“The journey not the arrival matters.” – T. S. Eliot
A wooden boat sits tethered in the fjord-like Bay of Kotor, near the town of Perast, Montenegro. On a crisp, spring afternoon, we took in this incredible vista from a nearby café, while imagining what adventures lay ahead.
Having ‘escaped’ winter by spending five wonderful, but scorching months in Asia last year, I must admit – it’s been a bit of a shock wintering in the Alps these past months. Fortunately, there are the visual elements that make sidewalk slips, shoveling and shivering so worthwhile: chalets peeking out from under snow blankets, Mother Nature wearing her finest maquillage, and graceful icicles about to rappel from rooftops. Here are more scenes from Oberammergau, Germany, and inspirational quotes attesting to the magic of winter.
What do you think of winter? Do you embrace it or long for balmier days? Can you share any tried and true activities, rituals or pilgrimages that help you bridge the cold impasse to spring?
Where in the World?
The town of Oberammergau is located about 90 km southwest of Munich. To get there by rail or by bus, research the Bayern or Regio Ticket (website in German, but you can use Google Translate). These special tickets start at €20/25 for one passenger, and cost €6 for each additional passenger. You can use them to travel via bus and train throughout much of the region, making them a better deal if you want to make a few stops in a day. You can purchase tickets online, via a ticket machine, or in person.
Are you looking for a guesthouse or hotel in Oberammergau? Before my parents moved there, Shawn and I spent two nights at the Gästehaus Hildegard (affiliate link). We thought the beds were comfortable, the owners were helpful and kind, and the breakfast was tasty. The guest house is centrally located in the town too, and it’s not far from the Tiroler Gasse bus stop. The train station is also only about 1 km away.
2012 was an outstanding year, and it’s been a great pleasure sharing our journeys with you and virtually traveling along on yours as well. Thank you for your insight and support!
It’s been my tradition for several years to send out an end-of-year travelogue to my friends and family. Since I count many of you as special friends, I wanted to share our greetings here as well. If you click on the image below, you’ll come to a .pdf file with many of our globetrotting happenings. Brace yourself — it was a jam-packed year for us! We have been very lucky to have had the experiences we’ve had and to have brushed shoulders with fantastic friends, old and new.
Many of you have likely made resolutions. I didn’t craft a traditional one this year, however, I’m now quite inspired to do so throughout the year, as a result of this wise quote from French-Cuban author, Anaïs Nin:
“I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.”
Wherever you are in the world, I wish you a splendid 2013, and again, I say thank you for a fantastic year.
Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand. -Henry David Thoreau
With craggy mountain peaks and evergreens on the hillsides dressed in a confectioner’s sugar-like snow to command one’s attention, it is easy to miss the smaller details of winter in the alpine village of Oberammergau, Germany. Before we embarked on errands in the city center of the frescoed town the other day, I was struck by the loveliness of the delicate designs Mother Nature had etched on our windows in frost.
To inspire you, I’ve included a collage of pictures of girls and young women that I have met during my travels from Cambodia to South Africa.
The world is not interested in what we do for a living. What they are interested in is what we have to offer freely – hope, strength, love and the power to make a difference!
How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.
We must become the change we want to see in the world.
I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.
Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.
It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
-Robert F. Kennedy
Go out into the world and do good until there is too much good in the world.
-Larry H. Miller
To him who is determined it remains only to act.
We have it in our power to change the world over.
I feel that the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.
-Dr. Jonas Salk
Your thoughts, words and deeds are painting the world around you.
-Jewel Diamond Taylor
It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can.
We can do no great things – only small things with great love.
The mind has exactly the same power as the hands: not merely to grasp the world, but to change it.
If it is to be, it is up to me.
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.
What girls or young women have inspired you close to your home or during your travels? Please also share your ideas for making the world a better place!
By night, Hoi An, Vietnam is transformed into a dazzling paradise glimmering with brilliant silk lanterns, paper luminaries, and warm candlelight. With the sky cloaked in darkness, we strolled by the Thu Bon River and watched as the colorful luminaries danced on the water. Vendors of all ages sold them along the water’s edge to visitors who passed by to admire the night’s splendor.