Q: One of the reviewers of your European experience story commented that the trip focused mostly on The Netherlands, the other parts of the itinerary seeming rushed. What was your intention, and were you happy with how the trip worked out?
A: Yes, that's very true. There were so many places that I wanted to share with Kelly ... We couldn't fit in half of the places I wanted to include on the itinerary, but I felt it important that Kelly was able to experience the culture of at least one of the areas we visited, and not make it the typical tourist trip of visiting a different country every day.
So, the trip turned out to be an in-depth look at Holland, and just an introduction to some of the other countries, such as Germany, Switzerland, France and England. There were several reasons why we began with The Netherlands, and focused on it for a week or so.
First, I anticipated that Kelly would be jet-lagged, as she hadn't traveld internationally before ... and I wanted to give her time to acclimatize, and not miss the first part of the trip. Second, my friend Henk is in Holland, and he and his partner Zöe had invited us to visit, and I knew they wanted to a sex club - which would further broaden Kelly's horizons. (laughing) But I certainly didn't know that Henk would 'come out' as a cross-dresser; that added even more sexual perspective. And, I enjoy going to the saunas in The Netherlands to demonstrate the openness and tolerance of the Dutch people, and further explore one aspect of the culture.
(chuckling) Plus, I love Amsterdam, and it was a good first introduction to Europe for Kelly - with the art, music, and food, not to mention the sex shops, and partaking of a little of the easily available 'smokes' (which was probably something that I wanted to do, more than Kelly). I think that part of the trip worked out great, and gave Kelly time to become comfortable in a new culture.
But the reviewer was correct: By taking a week in The Netherlands, it compressed the rest of the trip (mainly four other countries) into the remaining two weeks. And it did seem rushed. Fortunately, my goals for the second two weeks were more related to activities than seeing the sights. We went to the Oktoberfest (and more saunas) in Munich, skied and sailed in Switzerland, and visited the dominatrix in London.
Overall, I was quite pleased with the trip, and feel that Kelly got a good first exposure to European culture. Of course, I look forward to traveling more with her, both throughout Europe, and elsewhere in the world. So readers should stay tuned: We're going to have a lot more travel adventures and experiences!