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Europe Trip '02, Part 1


The day after Christmas 2002, I took my sister on a 4 city trip to Europe in an attempt to convince her to spend a semester abroad. It's shocking to anyone who knows me now, but I didn't really travel much before I got out of school. It's pretty much my only regret. In hindsight, I should have seen the world and ditched town every chance I could. I've been making up for lost time ever since. That was motivation number one.

At the time, there were some big upheavals happening at the company where I worked. There were layoffs and reorganizations and no job was secure. In May, we were told that they would let us know whether we would be laid off by the day after Columbus Day, 5 month away. We were also told how much money we would receive if we were to be let go. The only way I could deal with the uncertainty was to consider what I would have done if I got that severance. There was no question. I would have traveled. I mentally planned out 3 months wandering around Western Europe. I hadn't been to Europe since my high school Spanish trip almost a decade before.

As the day approached, it was all I could think about. Every time a user did something stupid or I had to deal with dumb software or I sat through a useless meeting, it popped in my mind. Looking back, that was really when I lost my commitment to that job. When I was told that I would be keeping my job, I resented it for taking my trip away. I resented being put in a position where I was hoping to get the ax. The weekend before we were told, I decided to take matters into my own hands and I booked this trip.

The trip took us to Lisbon, Barcelona, Paris and Madrid. While there, I tasted port for the first time, practiced my Spanish, fell in love with Paris and ate extremely well. I'm digging through my notebooks and photos from the trip. I'll post about it as I track them down.

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