There are several words I've 'learned' throughout my time in Ireland
But the one I've used most often lately is Jeepers.
The owners of the shop use it somewhat often. I think more because they have young kids and it's one of those words that you say when you catch yourself starting to say another word, but quickly realize kids are around.
Anyway, all that to say when I noticed I hadn't posted a blog in more than a month, I said,
Wow, that was a really long intro for not much of a climax to the story.
On to the important stuff, I was in Italy last week. I probably should have started with that. Sorry.
This trip was such a gift. Sure, it wasn't technically in the budget, nor was it very long, nor did I do the things you're 'supposed' to do when you're in Florence, but still, for me, it was perfect.
This little three-day trip to Italy restored my spirit in a way I can't even describe... but I'll try.
As I land in Pisa, I once again have the feeling of adventure. My heart hasn't felt this light in a long time. I'm realizing, even as my trip is just beginning, that I need to do this more often.
I've written this before, and it's still true:
'my wandering spirit is at rest when I’m experiencing something new in a culture that’s oh so different from my own.'
And I'm sure that sounds cheesy, but it's really true. And this trip, this small little trip to Italy reinforced my love of travel, and honestly, my love of traveling on my own. Coming back to Ireland, I was rejuvenated and bursting with energy. My heart was light and joyous. The worries of what the next year might look like or whether my visa stuff will sort itself out and whether I'm making enough money -- all those were lost.
I was blessed to see a new bit of the world and was in a culture that was different from my own, listening to people I didn't understand. And wandering streets that are old and hold so many stories.
When I travel I end up taking a lot of pictures of doors and windows. I'm not exactly sure why, and a lot of them I don't even really do anything with, but I like the idea of doors. They hold a lot -- not only the mystery of what's behind them, but also the mystery of who's walked through them. Or with windows, who's looked out them? What have they seen?
What kind of lives have they had?
Okay, now, even I'll admit I'm getting cheesy.
I didn't visit any museums. I only paid admission to one thing, which was access to a viewpoint at the top of a tower with many, many stairs, but it's where I was able to sit, take pictures, and reflect on my being in Italy. ITALY! Oh how many times I said that to myself -- I'm in effin' Italy!
What a blessing.
My trip was perfect. I'm positive no matter how many times I go back to Italy (and believe me, there will be more trips in my future), none will compare to this first experience.
I wandered. Ate. Drank. Wandered some more. Thought. Prayed. Journaled. And just... was.
With no pressure to do anything, no pressure to work, or talk. But to just be me... and to be with me. To walk down a street if I wanted to. Walk into a shop and then walk right back out when it's far to expensive for me. To try to order in Italian and fail miserably and get two sandwiches instead of one (thankfully I only got--and had to pay for--one).
It was perfect.
(all these pics are mine, of course, and they are straight out of the camera with no editing. one of these days I'll get around to making them official and fix some things on them, but for now, here you go.)