Sometimes, you want something so much that it becomes this big, overwhelming thing that you start to dread, on some level.
I’ve wanted to go to Italy ever since I got back from Ireland. I’ve been back from Ireland for 12 years and three weeks, for those of you, playing along at home. I worried, before Ireland, that I’d never get to see it— that I’d spend my whole life putting it off and never manage it. And then it happened. And I felt the relief of that for a hot minute before I started wanting to go to Italy.
I read John Berendt’s “City of Fallen Angels,” sometime soon thereafter, and that got me jonesing to see Venice. And as a lifelong devotee of Michelangelo, I’ve always wanted to see Florence and Rome. I started dreaming of a bike tour through Tuscany. Then I started thinking about visiting the Greek Isles and the Mediterranean coast of Italy. It became this big, unmanageable thing— I’d need to go for weeks to really see it.
A few years ago, I was interviewing for a job that didn’t work out. I promised myself that if I got that job (and significant raise), I’d finally go to Italy. I didn’t get it. Instead, I got a dog, and the rest is history.
When I started this job, my friend and colleague told me of a great trip to Italy she’d taken that she found on Groupon. I was totally dubious, but started to look into it. It’s not the bike tour I’d imagined, but they offer some great options, and it’s not the cut-rate scam I would have thought it would be.
At the beginning of this year, I told myself it wasn’t practical. I have another dog surgery to pay for, I have house stuff to take care of, Mom’s not 100 percent… I told myself 2017, for Italy.
And then it started flirting with me. A dating site I belong to organized an Italy trip. My church organized an Italy trip. I found a Groupon that does Venice, Florence, and Rome (international air and some meals included) for pretty crazy cheap. And my resolve weakened. I reached out to a couple of friends, and in less than two weeks, it’s arranged. The BFF and I are off to Italy next off-season.
I’m taking Italian lessons by smartphone through Duolingo and Babbel. I find myself dreaming about the things we’ll do. We won’t be there long and a lot of the trip is scripted for us, but I have many months to dream and plan and enjoy the anticipation of this. I’m told that the anticipation is more than half the enjoyment, so I’m going to relish it! If you have tips (things to read, things to see and do, things to eat), I’ll take ’em. It’s my favorite thing to talk about right now, and I’m driving my near and dear ones crazy, so parli italiano to me!