All Play and No Work

Too Many Roses to Smell

The problem with Europe is that there are too many roses to smell.

“Slow and fast are the Yin and Yang of our travels. Oftentimes we have difficulty striking the right balance between the two. Move too fast and we risk burnout. Move too slow and we get antsy.”

That’s what we said during our first year of full-time travel. It’s just as true more than three years later, although in a bit of a different way.

We eventually got pretty good at finding a balance while traveling in the motor home. After that first year we seemed to develop a bit of a feel for how long we’d need to spend in each type of place. Sometimes that was three days. Other times it was a week.

We usually knew even before we arrived how long we’d want to spend at a destination. And how we’d split that time between sightseeing, work and chores.

Now that we’ve landed in Europe that old sense of balance has gone completely out the window. And there is one reason for that: there’s way too much to do here!!!!

In an old tongue-in-cheek post poking fun at our adopted home state of Texas (Why France is better than Texas) we noted that even though the state and the country are roughly the same geographic size, there is far more to keep a traveler occupied in France. We’re coming to the view that the same might be said for Europe as a whole when compared to the United States.

Don’t get us wrong. There is a ton to do in the U.S. too. We spent four full years exploring our home country and feel like we mostly only hit the highlights. But now that we’ve started traveling around Europe in earnest, it seems like it could easily take us four decades before we’ve reached the same point here.

That’s because every time we go out to do something we discover a dozen new things we didn’t plan on. And with only 24 hours in every day, we’re forced to blow past most of them not for a lack of interest but a lack of time. So we’re accumulating an impressive list of quaint towns, historic villages, interesting landscapes, castles, cuisines, markets and more that we’re deferring to some as yet unspecified “next time.” The list of things we want to do is growing far faster than the list of things we’ve done.

And we don’t say this by way of complaint. We really wouldn’t have it any other way. How sad it would be to have already visited all the world’s places and have none left to look forward to. It’s just that we’re a little overwhelmed by this wealth of riches.

We’ll eventually rediscover a balance. But I think when it comes to Europe, three to seven days just isn’t enough time in most locations. Not with all this great stuff always vying for our attention. And especially not if we have any hope of ever getting some actual work done.


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8 Comments on “All Play and No Work”

  1. digger666 May 28, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    Reblogged this on digger666.


  2. Wondering Celt May 28, 2014 at 10:57 am #

    So glad you are enjoying Europe! Although I am just wondering ( in a sort of existential way), if there is so much to do here does this imply (not by you, but by the sheer extent of the possibilities) that we Europeans have short attention spans?! Banish the thought!


    • Brian May 28, 2014 at 11:03 am #

      Perhaps, but my thinking is that it is due to a long, interesting history that has left its mark all over the continent.


  3. Animalcouriers May 28, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    Delighted to hear you are enjoying Europe so much and know what you mean about almost too many things to do at each location. We always say ‘next time’ too!


  4. Jason May 28, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

    How fortunate that we live at a time where ‘next time’ is a realistic option for so many. Put a plan in place, with commitment, and it will happen. The ease of travel, that has never before been so affordable, together with the flexibility afforded by todays communication makes possible, practical. Brian & Shannon, your lifestyle is living proof of that.

    For others of us, we can return home, plan the next return to wherever’s captured our imagination and work to make it happen…

    How lucky are we 🙂


  5. deannasallao May 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    this is a great post! thank you for sharing. 🙂


  6. emmapostcard May 29, 2014 at 8:37 am #

    I hate leaving things for ‘next time’ as I always think there are so many places to visit in the world, that I might never get chance to return where I’ve already been. On the plus side it does force me to prioritize the most interesting activities or sites.


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