I started the Quams’ Euro adventure blog the day our family took a one way flight to a foreign country. It is now almost three years later and I am taking a one way flight again, but now it is to home.
As I scroll through the blog, it reminds me of watching the highlight video at the end of an Olympics broadcast. Most of the highlights are of great triumph with a few moments of struggle mixed in.
I try to think about what my highlight video will include and how my highlight video going forward will be different because of this experience.
I hope to remember how close the four of us became. When you take away all of your family, friends and comforts of home you become very dependent on each other. In those first months, I really struggled with no stores being open on Sunday. I was used to running countless errands. But over time I began to look forward to “Swiss Sundays”. Lots of skiing, cooking and hiking happened on those days. I hope to remember the girls at 13 years and 16 years old sitting in the same seat as they rode the bus to school. I am sure that my highlight video will include Jess, Teddy and I walking around Lake Geneva and us spending time together in Verbier.
The traveling we were able to do was a gift of a lifetime. Bike tours in every city, hang gliding with Bernie the Bird Man in Interlaken and sledding home from Chez Danny some of the best and craziest times. I have vowed to become a tourist in my home country and experience all every city has to offer.
All of the visitors we had were a major part of our experience. Every friend and family member brought a little piece of home and we were able to share some of what we had learned and experienced. Spending quality time with friends and family filled up my heart and they always made us feel special and remembered. When we left for Switzerland our neighbors gave us a picture that said “Distance Means so little, When Friends mean so much”. It really became true in so many ways. I have vowed to travel with family and friends as much as possible to get that quality time together that deepens relationships.
The experience confirms my belief that people at the core are very similar. They care about their family, their community and their ability to live a safe and fulfilling life. When we are able to understand and appreciate the differences we have it enriches our lives. McKenna’s and Sadie’s classmates shared freely with us their family traditions and what made their home countries special. My colleagues at work did the same and we were fortunate to make friends with the Brits, the Aussies, the Canadians, and the Dutchies. Forever grateful to meet people from all over the world and committed to always championing diversity and inclusion.
So as it comes to an end, I am deeply grateful for the experience we had as a family as well as all we each gained as individuals. I am proud of the triumphs and even more proud of the times we persevered. Hard to believe Quams Euro Adventure is done…and that’s a wrap.