Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dreaming of Italy

It happens every year around this time.  Christmas is over and January brings with it longings for travel.  Specifically travel in Italy.  To be honest, this has become a bit of a habit.  Since 2005 (my first trip to Europe) we've been five times.  I never really expected to get to see Europe at all.  I don't come from a family that does a lot of travelling and when I was younger there was not enough money to consider it nor was there the time.

I'll never forget that first trip.  It was hard to believe that I was actually sitting in Notre Dame Cathedral listening to Mass in french complete with Gregorian Chant.  That trip was the first time in my life I had been in a place where I couldn't understand what was being said all around me.  I liked it.  I liked the peacefulness of being in my own thoughts without being disturbed by conversations around me.   A whole new world opened up to me - and not just the physical realm of being in a new place.

I think that trip sparked a spiritual awakening in me.  I don't mean that in a religious way.  I got to see the way people live in a far away part of the world.  Regardless of the language barrier I realized that even with the cultural differences we have so much in common.  And not just the people I saw but those who came before.  All those men who built that gorgeous city over time we're also part of the connection I felt.  Coming from the West Coast of Canada we don't get that feeling much.   Where I live we consider 100 year old building really old.  In Europe 100 year old building is considered new.  On a trip to Volterra in Tuscany you can walk through the Etruscan gates to the city.  These gates are believed to have been built in the 5th century BC.  You can walk up and touch them.  What an incredible feeling to stand in the same place and look at the same object people did 2500 years ago!

There are lots of good reasons why we waited until 2005 to make that first trip, but now that the barrier is broken going back is not a question of "if" but "when".  I'd rather scrimp on lots of other things to be able to afford it.   That first trip sparked a flame that has burned brightly ever since.  Europe is in my blood.  My grandparents are all European and I wonder what does the DNA have imprinted on it.

This May we will visit Rome for a few days before going back to Tuscany.  We've been to Rome once before - just for a day and what a day it was.  It was very hot (mid August) and I was walking around like a gawking tourist and nearly got in trouble.  I was too friendly to someone who was talking to me and it turned out that his motives were not good.  Luckily my husband was close by and I think we averted a pretty scary situation.  This time, Im going to be a little smarter!  Im looking forward to giving Rome another try.


  1. I come from a long line of travelers so it is definitely in my blood. I love to go someplace new every year (even if it is just a new park or town relatively near home). I love your description of being in a country where you do not understand the language - so true.

  2. I long for the days when traveling like this is possible, until then I enjoy hearing about your adventures and seeing your gorgeous photos.