"How I ended up in The Desert...it's a long way from Canada"

Real Estate Agent with HK Lane Real Estate

continued from Sunday...

So off I was to LondonParee would have to wait because the student riots were in full swing.  As my flight on BOAC was getting ready to touch down at Heathrow, the pilot announced that the Soviets had just invaded Prague.  There was a USSR Exhibition in Earl's Court and pickets and mobs were everywhere.  I wasn't very political at twenty but suddenly I was aware of what was happening in the world and started developing opinions.  I was meeting interesting people, learning some cultural differences and completely immersed in the history of wherever I happened to be. 

I found it strange to see the Hammer and Sickle on car bumpers.  It was no less shocking than seeing a Swastika.  It was certainly not something one would see in America.  I went everywhere I had ever read about in British history.  Parliament, Big Ben, The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the parks, the bridges, the underground, Piccadilly and every conceivable church, cathedral, museum and then some.  I was a sponge and developed a love/hate relationship with London.  I had a little problem with the food...to me it was white, brown and bland.  Salads were hard to come by and other than fish and chips, I took a liking to Cornish Pasties.  I wasn't counting calories then.

I found a cheap ferry crossing and train trip to Copenhagen and though I hadn't thought about Scandanavia much, I was traveling as a free spirit and whenever a cheap ticket presented itself, that seemed to be the direction I was headed.  I did have an open return ticket home and this time I had $400, pretty much what I had sold my car for.

I stayed in youth hostels and met others like myself who were bumming through Europe on a shoestring...remember Europe on $5 A Day?  Hard to imagine today, but it was possible then.  In Copenhagen, I signed up with a couple of people to share travel expenses with George, the owner of a 1956 Mercedes. 

We went to Sweden, Norway and Finland.  On the ferry to Finland, we met a couple of friendly guys who told us to follow them when the ferry docked and they would direct us to a good campground.  They did...right up the Essa's house where his mother and sister insisted that we sleep inside the house.  They treated us like royal visitors and entertained us with stories, sightseeing and my first sauna.   

By the time we arrived in Hamburg, I was down to my last $10.  Thinking back on those times, I remember not being the least bit nervous or frightened of being left alone at the train station in this strange big city.  I looked up the main street and believed that in a city this size, there must be a job opportunity for me somewhere.  I dropped a Pfenning into the slot machine at the Hauptbahnhoff (train station) and left my backpack so I could cover the city unencumbered.  By the way, did I mention that I couldn't speak a word of German

to be continued...

Comments (4)

Nancy Williams
Coldwell Banker Homestead Group Select Professionals - Harrisburg, PA

Surely there's a book and an interesting film somewhere in this mix?

Oh to be fearless, young and beautiful, serendipitying one's way, always with that angel on the shoulder.

Oct 12, 2009 02:12 PM
Connie Kashkawol
HK Lane Real Estate - Palm Desert, CA

Thanks, Nancy.    Not sure about the beautiful part, but I was young and fearless once.  I shake my head in wonder sometimes. Fearlessness like that can only come from youth--I'd like to say that I do take a leap of faith on occasion but not like I did when I lived in total certainty that can only come from youth and naivete.     Reliving some of those times has been very good for my soul.  I'm remembering who I used to be and I miss her.  I might have to put a little spark back into my life.   Thanks, again, for indulging me and following my blog.

Oct 12, 2009 03:28 PM
Nancy Williams
Coldwell Banker Homestead Group Select Professionals - Harrisburg, PA

"..when I lived in total certainty that can only come from youth and naivete . . . ." 

This way of being does seem very attractive and exciting, doesn't it,  when contrasted with the "ennui" or just plain jadedness that can come from experience.  Til we've cost-benefited, made comparisons to things we've witnessed that didn't work or turned out to be a sham, visualized the considerable quanity of pitfalls that we can readily associate with almost any given venture, we can end up closing doors that haven't gotten a chance open yet!  We must keep that spark! (And judging by your Active Rain photo, I would say you have--it's a happy, open- to- the- next adventure picture.  (Did you remember to include a tiny asterisk and disclaimer to the effect of "services are all inclusive except for scrubbing floors or peeling onions)?

Thanks much for putting these adventures down for us--they evoke memories of similar times (but on a much less grand scale) for me. 

Oct 17, 2009 03:27 PM
Connie Kashkawol
HK Lane Real Estate - Palm Desert, CA

Nancy, so well put!  I do so  love listening to young people with their dreams, hopes and ideals for the future.  I work very hard to not let that "jadedness" get a foothold.  I think that is why I'm such a huge fan of "So You Think You Can Dance".  I get so moved by the fearlessness and passion that these kids possess that I'm right there with them--except I can't dance. 

As to the the disclaimer you suggested, I would have to say the same for you.  After reading your profile, it sounds like you give new meaning to "full service",  as well.  I must say that, I, too, go above and beyond but I haven't had the pleasure of dealing with septic issues.  You are my new hero and should I ever come across anyone who is relocating to your neighborhood, you are definitely on top of my referral list.

Thanks for hanging in there with me and staying tuned to the continuing saga.

Oct 18, 2009 08:37 AM