The September She-nanigans was a two week road trip with two of my friends from Florida. Heather and I met years ago while working for the Tampa Bay Lightning/St Pete Times Forum (now Amalie Arena) and have been friends ever since. This trip wasn’t her first in Europe and a lot of the stops where places she has been before. In the two weeks she was visiting we visited Braunschweig, Harz Mountains (Brocken), Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Amsterdam, Zaanse Schans, Odense and Copenhagen. I shot her a few questions on her experiences of the trip to share with you.
What was the most surprising thing for you?
“I’ve been to Europe a few times, so know to expect the unexpected. That being the case, I can’t say I was really surprised by anything in particular. The dollar was stronger than it’s been on any other trip, so I was pleasantly “surprised” with that.
The weather also brought a lot of people out to enjoy the parks and outdoor cafes. It was a new experience to see that many people enjoying the last bit of summer. The freedom those people gave their dogs at the park was a bit of a surprise I guess. I knew Europeans weren’t as uptight about that, but in many occasions it was hard to tell who the dogs even belonged to. I was a bit jealous actually. Poor Outcast always having to be on his leash.”
What was your favorite Experience?
“This trip I was lucky enough to visit people I knew. It really gave me a sense of belonging in a land far, far away. Being able to experience each location like a bit of a local and a bit of a tourist made it very special. Drinking beer along the Berlin Wall talking about old High School memories or cruising down the autobahn chatting about The Tampa Bay Lightning, I really felt like I belonged for the first time.
It also probably helped that we weren’t in a rush or full of expectations. I was just being me with some friends in an amazing environment. One of which was at the top of a witch mountain. Again, oddly enough it felt like we were meant to be there. Such a struggle, topped with beauty and a magical trip to the bottom. And to think … I was regretting the choice to “HIKE A MOUNTAIN” 10 minutes up the trail. Glad we didn’t turn back.”
Did the trip change you?
“YES, it’s changed my outlook on life completely. I know that sounds pretty lofty, but it’s 100% true. I’m a person that like to plan, and I mean PLAN! Plan my breakfast, plan my day, week, life… you name it. I’m also not easy to please. Those two things put together are a recipe for disappointment. After planning several major trips with too much to do in too little time, I decided to go with the flow with this one. It was an eye opening experience! Sitting in parks drinking beers, aimlessly strolling through narrow winding streets and eating cool looking pastries for the heck of it made this trip one of the best. It was easy to see how my go-go-go lifestyle had clouded my perspective of what is actually important in life. Since returning from this trip, I’ve made a mental shift to slow down and enjoy life. I’ve also stopped over analyzing hypothetical situations and have really learned to let life happen. It’s been an incredible change for the better.”