One of the beauties of being a homeschool family is the wonderful new interests our child has. In recent weeks, it’s been Europe. A month or so ago, my wife brought home a Rick Steves DVD on Spain. In it, Steves does a program on the Camino de Santiago, or the Way of St. James, a walk pilgrims have been making across northern Spain since before the Middle Ages.
Sometime ago, I read Along the Way, a book co-authored by Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez that grew out of a movie (The Way) they did together in which the father (Sheen) walks the Camino after his son (Estevez) dies in France. After reading the book and seeing the Sheen-Estevez movie, I decided that my son and I should walk the Camino together after he turns 19 (he was 9 at the time). My son is now 11, and my wife decided to bring home that DVD to give us an idea of what the trip involves.
Since then, nearly every DVD on Rick Steves’ Europe series has entered our house, which has given us all a new look at Europe and has us thinking of how we can possibly go across the pond in two years or so. His guidebooks fill our shelf of library checkouts. I’m about halfway through Steves’ book Travel as a Political Act, a fascinating look at the differences and similarities of Europe and the United States.
I am the only member of our family who has been to Europe (unless you count the time my wife sat in a plane on the tarmac at the Amsterdam airport en route to Amman, Jordan, from JFK. I lived two years in Germany during my days in Uncle Sam’s Army in the late 1970s. During that time, I traveled to Italy, Austria, France, Spain and the Netherlands as well as spending time traveling around Germany to such places at Munich, Rothenberg, Nuremberg, Garmisch, the Rhein River. Then in 1993, my brother and I went to Switzerland for three weeks. We stayed with a cousin and her husband.
My son would like to go to Scandinavia. Part of that is growing out of the movie Frozen. Part of it, I think, is growing out of the pure beauty of fjords.
Now the only thing holding us back (besides expired passports) is a lack of funds. We need to start saving so we can make it happen. I’m also trying to figure out a way to make money by traveling to Europe. Maybe write a travelogue for someone willing to pay for it.