I look back and can’t believe all the things I have done, and I look at my kite and think about all the amazing sights it has seen, too. Over the two months my kite was held closer than sometimes even my passport—my only true and significant souvenir, I would not leave it unguarded. It’s my kite, after all. Something that I found some people didn’t know was that each time I flew my kite, not only would I take a picture of it, but I would also write on the kite the date and the location in which I flew it. That way I’ll always remember what sky it touched.
To get the ball rolling, I gave it a Bon Voyage Flight in Onalaska, Wisconsin, on top of a very pretty bluff.
The first European flight was in Lübeck, Germany, a flight that ended up being very difficult, but thanks to some camera-savvy friends, we got a good shot.
Next was a flight in the beautiful island of Wyk auf Föhr in Germany. I was so very happy to fly my kite there because, as it turns out, Wyk auf Föhr was one of my favorite places in my entire journey (and is arguably the best flight I had).
Flight #4 was in Salzburg, Austria, a place that is so very close to my heart now that I’ve been there. It had been a dream of mine to see the original place of The Sound of Music, and I finally got to check that off the list. Of course I had to fly my kite there.
The fifth flight took place on one of the dangerous edges of the Cliffs of Moher. I compromised my safety for this beautiful shot, and it was worth it.
It took me a long time to find a place to fly my kite in London. Though beautiful, Green Park had a lot of trees, and everywhere else was crowded. After much searching, I found the perfect spot. I like to imagine that the Queen of England saw my kite flying that day and is a committed follower of my blog.
Ahh, one of the best shots of me flying my kite is the one I took in Paris. With travelers from Asia and a few six year olds from Paris cheering me on, I got the right shot.
La Rochelle, France was the next place I took my kite. I struggled a lot to control my anxiety in La Rochelle, the first place I was really alone, but it was beautiful nonetheless, and the people I met there (Davi, Julie, Penny and Roger).
I’ve never drank such amazing wine as what I drank in Aix-en-Provence. Also, I wanted so badly to see the lavender fields, and finally owning a picture I took of the fields is a wonderful thing.
Nîmes was a blessing, mostly because of Carol-Ann and Anthony. I can’t thank God enough for putting them in my life.
Avignon was a mess, but its weirdness was really fun to be around (well, for a few hours, anyway). I loved flying my kite there, even though my mom still yelled at me when I got home about where I flew it.
The twelfth flight (which, I just found reminds me of The Twelfth Night, which is a Shakespeare play, which reminds me of the two Shakespeare plays I saw in London that changed my life, which I forgot to mention when I wrote about London above, which has now caused me to write a very long run-on sentence riddled with which’s) was in Milan, Italy. How exciting it was to finally be in Italy! The people I met there, Sufred from India, the sisters from Vietnam, the unfortunate photographer from California…all gave me great memories.
Next, I flew my kite in my favorite place of the entire trip, Cinque Terre. This place was perfect for me, but not for my kite. It was so difficult to find a windy place! The windiest location was not the prettiest, unfortunately, but it had to do.
And finally, my celebration flight. Back in the Fifty Nifty, me and my friend Tami went to Riverside Park in good ol’ La Crosse, Wisconsin, and flew my kite for the last time. I originally wanted the picture to be by the La Crosse flight to be in front of the La Crosse Bridge, and we got one, but then I saw a giant American flag in the park. The picture was too darn hilarious and corny not to take.
What started as a fun idea about a fun, cheap souvenir became a metaphor for me and my journey. I went out (or up) into the unknown. Not knowing what would happen, unaware of the challenges that would come to me, and not expecting the incredible heights that I would reach, I went wherever the wind blew. Sometimes it led me to places I didn't want to be, and sometimes the were places that made me not want to be anywhere else. And without the powerful string of love and prayers (or hugs) I felt from the people who love me, and without God holding on to me at the end of it, I would have completely lost my way. I became a kite. And now I'm back home, which I love, but I'm ready to go up again.
So there it is. The last of my entries on this blog (probably, but don’t hold me too tightly to that statement). I filled my kite with places it flew in Europe. It is now officially retired, since it has been stuck in power lines before and I would be devastated if it happened now. It has a special place in my heart, and on my wall, for a long time.
My only problem is: now I’m kiteless. Here begins another journey—finding the right kite for me! :)
Peace, all of you; I can’t tell you how wonderful it has been to share this journey with you. Your support and comments and prayers have meant so much to me.
I love you all.
(P.S. Send me your email address or something if you want to get information on my new blog when I put it up. Or you can just keep watching for updates on my website, BrianSchroederMusic.com.)