People ask me since I’ve returned if this walk changed me:
Yes! Yes! Yes!
I feel I am stronger in many ways that I never knew before. I touched traits of myself that I have always had but did not fully realize. A sense of Peace is with me…I got to visit my ancestral homeland, the town of Zeerijp, where my family (the Zeeryp family in Traverse City, Michigan) came from.
Travel changes you…here are some of the things my journey taught me:
- I am strong, independent, and self-sufficient.
- I learned that when you travel you meet a wide variety of people
- I was blessed by many “acts of kindness” from strangers.
- The word “classy” has a new meaning for me after experiencing the sophisticated tastes and styles of Europe:
- Quality over Quantity
- Travel is inspiring and exposes you to many new things.
- Keep it clean, keep it simple.
- Even though you don’t always know what the next step will be…take it anyway.
- Always treat people with smiles and kindness.
- We are more alike than we are different. (I found like-minded souls on this journey)
- Your internal compass will always guide you—listen to and trust your own inner voice.
MY INTENTIONS BEFORE LEAVING
The spirit of Anne Frank (1929-1945) launched my walk in Amsterdam, at the train station on June 10th. Her words:
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God (universal love). Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.
I started this walk with the positive affirmation to be strong mentally, physically, and spiritually. I began with the intention to make a serious effort to manifest happiness, success and a peace of mind. I focused on living in the NOW with my life on my back for 40 days. I love feeling the earth beneath my feet and the wind on my face. (With some added sunshine and rain). Finding the simple joy of life… Yes.
This walk gave to me the awareness of a beautiful world in its natural state. I listen to the breeze through the trees and the songs of the birds in flight above me and the sound of my feet on the ground walking also.
Walking is my way of changing the world for the better. I hope to set an example, honoring myself by doing what I felt I believe in.
If I could sum up my journey in one word, it would be “cool,” my adventure of my lifetime. As my daughter said, my trip is the dream of every 24-year-old out there in the world. It was fun, exciting, and all worth the cost both physical and monetary.
WEATHER AND WALKING
During the summer the weather was not always perfect. In fact, I wrote about it at times. It rained almost every single day in the Netherlands and Belgium, often with thunder and lightning, with me as the lightning rod.
Because of the inclement weather I found myself sometimes not walking as much as I had originally planned.
There were days when I was walking, soaked and cold in the rain, and when lightning struck nearby I got on the train. When I arrived at my destination I kept faithful to my mission of walking 10 miles a day, or more by walking around and viewing the sites in my home for that night.
Walking below sea level in the Netherlands, I thought about the unrestrained temper of the North Zee and its connection to the land and the wonderful people of Holland. The incredible network of dams and innovative constructions hold back the forceful water, supplying strength to this land composed mostly of seas, canals, waterways, and rivers.
On my walk I listened to my heart and soul, I felt I was being led and guided by love and right action. I found beauty and love each day and it created in me a happy spirit.
I feel like I am harmonizing with life, that things are in perfect order. I am being my true self filled with emotions, yet in control.
When you write from the core of your own being, you become the author of each moment you live your life. I am the author of my own experience, as I now realize.
When I came back home to the United States I walked barefoot for 2 days to feel the earth beneath my feet.
When I got back home and drove my car, it felt like a tank.
THANK YOUS AND CLOSING
A very special thank you to all those friends and family who help make this possible in many ways.
By supporting my Plumfund you helped support my research on my new coloring book Part 1, The Flowers of Northern Europe. (I took hundreds of photographs to form the basis of my new art coloring book.) You will be getting an illustration (at some point) of a beautiful European flower.
Listen, I truly, loved all the people I met along the way. I felt such overwhelming kindness from many strangers, especially those who opened up their homes to me:
- The beautiful Dutch family in Haarlem, Netherlands.
- The kind, intelligent gentleman Hans from Bresken, Zeeland who so kindly gave me a sightseeing tour of the area and the history.
Please send me your address, so I can properly send you a Thank You note from the United States. A picture would be nice too.
Let me not forget “Sam” (Samantha) from England, an adventurous young lady who was simply lovely, and a happy spirit of fun. She was the perfect roommate during those numerous hostel stays.
And a very special Thanks to my new Paris friends Maevà
Jean-Marie, and his mother Marie, who opened their hearts and home to me too. Vous êtes tout simplement le meilleur!
Thanks especially for all the family support, my kind lovely husband Eric, who was a big part of helping me achieve my goal of walking from Amsterdam to Paris. Also, Yes! To Emerson, Iris, and our new son-in-law Sam.
All in all, everyone THANK YOU.
I am Blessed and Loved.
12092 McCourtney Road
Grass Valley, California 95949