Backpack Benji

Pisa and Monaco.

I said goodbye to my friends and began to move back north to fly home. But I couldn’t resist stopping in Pisa, the important historical town in Tuscany, along the coast that leads to Florence, and home to the famous Piazza dei Miracoli with its leaning tower, cemetery, and cathedral.

Pisa makes it simple for travelers like me: they offer a convenient luggage check service at their train station for anyone wishing to store luggage. I traded my backpack for a paper ticket and began my walk through the city toward the monumental complex, passing through the old town center with its 12th century squares and alleyways and crossing over the Arno River, along which was an important communication route and naval base during medieval times.


With one more country in my sights, I collected my backpack and trained down to Monaco to see the famous Monte Carlo before heading back north to catch a plane toward home. I made it back to Ramstien where my hotel room looked down directly onto the tarmac.  I flew a chartered flight back into BWI and ended my first European adventure realizing that life is a journey….and not a destination!


In just over 100 days I had been to twenty-seven countries, taken seven flights, seven cruises, two ferries and logged over 20,000 miles. Life is about the chances we get and the choices we make.  Take advantage of your chances, make the right choices, and live the life you want.

For a full size rendering of this map, click on the expand icon in the lower right hand corner.