorities change. The “task-oriented-check-things-off-the-list” part of me, who organised this week, wanted to visit as many places as possible, post as many photos as is conceivable, and show you all, “Hey. I’m doing this.”

Screw her. She is overly independent, not as tough as she looks, and really not all that fun to hang out with. (She’s the unredeemed New Yorker part of me. The kind that would push her way through South Bronx streets with nary a raised eyebrow. She does come in useful sometimes, I must admit, but mustn’t allow her to rule my life.)

I chose to listen to the “warm-fuzzy-I-love-people” part of me instead, especially when I got deathly ill in Vienna, and my place of refuge was a hostel room shared by seven other girls, two of whom were friendly, but none of whom were family. Warm fuzzy chick me said, “Hey, sweetie. Let’s go to Amsterdam early.” She was right.

From the moment the train crossed over into the Netherlands (made obvious not only by the signs seen from my window, but also by the presence of a new Dutch train crew, including a girl so blonde I wanted to hand her a bouquet of tulips and pair of wooden clogs), I felt at home. I have family here: urban family, spiritual siblings, but very real family all the same.

My success metrics to check off the list today? Love people well. Engage in relationship. Be at peace.



1 Response to “Needing home away from home”

  1. 1 Jackie 25 March 2010 at 11:40

    I love this post! This is the Jen that I have always known and loved since you were my “baby sister’s firstborn child” and I first held you in my arms.

    The tough, urban, street savvy, fearless Jen has no doubt allowed you to have many experiences and adventures that wouldn’t have happened were she not a part of you. But the “I love people, and want to have a lovely, peaceful and fulfilling life” Jen is my favorite. I saw a lot of her when we had that day together at your parent’s house last August, and enjoyed it so much!

    Thanks again for sharing your trip as you make this incredible journey. Life is meant to be enjoyed…. Live it to the fullest.


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