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Commuting to Europe (in 2 suitcases)

 
Welcome to the blogging debut of ‘commuting to Europe.’ It seems only logical to explain the name in the first of what is sure to be a long line of hysterical, informative and possibly controversial blog posts from a life spent trying to find an antidote to ‘graduate, work, marry, reproduce, retire’.
 
So, why commuting to Europe? For what has, in the blink of an eye, become the last decade, I have been living a double life. The laid back, cappuccino-sipping, gelato-eating, beach-loving life of a professional softball player in Europe; and the not so glamorous American life of a college grad with no real work experience living in her childhood room in her parents’ house. The only constant between these 2 vastly different lifestyles (except for me, of course) has been my 2 suitcases; 1,  your average rectangular stand up with wheels; the 2nd, a duffel-style sports equipment bag.
 
Airline baggage policies have come a long way in a decade (and not in a good way), but back in 2004, when I first set off to play softball in Italy, 2 checked bags, weighing in at a whopping 75 pounds apiece, was allowable on international flights for the low, low cost of $0.00. And so that’s what I brought. My equipment bag, and whatever clothes, shoes and ‘necessities’ I could fit into the ‘other’ bag.
 
When I was asked to come back and play a second season in 2005, my ‘commute’ officially began. Every year since then, I have packed my 2 suitcases every spring, boarded a flight and crossed the Atlantic to go to ‘work’ for the season. And when that season ends, I pack those same 2 suitcases (if they have survived the months and travels in between) and fly back to America.
 
Since my commuting began, I have walked on 4 continents; visited more than 10 countries; and learned 2 additional languages. I submit the stories from these adventures to you; for entertainment and, perhaps, inspiration.
 
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