We have returned to North America and are currently in Quebec City, Canada (although spending over six hours sitting on a plane was our least favorite activity). Somehow, this does seem a bit strange; not being on the European continent any longer. Last October's start of this adventure seems so far away now. We have visited 16 cities (with two more to go) within ten different countries. The range of cultures experienced has been thoroughly enlightening and the friendliness of the folks we have met has been mind boggling. And yet, there has been a certain homogeneous quality to every place we have visited. While we have attempted to learn a few words of the language of each country, we really never had a problem communicating. The English language was ubiquitous. Of course, corporations with which we were familiar throughout America have infiltrated the world: Nike, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Footlocker, T.J. Maxx (although in Europe it is called T.K. Maxx), H&M, etc were everywhere. Still, we would not have missed this for anything. When we sold our house in Massachusetts and decided to travel, instead of rushing to purchase a new house in another part of America, was the "...just right..." decision for us. In approximately five weeks time, this one year adventure will be over and we will travel around the United States visiting our children and grandchildren. And then..."the good Lord willing, the creeks don't rise, and the roads are plowed..." out we go again. Next stop?...weeelllll... You will just have to wait to find out.
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Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.