So Long!

Schengen Zone Banishment


I’ve been delinquent in my duties to keep the “Year in Vorarlberg” blog up to date. Principally, because I’m not in Vorarlberg and other responsibilities have hijacked my focus and attentions elsewhere.  I’ve been banished from the Schengen Zone.  We saw this coming, we tried to prevent it…and here I am…..exiled from Austria for the next 90 days!  (Schengen Zone Banishment)

Back in Feldkirch

My very clever bride managed to stay behind during my banishment to enjoy maximizing her season ski pass, visiting friends, concerts, walking the trails and mountains and even flying off to Barcelona for a few days of sunshine.   Her justification to staying back was to ‘baby sit the cats’ – I married a smart girl!

A month and a half into my three month, mandatory departure, I’m still smarting from the idiocy of it all….at least in my opinion. While I do understand that common standards, which really means standards of the least (lowest) common denominator, must be adopted when fusing a unified policy for 26 nations, I do not understand why reasonable exceptions are not reasonably available.

None-the-less, as I am not indigent, not a refugee, not fleeing economic privations, not willing to skirt the law I must therefore not spend my hard earned capital visiting anyone of the 26 nations signed on to the agreement. Fortunately, only a month and a half remain and my 90 days out of any 180 days clock begins anew. Yes, one can actually find clocks and matrices and calculators on line to help the dejected traveler determine exactly what days he must depart and when he can reenter. There are legions of web-pages dedicated to clarifying the Schengen vs EC, vs EU travel and visa rules, how to avoid problems, how to work the system, etc. I guess it’s a common problem.

Family Exigencies

banishment from the Schengen Zone

The time spent out of the ‘Year in Vorarlberg’, I hope, has been fruitful.

Often we never realize what impact we have on others by our seemingly inconsequential acts, only to find out much later it was significantly meaningful to others. Other times, you hope your actions are helpful and meaningful, but must put trust in providence that it is so. This is such a time.

No life is free of problems; I suspect the true definition of life somehow embeds the term ‘problematic’, or painful or sadness. The absence of emotional chaos is only possible if you are a complete ego maniacally, selfish brute.   Even when one’s life is relatively free from the angst of living, inevitably family members are less fortunate and they introduce their challenged lives into yours.

True character is defined by how one responds to these moments. It’s easiest to ‘kick the can down the road’ and hope others solves the other’s dilemmas. Sometimes that’s even desirable. But in reality, other’s dilemmas are really also our own. Sooner or later we all rest on our deathbeds and will reflect what difference we made by being here, and are shamed by what we find in the deepest recesses of our souls, or are comforted that we did what we could, and by providence, it was enough.

The real challenge, other than finding the courage to act fully, is to know when you’ve fully acted. Anything beyond that is like urinating in the frosty wind. It’ll splatter back and you’ll feel warm for a few seconds, but then it gets cold, nasty and the self disgust  may prevent you from ever acting again.

Hopefully providence lets you know before you cross that threshold.

Banishment ‘filler’ experiences

So other than ‘acting’, the past month has been filled with the abundance of outdoor Alaskan experiences. While my Girl has been skiing in the Alps, I’ve Cross-country skied and snowmobiled on our frozen lake. (called ‘snowmachines’ or ‘sleds’ here). Hundreds and hundreds of miles of snowmachine and dog sled trails surround the lake; many of which are routinely groomed. It’s a most sublime feeling floating and hurtling through deeply powdered snow on a 550cc rocket sled while the brilliant sun illuminates this most unique Alaskan countryside. The start of both the Iron Dog and Iditarod races, local favorites, are fun filled days of high-speed machines and dogs and fanfare of all colors and sounds.

The cold, brisk and bright Alaskan winter days fire the imagination and one’s outdoor spirit. The long, dark chilly nights offer plenty of space and solitude for introspection and deep dreams.   Right now my dreams bring my back to my woman, my cats and our Year in Vorarlberg, in 45 more days.

Banishment could be worse




Interesting Links




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