arrivederci, italy…i miss you already

I am sitting in a cafe in Geneva, Switzerland, wearing a big smile on my face. I just had my first face-to-face meeting with a fellow WordPress blogger! How cool is that!? I hope this is the first of many such meetings. It is wonderful to connect online with so many people around the world, but to take it further and meet in person, when there’s a real connection and if it’s possible, is extra-special. I love technology!

The Italian leg of my journey is officially over and for the past few days I’ve been spending time with family, unwinding from my trip and switching my diet from Italian to Swiss (which includes consuming the best-ever fondue a couple of nights ago). Italy seems like a dream…a warm, still vibrant dream beating in my heart and being.

stunningly beautiful positano, on the amalfi coast

stunningly beautiful positano, on the amalfi coast

My visit to Italy included the cities of Villasimius (Sardinia), Rome, Cinque Terre, Lucca, Florence, Venice, Bologna, Verona, Naples, Sorrento, and Positano. Phew! It was a whirlwind of check-ins, trains, examining maps, and packing/re-packing. (And carbs, cheese, and wine.) Now that I’ve been in one place for the past few days, I am in de-compression/relaxation mode, and a heady exhaustion has set in.

I remember planning this trip months ago, a little part of me being almost unsure it was even going to happen, despite all the arrangements being in place. Was I really going to do this? How would it feel to be alone most of the time? Would the trains be difficult to figure out? How would I communicate? What would it be like to eat solo, in a country like Italy? Would I meet people, or keep to myself? What if I got lost? There were so many unknowns.

Of course, there was another part of me that knew it was going to be fine and amazing and life-changing. That people would be friendly. That if I needed help with my luggage at the train station, chances are there would be an Italian man nearby to assist me. That I would see the signs I needed to. That, in the moment, things would always work out – even in those moments that felt very challenging.

the views were amazing!

the views were amazing!

Right now everything is so potent and deliciously jumbled that it’s difficult to pinpoint highlights or write about a certain event or experience. And over the past week, the direction has been turning to home – making plans with friends, emails to and from work confirming my date of return, the weather here turning a bit chilly and grey.

And so, while I am enjoying the last few days of my sojourn (I head to London next), I can’t help but think about what I will soon be returning to. My same job…the one I initially quit, but subsequently decided to take a Leave from instead. My finances, which will now command much of my attention as I switch into ‘responsible’ mode to pay off my trip. (Ugh.) My hometown city, which I love and miss, but which is known for its wet and grey – and seemingly never-ending – winter. My co-workers, family, and friends, who I also love and miss, and can’t wait to re-connect with.

Things will be the same, but undoubtedly very different. How has Italy changed me? I know it has, but time will reveal the details. I’ve definitely gained some powerful perspective – life-changing I would say – on some personal matters, and I’m curious and intrigued to see how things unfold in these areas of my life.

But overall my intention is to just allow my routine to play out and trust that all those insights and experiences I’ve had in Europe have imprinted deep within me and will play out in the most perfect of ways. My job is not to ‘do’ or force anything, but to allow.

couldn't get enough!

couldn’t get enough!

It was pretty easy to be in the moment while sitting in a cafe in the Meditteranean, drinking a glass of wine and soaking up the sun and sounds and sights all around me. But in those many (many) moments, I knew it wasn’t only about what was going on all around me. Those experiences are in me now – and I can nurture and cultivate them wherever I am.

I may not hear the beautiful language, I may not feel the hot sun on my face, the wine or cheese may not taste as good, and the demeanour of those around me may be much more reserved. But that’s when I bring the soul of Italy to my daily life. And make the effort to appreciate those uniquely hometown things that I have missed while I have been away.

I am grateful beyond words for this experience, and that I can bring its blessings home with me.

The adventure is ongoing.

24 thoughts on “arrivederci, italy…i miss you already

  1. I loved reading this. It reminds me of my trip to Thailand. Traveling changes your forever. Immersing in a different culture is so incredibly enriching. I am so happy you had this experience. It is really all about being present. Trusting that all of the details are being figured out.

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    • thank you my dear…i love reading your blog and i really connect with your words. i’m really glad i had this experience too. and i am happy to be home, letting it all integrate.

      looking forward to reading how your journey unfolds too. πŸ™‚ aleya

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  2. Yay! I am so glad you enjoyed your trip. Can’t wait to read how you feel it has changed, influenced, deepened you over the coming months. (I’m signed in under a new site that I just launched – probably will go back and forth between Being Stuck Sucks and PPL4). πŸ™‚

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  3. I love how you put words to so many wordless experiences – like how we never quite know how we’ve absorbed or changed but for sure we have and how wise you are in knowing how each experience can help us to appreciate the next x the sense of sort of soaking up life and experience and growth comes through beautifully x you’re probably in London now! EEk! I find London so hugely everything! magnificent but multifaceted! Huge, overwhelming, exciting, fascinating, historically otherworldly…I would love to hear if it touches you πŸ™‚ xxx

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    • hi!! i’m back home now. i looooved london and would’ve stayed longer if i could. so much going on in that city! i look forward to going back.

      thank you for your comment. πŸ™‚ it feels good to be home and i am in good spirits and i am looking forward to seeing how things unfold in the coming weeks and months. how everything integrates and settles. mostly i just want to BE…to not get into the habitual busy/’doing’ mode, which i can see is happening all around me. i want to savour italy as loooong as possible. xo aleya

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  4. You should really acknowledge your writing talent. It is something that you are so natural at. I feel it can allow you to be and do whatever you want, whenever you want. I would love to read a fictional romance based on your trip. Say the kinder old fellow was not old and so on. πŸ˜€

    Have a safe and exciting trip home, you never know what wonders are in store…right?

    Much love~
    Namaste
    Sindy

    Next trip India? Eat, Pray. Love, and Bali. πŸ˜€

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  5. I love the gentleness that’s coming through. You’re softer with yourself, more willing. That’s wonderful! I’m also noticing how you truly appreciated the subtleties of the experience. I think those quieter moments tend to fuse into our beings the scents, the people, the wine on that hot day…this is what allows it to stay within.

    Keep it! Keep it close to your beautifully beating heart. xoxo Arifah

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    • ah thank you for your insightful comment…i hadn’t seen it that way but yes, i’m feeling an almost kindness to myself that i haven’t felt before. more of an acceptance of who i am what i like and don’t like, and what i want and don’t want in my life. and how maybe i’ve apologized for these things in the past, but i can’t and won’t anymore. it is a nice feeling. πŸ™‚ xo

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  6. What a whirl, huh? I remember those blogs you wrote. First, not going. Then next, you bought the ticket. Sometimes we say no to what our hearts feel because of whatever circumstances are in front of us… but when we always say no… this only feeds us regrets. The initial no is a test of how much your heart wants something. How far are you willing to go? Do you remain looking afar at the ledge? Or do you leap and shout, β€œGeronimo…!!” (Mel Gibson, Conspiracy Theory) πŸ˜‰

    So what whether you’ll work your (sexy) tush off to make up for the trip? You may have been working as hard and never really accomplishing anything. This in itself is a feat. Mighty proud of you, sweets! xoxo

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    • yeaaaaahhhh…thank you! ❀ i am so glad i said yes and even though i will be uber busy at work i am also super curious to see how it'll be when i'm not in holiday mode anymore. i had a very interesting conversation with the woman sitting next to me on my flight to london…i just love those kinds of conversations…the details aren't important but it reminded me to just go with my instincts and whatever comes up in the next few months – and always – to take the chance, even if it doesn't make sense. sending you tons of love, i'm so glad you've been part of the journey too! xo

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      • I know about those conversations. I’d be in a car wash waiting and end up in enlightening talks with someone I don’t know. And it doesn’t have to be deep and wuwu stuff… Simple words can conjure something within us. I call them my angels. The Universe/God’s way of guiding us. xo

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