Just over two months ago I hopped onto an airplane, flew across the world, and landed in Belgium. It was my first European adventure; the reward of the fruits of my labor. If you’ve ever travelled abroad you know it’s not exactly inexpensive. It’s also not always comfortable, convenient, or intuitive by any means…. but it is incredibly gratifying.

I would like to share with you a reminiscence of the trip I took with the person I travelled with.  Each of these photos make are in collage form because they are direct pages from a book I made as a present. I was so jet-lagged when I got home from our 12 day adventure that I didn’t even have time to process what the heck I had just discovered until I sat down to make this book. It struck me that you hear things about a new place, but you don’t really understand it until you experience it yourself.

Europe may have been the most beautiful experience I have ever had. I could really see it when I got home and rediscovered it through all the photos. We couldn’t have gone at a more beautiful time. It was the most perfect fall I’ve ever had! Everywhere we went the colors were so vibrant and consuming. As a photographer I’m most inspired by color and everywhere I turned was something else I needed to photograph.

One thing I didn’t expect was just how different it felt to be in Europe. I knew the language would be foreign, the behaviors and customs of the people, but I guess I assumed- or at least hadn’t thought differently- that it would feel like being in America. It wasn’t at all! It was so old. Truly the old world. The trees were all SO tall and magnificent. The bridges, the roads, the paths, the parks! All of them were so historic- they were tried and true. Our trip to the zoo especially made me feel like I was just in some sort of secret beautiful garden!

If we ever go back there are definitely things I would want to do differently. I would pack warmer clothes! It was freezing most of the time- even though it looks warm and sun-kissed, I had to wear my jacket and scarf and even pick up a hat and extra gloves and I was still shivering as we meandered the cities. I would also map it out a little differently and go to more places! This is contrary to what I heard before we went. We were given a lot of advice to just go and see where we would end up- but honestly if just the few places we did go were this stunning and beautiful, I can’t imagine how much more is there that we may never see.

It truly was an amazing experience and I have over 1,000 photos from this trip so really this is a very small taste of it all. I’m very excited to share this with you though! These spreads cover our trip chronologically which took us from Brussels where we staying, with a day trip to Ghenty where we discovered canals, castles, and abbey gardens. Midway we flew to Berlin where we submerged ourselves in German history, discovered the Berlin zoological gardens, and met my beautiful European cousins!

I hope part of you feels like you were there with us after reading this and looking at these photos. 🙂

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