Cassandra Dias is a Santa Barbara born artisan, now based in El Segundo, CA, who specializes in crocheted and handmade goods for habit and home. In 2011, she founded her own business, Oh Leander. You can also see more of her husband Anthony’s photos here.
Memories of Europe
Words by Cassandra Dias, photos by Anthony Dias
I was 23 years old, and Anthony and I had been dating for only a couple months before he suggested I go with him on his annual visit to Europe. It was to be my first trip across the ocean, and I was terrified. I was scared of the flight, scared of getting lost, scared of being without my family – but I had him, and that, in the end, is what gave me the courage to go along.
We stayed in Rome for the first couple days, then took a train through the countryside, to Paris. I could never have anticipated just how beautiful those cities were going to be – how each new sight, smell, and sound inspired awe. I found an immense appreciation for beholding architecture and sculpture that was so old and so different from anything we had back home, and was often overwhelmed with gratefulness that I was able to be there to get to bear witness to them.
Submersing ourselves in those cultures, trying to speak their languages, tasting their foods, navigating our way through the maze of cobble stone streets each neighborhood concealed; we welcomed every new encounter with an open mind and an open heart. It was an adventure! I must have fallen in love with those unfamiliar cities and all they had to offer at least ten times a day. The whole experience was good for the soul.
Looking back, our European holiday taught me to be more open to opportunities that come my way. I will be forever thankful to my husband, Anthony, whose relentless encouragement made me realize that the chance to travel overseas was something special. Life is an amazing journey, and had I let my doubts and fears keep me grounded, I would never have gotten to experience what I consider to be one of the best times of my life.