Why This Blog?
I started Bringing Europe Home after drastically downsizing to my 700-square-foot accessory dwelling unit (ADU). I wanted to explore my evolution as I transitioned to a more minimal way of living — one that would allow me more freedom to slow travel Europe. By writing about my journey, I hoped to inspire others who want to simplify their lives and explore Europe.
Slow travel can be a life-changing journey of self-discovery as you take time to immerse yourself in another country and its culture. But I know all too well how life circumstances can derail your dreams of overseas travel. And that for some, a trip abroad may not be in the cards at this time.
My own journey to European travel came in fits and starts
I didn’t make my first trip to Europe until I was thirty. In my 20s, I wasn't into the idea of backpacking and roughing it. And as a struggling newbie in the competitive world of Los Angeles television and film production, I was too busy and too broke to travel.
In my thirties, I started my own production company. With more flexibility and financial stability, I traveled to Europe almost every year, sometimes on business, which always included an extra week or two for pleasure. Sometimes with a boyfriend and sometimes solo, like when I did a six-week, six-country trip by Eurail pass. In 2000 I joined a friend in Stockholm for three weeks and in 2001 I traveled with a friend through Italy.
After that, I didn't travel to Europe for 16 years! And it's not that I didn't want to. I moved to Portland where I started a full-time job with only two weeks of vacation, which were spent visiting my elderly mother in Illinois. Then just after I quit my job to go back to freelancing, the recession hit, and I struggled through tough financial years. By then, the older cats I had adopted were elderly and required my 24-hour kitty nursing skills. It wasn't until 2017, after my mother and my two cats had passed away the previous year and my financial picture brightened, that I was able to travel again.
Even if you can't travel overseas, you can still enjoy a European lifestyle
If work, finances, illness or obligations have prevented you from traveling abroad, take heart. That’s another reason why I wanted to write this blog. To let you know you don’t have to travel overseas to enjoy the benefits of slow travel, and there are ways to enjoy a more European lifestyle right where you are.
To me, a European lifestyle is a simpler way of life with more time and money to do what you love. In the last five years it’s meant shopping for fewer, but better-quality clothes and items for my home; downsizing to a smaller, more sustainable home; appreciating small-space design; and having a better work/life balance with more time for friends and family.
While we couldn’t travel overseas during the pandemic, it inspired me to find ways to create European experiences in my everyday life. You might enjoy a few of my posts on this subject:
You don’t have to travel far to enjoy slow travel
Slow travel means traveling mindfully with a greater awareness of the present moment and everything around you and within you. Instead of racing to see every tourist attraction, you slow down and take time to experience a place with all your senses. You’ll be rewarded with a deeper, more meaningful and more memorable experience. For more about this way of travel, read The Art of Slow Travel.
You don’t have to travel overseas to enjoy slow travel. Even a daytrip can be a rich and adventurous journey when you open your eyes to all that is around you.
I don’t know how long I'll be able to travel. None of us know what the future will bring. That is the mystery of life we all face. But as long as I can, I'm going to keep traveling, exploring new worlds, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures. It’s what feeds my soul and makes me feel alive. I hope you keep traveling too.