Have you ever booked a last minute trip to a place that was several time zones away, where people don’t speak English, don’t use the same currency – and if you’re truly honest with yourself about the whole thing, you can’t afford it?
Have you ever spent a ridiculous amount of money just to get away from your life and all the things that go with it?
I’m considering doing just that. I need to get out of my own head. I need a break from the person I’ve become the past few months; feeling like a hamster on the wheel.
I’ve tried breathing, exercising, talking to friends, making gratitude lists – it all works for a little while, but not long.
“Must it be out of the country?” I ask myself. It would be easier to stay in the U.S. I wouldn’t have to change currency, deal with the long flights, the plane changes, the jet lag from crossing several times zones. I wouldn’t have to worry about roaming charges or keeping up with my passport, and I could speak English. But of course, no, nothing but Italy will do.
I can justify all of those inconveniences. In my mind speaking a little Italian is a pleasure; the worst thing about the euro is my dollars are worth less. I can call my cell phone provider and have roaming temporarily disconnected.
I don’t love the jet lag, but I know I’ll live – I’ve done it before.
So I’m thinking maybe the way out of my funk, maybe the way I get “my groove back” is to go to Italy. I can visualize myself walking down an ancient cobblestone street, camera in hand, thousands of years of history all around me. I notice everything around me, sculptures by Bernini, 17th century buildings next to 12th century ruins.
I notice the people and try to guess where they might be from; are they tourists (like me), or locals? I eat a gelato and I don’t think about the calories or the fact that it’s dairy and I shouldn’t eat too much dairy. Dairy be damned! I’m in Italy! Without even being conscious of it I begin to feel better, more attractive, more a part of the world. I’m living life, not going through the motions.
The parts of myself that stress me out begin to recede. Along the way I find the better parts, the Penny who is fun and funny, and spontaneous, and curious, and who knows it is insane to resist what is. Sometimes all it takes is a complete stranger who smiles and says, “Ciao Bella,” – or a cappuccino.
All material copyright Penny Sadler 2013. All rights reserved.