On our last night in Stockholm, which was also our last night of travel, I didn’t sleep much - or well, for that matter. I woke up to the sound of shouting and laughing somewhere off in the distance on the street below us. The bars had been closed for a couple of hours, so this was a rather unique crowd, out on their own in the quiet night. I listened carefully to see if I might be able to discern their words and as they came closer to us, I rolled onto my back with a smile. There were 4-5 of them and they were singing with everything they had (or from the top of their lungs!). I heard a slight giggle here and there as someone would gasp for a breath between words, but nothing beyond that, as they were so focused on belting out their lyrics with accuracy. Their melody was of no concern to anyone - including me - it was the song and moment that was of interest. It was all something like a dream. In fact, no one but me happened to hear it.
“Just a small town girl...
Living in a lonely world,
She took the midnight train going anywhere...”
They continued to sing as they walked on past our hotel windows and I faded back to sleep with this vision of traveling on a midnight train in my dreams.
It is so good to go. So hard to leave. And so good to come home refreshed and reminded of who we are and what is most important to us. It felt as though we could have stayed forever this trip. It seems as though we should be conquering and seeing more as we travel, yet every time we go, I feel as though there is so much more out there. We are smaller than we’ve ever been in a world that is larger than I could have ever imagined.
I want to continue to see, explore, and learn.
Luke and I watched the kids retrace our trip on the world map mural that covers our dining room wall before bed tonight. They added pushpins to mark the last month of our travels, alongside other places that we’ve journeyed to over the years. So many memories in those tiny little pins. So much distance has been covered. And we have been able to share so much - many experiences that have been beyond our wildest expectations - and even belief.
THAT, is what we are always working to create. A story based on dreams. A story for she, he, they - anyone - who believes in that which shouldn’t be. Hop a midnight train going anywhere... You know the chorus. You know what Journey says...
We'll look forward to seeing you on the next one!
Nordic Nirvana: You’ve more than done your part. Thank you for the surreal experience!
Beautiful World - We can hardly wait to see more of you again! You are amazing!
Reindeer Fur: Get out of line. There is no thank you for you. I still don’t like you. (And get your friend off my pant leg).