The treasures of travel are often invisible to others

This time, there was the running joke: “Wer ist gestorben?”  (Who died?)

Or the Vine that spawned many rounds of “Oooh, you touched my tra-la-la.”   (Somehow this is much funnier and slightly less off-putting when being bantered about by kids who don’t share a common first language.)

Then there was the poor gas station attendant who unwittingly became the source of laughter so all consuming we almost had to pull the car to the side of the road in order to avoid driving off it.  (The joke is unexplainable, but included winking – or possibly an eye tic – a mistaken ethnic identity and travel fatigue.)

There was the salad dressing comment (in German) that had me in gales of laughter wiping my eyes and my (also laughing but not understanding) kids demanding to know what was so funny.

These are the hidden gems of travel.  I will of course write a couple of posts in the days to come about the obvious gems of our most recent trip- visiting Checkpoint Charlie & the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, for example – but the things we will all remember and reference for years to come?  Definitely the smaller, more personal, often funny moments.   This is particularly true when it comes to trips we take with my friend Tina and her son Linus, who is one year older than Ben.  The language barrier was never really a barrier over the years, because kids are genius at surmounting it and ours have been creating their own unique barrier-less memories since they were toddlers.

On the flight to Germany two weeks ago, my kids were recounting highlights of other vacations with Tina & Linus, which included a song about “Mon Chi Chi” and and rather gruesome version of “Rock a Bye Baby”.   They can tell you exactly where we were and what was going on in those instances, whether we were in Ireland or Hannover Germany or somewhere in southern Spain.

Funny, seemingly insignificant moments that trigger a floodgate of memories about a certain time and place.

As the commercial says, “Priceless”.

2006 in Spain

2014 in Germany

About Amy

Amy Milstein was born and raised on a farm in Indiana, but after 20+ years considers herself a full-fledged New Yorker. She is married with two kids, who do not go to school but are instead life learners. This means they learn by living in the world (real life ) instead of hearing about it and simulating it in a classroom. With her family, Amy loves to travel, read, watch movies, write, sew, knit - the list is endless.
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