I just realized that I really suck at goodbyes. Always easier to just walk away. And such is that it was time to say farewell to our tour. It is over and I am sad. It is amazing how fast I can get attached to people in just ten days. Our tour guides were super fun and our fellow tour mates were fascinating. All of
them so well traveled and fascinating.
Years ago, my assistant and I were talking about George Bush the younger when he was first running for president. She had lived abroad and thought, as do I, that travel was an essential part of one's intellectual development, if one can afford it. She was utterly disgusted that Bush, prior to his presidential run, had basically never traveled out of the country. "How is it that a man of his education and with his opportunities never was curious enough to want to see something new? For that reason alone I'd never vote for him."
It is true that travel brings one a different view of the world and that, in my opinion, is really important. And besides, I've never met a well traveled person who isn't Interesting.
And that is what it boils down to for me. I want an interesting life. I think I've lived it, oftentimes not by choice and by accident. But I don't want dull or ordinary. And I will keep doing things in an attempt to find meaning and purpose. To create memories and experiences. I truly believe it makes me a better person. And it is one of the reasons I take my children with me. William recently challenged me on that one. He thought they too young for this type of trip and I should be taking them to Hawaii instead. I wholeheartedly disagree. I love Hawaii and we've gone there twice on vacation before but taking my children with me on these types of Significant trips is something I do because I want to go to these places and I want them to come with me. And I want them to have a profound understanding that the world is big and diverse and to respect and understand other cultures. Hopefully to stimulate some type of intellectual curiosity in them. Plus we are building incredible and unique memories together. The girls are really great travelers and despite their young age, (14 and 8) they do appreciate this. We learn a lot together and have really funny stories we have shared together. This is PRICELESS. I hope when they are older they will help make the world better because they 'get it' in their hearts and souls. We talk about this stuff a lot anyway.
So our tour has ended but our trip has not. We left Lake Maggiore and we are back at Lake Como. We are staying in this grand amazing hotel with the fashionable tony people. We dress for dinner. I am so happy we have the dresses I packed for the cruise or I'd feel very out of place and intimidated. We wear cocktail dresses. It's actually cool and I love it. It is the Italian way.
I love it here. I want to live here. I do not want to go home. I want to live in the land of fresh and simple and delicious food, aged olive oil, Fiats, beautiful clothes and shoes, a language I melt over, sipping cappuccino in the afternoons at a sidewalk cafe, Vespas, and church bells. I want to bask in the Italian summer sun, marvel at Roman histoty, and learn a new language. I feel connected, happy, at peace, healthy, and at home here in the land of 50 percent of my ancestors.
Despite our terrible colds (we have all been sick) I feel healthy. I'm very tired but it feels like a tired of adjusting to new time zones , getting up early, and doing a lot. Since I am taking a break from my myeloma regiment of Dex-Velcade, I don't have the dex crashes. So I am tired but that crushing fatigue hasn't arrived. When we are tired, we take naps-long, stress free luxurious naps where we don't need to wake up until we feel like ut. We rest. This has been a busy trip but also very restful. We sleep, we sit in cafes and spend long times eating, sipping and chatting. Unlike in the US we never feel rushed here to eat and here's your bill please pay so I can get another customer in here. Instead it's luxurious on time and with spectacular food and views there is no rush at all.
Today the girls were sleeping. When I woke up from a long nap, I didn't want to disturb them. I put on skinny black pants, maroon ballet flats, and a white flow top I bought at Mango in Milan and walked to the nearest cafe. I was starving. It was nearly 5pm, typical dinnertime for me, but dinner here is, at 7:30. I couldn't resist. I ordered a small lemon tort and a cappucino. I sat, at a table overlooking lake Como, sipping my drink, nibbling on pastry, and taking in the grandeur of this beautiful place. Just me surrounded by indescribable beauty and peace. I felt so Italian because I would never ever do this at home.
Yes, I am terrible at goodbyes. Do I need to work on that? Or is it better to just recognize when an End has come and just walk away, no looking back? Yes, tears and regrets but knowing it is a Close, and just.... call it a day. Which is the more courageous choice? Is happiness to a new level awaiting on that other side? Am I ready to find that out? Because as much as I want to stay forever, in a few days I must get us on a plane bound for home and Real.
Ok actually I'd rather just stay right here. Sigh.