I’ve just come back from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe with my son, Jay. Nope, he brought me on vacation. It was a wonderful gift, mother’s day, Christmas, birthday, all rolled together in a fantastic experience that we will both remember forever.

We toured Munich, Vienna, and Rome, mostly on foot. In addition to the fantastic cathedrals, castles, and ancient ruins, we saw a talented surfer in a city park in Munich and a performance of the Lippizan Stallions at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.

The Spanish Riding School was the main reason for the trip. This has long been on my bucket list and it did not disappoint. I have to admit that I have not been a rider for many years now, although it once was my whole world. When we were walking to the magnificent riding hall where the performance was to be held, my emotions were intense. I cried. A lot.

These moments are the things that make life worth living. You don’t have to go on a trip to Europe or even do the things on your bucket list to experience intense emotions. Read a book. That is what we do as authors. We try to touch those soft spots, the places that have been carefully hidden away as if they don’t matter anymore.

Photo by Jay Schlie