We took our Christmas tree down on January 12 this year. Normally that would have felt like an eternity beyond Christmas and the New Year, but in Poland I’ve been told its not uncommon for Christmas trees to be left up until February and sure enough, our neighbors still turn their outside holiday lights on every night and I’ve glimpsed a few trees through lighted window. Night comes early here. We’re as far north as the southern part of the Hudson Bay in Canada. In December the sun set well before 4pm and it was dark in the morning until 0900. I think Poles must leave their holiday decor up to brighten this otherwise dark, damp, cold time of year. Its cozy. I dig it. But also, Christmas time in Poland was magical, so I really can’t blame anyone for wanting it to linger.
Anyway, I didn’t take our tree down later than what would be usual to fit in with the neighbors. I packed it up late because we set off two days after Christmas on a truly epic Euro road trip and didn’t return until January was already well underway. Two days after Christmas is a really depressing time to fire your Christmas tree. Besides, who has time for such things when you’re busy playing with new Christmas toys and packing for the trip of a lifetime? Not me. So we let it live on and came home two weeks later to find nary a needle had fallen in our tree’s willingness to prove itself worthy of a February departure. Polish evergreen gets my five-star review. Despite the tree’s best effort, we took it down. I was eager to move on with the year and put the hustle and bustle of the pre-during-post holiday season behind us. In 2020 I’m looking forward to a more restful* and less chaotic** year at home, dotted with travel and welcoming visitors.
We started our year off with a huge dose of travel. Enough to last a lifetime, really. If it weren’t for wanderlust. Upon return, a friend asked if there’s any part of Europe that we haven’t touched. Of course there is! And we can’t wait to go there. We are for sure taking full advantage of our European home base and have plans in the works to continue on our great Euro adventure (beyond the every day adventure of life in Poland) this coming year. We took off two days after Christmas and survived two weeks on the road with our one and three-year old boys. Are we insane? Maybe. But the fun kind at least. Despite the fact that I spent a good portion of a day last week washing vomit and peanut butter out of car seats, I’d do it again.
One logistical aspect of this trip that I think made it doable is that, while we were on the road a lot, the stretches between places were short. Minus the initial 8 hour drive to Amsterdam and the final day 6 hour drive home, the distances between our other destinations were only about 3-4 hours. I’d say one of the only drawbacks to a road trip through Europe, is that you cannot see it all. There is just so much to see in in Europe. Layers of history, cultural centers, battlefields, legendary food and drink locales (must eat Gouda in Gouda! Must drink Bordeaux in Bordeaux!) and places you’re passing that you’ve definitely heard of, so (if you’re like me) it might kill you to not be able to stop at every single one. But, if you keep your eye on the fact that there are a dozen other destinations that you’ve chosen to visit for good reason, you’ll be fine.
So, do you want to know where we went? There are a couple spoilers in here, but I’ll be sharing more here in the next few weeks. If you’re on Instagram, you might have already been following along as I’ve shared 14 days of discovery at each destination @exploremore.co Go check it out! I can’t wait to bring the rest of you on this adventure and share more details about our journey. We saw and learned so much. This world never ceases to amaze me. Happy new (ish) year, thanks for exploring with me in 2019. Excited and happy to have you following on our life’s adventures in 2020.
*as restful as mothering two small boys can be
**stable, predictable-ish, residing in one physical address except when traveling.