Today is my last day in Italy. It is a very bitter sweet feeling. It’s like not wanting to say goodbye to your friend who dropped you off at the airport before you go on a plane to a beautiful vacation destination. I’ve come to love Italy so much and also have loved traveling with my friend Anna. I part from both tomorrow morning.
It’s interesting because once I become comfortable and familiar with a culture, language and country I leave.

But my adventures are not over! Pocahontas put it beautifully in the Disney cartoon, “I look once more just around the river bend!” France is just around the river bend and it will be so exciting to see what adventures lie in that country.

Things I have come to appreciate about life while backpacking through Italy:

1. Food. The Italian culture doesn’t see food as just nourishment to the body, but rejuvenation to the soul. Once you sit that space is yours. No rush to leave. No need to scarf down your food to get to your next activity. That time is where you take time to experience your food. Every bite is supposed to be enjoyed by all the senses. Smell the morning coffee brewing in the fresh morning air, listen to the sound of a crisp buttered croissant being bit into. The pieces of the baked fragile flakes of doe as teeth break each layer.
Being here, I have appreciated my food and what it has to give me. I have learned to be patient with every bite. To experience my meal instead of inhaling it.

2. Stop and smell the flowers…but for real. Stop and smell them.
When I got here I felt the need to make sure I saw all of Italy. When I landed in Rome in my head it was like someone shot the gun and the amazing race was on! I didn’t want to leave the country and say, “shoot! I didn’t get to see…” The third day I was walking to make sure Anna and I got to a museum right when it opened. I saw a small garden with the most beautiful flowers but walked right past them. Then I thought, I am traveling through Italy but not experiencing Italy. I turned around and smelled the flowers. And they smelled amazing.

I’ve come to appreciate myself traveling through this country.

So long Italy! Arrivederci and see you again (hopefully soon).




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