Sitting in my office at home I am feeling both the summer heat and the ocean breeze. I am glad to be home after a three-week trip to Europe and England. It went fairly smoothly, the flights, the trains, the tours, the hotels, etc... Very few glitches. Portugal and Spain were countries that we had not been to before and the people were so friendly and easy to relate to. France was lovely; Nice, Cannes, Marseille, Lyon and of course the amazing Paris. So cosmopolitan and friendly. English was spoken everywhere, although we (I) tried my Spanish and French all the time.
I did have digestive problems due to new cuisines and eating late. In Spain they don't eat dinner until 9pm and the restaurants are open very late (due to the fact that the sun doesn't go down until 9:30pm). I got on a better digestive path in France and England. Every city that we stayed for more than a day we took the "Hop on, Hop off" bus tours, which we have done many times. Sharing cultural and political views in friendly environments was stimulating. One of the always-eye-opening cultural experiences we have enjoyed before in Europe is the variety and amount of world news. In the US we mostly hear about us and our country, but in Europe they have news from India, Asia, Africa, as well as Europe and the Americas. The sports coverage is extensive and we followed the women's soccer team through several matches. Attending the Yankees/Red Sox games in Olympic Stadium in London was so cool. We had British friends come with us and they had never followed baseball so it was fun explaining the game to them and by the end of the 7th inning they were fans.
I was humbled by the fact that the world goes on no matter what happens in the US. We did have a heat wave in Europe, which just felt like July in New York City, but was pretty rare for Europe in June.
All in all traveling opens the heart and mind to the common humanity we all share, the desire for food, shelter, love, safety and hope.