It’s September in Rome. Rain storms are coming and going like rumors in high school. At seven and a half months old my niece is almost standing on her own, and her brother is almost ready to crawl. After three months in Italy I’m preparing myself mentally to fly back home to California.
It surprises me, the passing of time. Last month I was in Palinuro, Italy. Last weekend I was in Cartagena, Spain. Next week I’ll be back in the USA. I’m so grateful to the universe because I have had this opportunity to travel. I’m grateful to my friends and family that have hosted me over here in Europe. I’m also grateful to myself for having decided to take this trip when I saw the opportunity.
Palinuro is such a beautiful place. If Italy is shaped like a boot, Palinuro is a boot within the boot (see the picture below this paragraph). While I was there with the Calitalianos we did some serious relaxing. What a deal! We went to the beach twice a day for two weeks and ate amazing food. One dish that my sister’s mother-in-law, Rosa, made took her two days to prepare. She sun-dried a pan of sliced zucchini to bake with parmesan and tomato sauce (I was told that the sauce was hand-made by someone in Rosa’s town).
The most thrilling part of Palinuro was kayaking around the little boot. I was looking for this private boat-access-only beach, but I went around the entire cape looking for it. This took about three hours total. When I got back to the house later my sister told me that I passed the beach in the first thirty minutes of my adventure. So it goes…
Last Friday in Spain, I met up with some friends that I met while studying in Germany two years ago. There was a festival going on in Cartagena to celebrate the history of the region. For me, this meant that we would stay out until 5am drinking at the festival. It also meant that to fit in I would have to dress like a slave of the Roman Empire. The next day we rented a sail boat and sailed around Mar Menor, literally called the Little Sea. Then on Sunday I got back onto a plane at 8am and flew back to Rome.
I had such a blast in Spain. Who wants to go spend a lot of money to go to a big famous city and sit on a bus full of strangers while someone tells you what you ought to know about the city, when you could actually just go to some place like Cartagena and hang out with your friends ’til 5am and wake up the next day and go pee off the front end of a sail boat after a couple of your friends spilt last night’s liquor off the port and starboard side?
Okay maybe that’s a little harsh (and gross). If you want to go and spend a typical vacation abroad there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, you should! Travel as much as you can. Take every chance that you can get. I think it’s one of the most important things to do in the world. Get out and meet as many people as you can. Exchange ideas! Broaden your surroundings and let the place that you came from and all of the drama or problems there shrink as you fall in love with every new place that you find while traveling.
All and all I’m considering myself lucky that I can do any of this at all. All of the Palinuro pictures are in the last blog, this weeks pictures are all from Cartagena and Mar Menor. Thanks for reading! 🙂