Europe – the land of the carbs.
Dusseldorf surprised me with an interesting challenge, my first brewsky. This decision didn’t have Earth resting on my shoulders, but maybe Pluto. Alcohols runs in my family, not away from us but right to our mouths. When the opportunity arose, I reminded myself that it isn’t our culture, past, family, or anything else that chooses to defines us, we do.
Vlog for Dusseldorf:
Love has no barriers. A simple thought that packs a powerful message. Love shouldn’t have any limits. Race, creed, sexual orientation, religion, political disposition – as a Christian I’m not called to change anyone. God changes hearts. I’m called to love you and break down the barriers culture and society has set between us.
Vlog for Rotterdam:
Valuing ourselves is sometimes hard to do. Life, people, or circumstances will smack us around and make us feel like we should be eating dirt for breakfast. No matter what anyone says, no matter the circumstances, our value is found in being God’s children. God gives us our value and that can never be taken away from us. Don’t ever think down upon yourself because it breaks God’s heart. You are a masterpiece.
Vlog for Amsterdam:
Vlog for The Hague:
In Cologne there were two different situations where the locals inserted themselves into the situation in an attempt to care for us. The first being when Jake was acting like an idiot on an escalator and a man asked him if he was okay. The second, was when Jason threw a chapstick at me and a man approached us and stood in between me and Jason and asked if I was okay. The man thought that Jason was attacking me and continued to ask Jason if he had any beef. Which was an incredibly kind gesture and took a lot to convince him that I actually knew Jason. That man didn’t have to do that, he didn’t have to step in, but he did. We are all too passive these days when it comes to stepping in to do the right thing. We’d rather pull out our phones to document it rather than be part of the solution. Stand up for what is right despite the environment you’re in.
Vlog for Cologne:
I learned a LOT from Stuttgart. But I’d like to highlight the warm welcome we received from my cousin and his family. He met us at the train station with three beers in his pocket, a smile, and a “Welcome to my city.” Ryan (my cousin) and his family brought us in as their own. They cooked us meals, were interested in our lives, and made their home feel like our home too. What would it look like to invite people into our lives and make them feel at home with Christ’s family? What would it take to think ahead and be intentional about caring for others to make them feel accepted and wanted?
Vlog for Stuttgart:
Black Forest, Germany:
While in Black Forest, Germany we went into a small Cuckoo Clock store. In that store we met a girl from Victorville, California that went to high school with Jason. If that doesn’t show you how small the world is, I don’t know what will.
Vlog for Black Forest:
Stuttgart, Germany (At the waterpark):
Do things that scare you. Do things out of your comfort zone. As I approached the 90ft high dive and continued to climb. Step after step. After step. After step. The closer I got to the top the more I realized how stupid I was. But there’s something about breaking down mental barriers. You will forever be stagnant if you don’t do things that scare you. Advice we all know, but rarely do.
Vlog for waterpark:
Dachau Concentration Camp:
Someone will always have it worst. That’s not to disregard your own issues and problems in life – but be grateful about where you’re at and what you do have.
Vlog for Concentration Camp:
In Germany, beer is their water.
Vlog for Munich:
Crepes are good, but too small.
Vlog for France:
We took a bus from Konstanz into Switzerland. Ended up having to walk 5 miles with our luggage to a hostel. Take the long way home; with good company – it’s worth it.
Vlog for Konstanz:
Switzerland had a strong socialist influence, which was my first experience with an economy that wasn’t completely capitalist. Everything was insanely, ridiculously, colossally expensive – but it appeared as though everyone could afford it. Streets were clean, facilities were well kept, the city was green and beautiful. This was more economically revealing to me than it was emotionally. Well – I did jump in between two train carts to try and make it to Jake and Jason on the other side. That was scary. But, other than that…
Vlog for Zurich:
Lake Como, Italy:
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON I LEARNED. This lesson was so crucial to me because it spoke into my life. A lot of these lessons I observed and try to live out of course, but this has been a personal struggle of mine for YEARS and still continues to give me issues. I am without a doubt a masochist. Masochist being defined as, “A person who enjoys an activity that appears to be painful or tedious.” I’m not sure whether I enjoy things that involve suffering or I have a tendency to think that I deserve to suffer (in either case both are probably true) but I had a miniature revelation at Lake Como. We rented a boat to take out onto Lake Como. If you’ve never seen Lake Como before, it’s stunning. Easily the most beautiful place I have ever been to. The scenery, the gelato, the Villas, it had it all. As I was sitting at the front of the boat taking in the view, with the perfect breeze caressing my face it dawned on me that – maybe, we’re not meant to suffer? Maybe life has more to offer than trying to put myself through excruciating tasks. Maybe, it’s okay to be happy? Life isn’t meant to be one big suffering. See, I’ve always thought since we’ve sinned we deserve bad things. The Bible tells us that. We deserve to go to hell, the penalty of sin is death. However, I don’t take joy in the most important part of my faith. Jesus died on the cross so I don’t have to suffocate from sin’s grip. His grace is abundant and overwhelming and as I extend that grace out to others, I never apply grace to myself. They say being hard on yourself is a characteristic for success, but I rip myself to pieces. If you’re not first you’re last; and if you’re not trying your hardest 110% of the time why are you even trying at all? There’s no rest, there’s no time for joy, and there’s no self-love because there’s always another goal to chase. Lake Como, you taught me that there is more to life than being a masochist.
Vlog for Lake Como:
A fantastic memory I have of Genova was Jason, Jake, and I started high fiving people that were going on runs. From my experience, Europe doesn’t have those little interactions that America does. We’ll say hi when we walk passed each other or look each other in the eyes when we cross paths. Europe doesn’t do that; it was awesome to see people’s faces light up as we extended a friendly encouragement to them. Once one of us gave a high five they knew two more were coming. Little things.
Vlog for Genova:
Don’t take the trains or the people officiating the train will try to rob you if you’re foreign.
Vlog for Paris:
What I Learned From Editing All Of The Videos
It doesn’t matter if you’re making content for 1 viewer or 1 million viewers; make content that you can be proud of. Don’t make content for your viewers make it for yourself. If you want something to be incredible YOU have to want it. You can’t do it for anyone else. Produce content that you can walk away from satisfied knowing that you gave it your best effort.