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Going back to Move Forward

Italy.Italy was where I traveled the first time I ventured away by myself for a weeks-long trip over 15 years ago. Italy was where I learned to use my travels as time to think through all the things in my life that my daily routine prevented.  I scratched out my thoughts and revelations and ideas and “I wishes” in a battered notebook over quiet dinners or on train rides between the sites I’d always heard about but never visited.My first trip to Italy was defiant.  I had quit a job that I’d grown to hate.  I was searching for what was next.  And I was bent on making up for lost time from working too much and holding myself back from doing the things I wanted – like travel.So I charged through the country determined to see everything on the “List”.  Guidebook firmly in hand.  Snapshots of all the important effigies.  If I couldn't take a picture I would buy a postcard to put in the scrapbook – as if to document I had been there.  I had been there.  See?  Quitting my job was worth it because I WAS HERE.That scrapbook disappeared years ago.  What remained were the insights learned during hours of journaling.  Life choices for the next decade sprung from that journey.  I've now traveled to Italy cumulatively seven weeks in two separate trips.  I've seen the monuments of Rome, the canals of Venice, the masterworks of Michelangelo, the black and white checkered Tuscan cathedrals, the ashen ruins of Pompey and Herculeum and the remnants of the Greeks in Paestum and Sicily.  I've traveled with friends.  I've traveled alone.  I've met companions along the way.And now I’m back to Italy a third time for another five weeks.  It’s fitting to come back now.  I’m at another big