I’m pretty laid back when I travel. I like to leave space for things to happen. I never have an itinerary, mostly because I can’t bear the idea of being obliged to leave a place before I’m ready or worse yet to stay longer than I want. I like to experience space actively, as it was meant to be. I love to see how something that is a fundamental part of my existence, like reading, writing, making lists, running, skiing, hiking, etc., feels in a foreign place. When I am doing something that is so fundamental to me, I can more fully understand the energy a foreign place brings a moment. I feel the sense of being alive more acutely in these moments. The real beauty of travel for me is the joy that comes from feeling how I fit into a new place and what that shows me about myself. I take that back. The real beauty of travel is experiencing inspiring places, people, customs, and food, but I digress. These experiences cannot be scheduled so I try to leave plenty of time for them occur organically. Because of this, I don’t sightsee as much as I used to. I have been lucky enough to see a lot of really amazing places and crossed a lot of sights off my list. Now, I have different goals.
Through this lens, the trip has been a big success. I know a lot of people will think I’m crazy for not going to Venice or Capri or Provence, but I couldn’t be happier. The last few years have left me a shell of my former self. It’s not just the divorce, lay off, or loss of friends and a home. My marriage was slowly sucking me dry of all optimism. It is so incredibly painful to love someone who doesn’t love you. As my ex began to withhold his love, I tried to become something he wanted, losing all semblance of myself. During my time in Italy and France, I was able to find a bit of me. I’m still not a full person, more like a chalk outline from a murder scene, but I’m closer to me than I have been in a decade. This is progress. This is hope. This is the beginning of joy. I just hope I can keep it up.
Places you must go 1) Grand Canyon, 2) Taj Mahal, 3) Golden Pavillion, 4) Rodin Museum, 5) Pyramids of Giza, 6) Jackson Hole and the Tetons, 7) Augill Castle, Lake District, England, 8) Tuscan Vineyard, 9) Spanish Villa, 10) Hagia Sophia, 11) Wailing Wall, 12) Stonehenge, 13) St. Basil’s Cathedral, 14) Florentine Café, 15)Taroko Gorge, 16) Quechee Hot Air Ballon Festival, 17)
The first day in a new place, I walk for hours to build a sense of belonging.