I cried several times on my flight back to the US (I guess once you open the flood gates it is hard to close them again huh?), appreciative of the gift of travelling to so many amazing places that I have been able to enjoy (along with the help and generosity of many others – namely my mom and stepdad for watching Bun, Ginnie and my pile of crap in their house while I have been away). Not only have I learned quite a bit about myself, but I have seen the wonders life still has available and equal to it the challenges that are universal across all cultures. I hope I can carry much from this experience forward with me and that the healing, the grace and the willingness to be a part of humanity again continue. (The last thing I want is to fall back into old patterns, so slap me silly if it starts to happen!)
I am not sure how to capture this elated feeling of gratitude in words on a page, but the blessings have filled up my heart. I know so many people don’t get this opportunity – I am grateful you have allowed me to share my adventure with you. As I replay the last few months in my head, there is so much that I think went by so quickly, so much time that seemed to stand still, so much I learned, and so much that I am in complete awe of. From many of the places I visited to the people I met, the most important thing I learned is that food, drink, art, and company are vital elements to daily life. I want to continue these little traditions I have established of going out, writing in cafes, seeing operas, attending museums, and I am excited that I get to subject you all to all of it as my guests!
For some that will be sooner, rather than later, and for others – I hope to see you soon, my friends. For now, I tried to list out the cities I visited starting with the first, Madrid, and ending with the last, London and all of the glorious wonders in between. Each carries a special message and meaning for me that I hope to integrate back into life in the States because some things are just hard to capture in a story or a picture, I think the best way to capture the essence of something is to share it with the ones you love.
On this Thanksgiving,
I send you all my best
Just a simple and beautiful city
with enormous churches
like the Cathedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore
or the Basilica di Santa Croce
Great FOOD cooking and of course
The Statue of David
On the way to Cinque Terre
Manarola is part of the Five Villages
Corniglia is Town number three
Doesn’t seem like it should take an hour-and-a-half to get to Village Four – Vernazza!
Monterosso is the last of the Five Villages
Riomaggiore is town number one, but didn’t spend much
time there after a land slide
Rome in a Day
Firenze – so good I had to visit twice!