"The only way to cure longing for others is to first cure longing for yourself" - La Carly
Italy for me has been an emotional rollercoaster, not much different thatn regular life I guess. Thus, it may be sort of comforting that I feel so much at home that I can have mood swings :P. After the novelty of tourism and arrival wears off, your real life comes back, you start being able to say no and realize that, sometimes, you really are tired. I am not lamenting this state, I think, rather, I praise it. In this way, I can be more conscious of where I am and feel like my travels abroad aren't a dream but a continuation of my life (I know that seems straightforward, but travel sometimes feels like a vacation, a respite). Friendships can last, impressions I make aren't recklessly done, banking on the fact that within a few weeks I'll be gone never to return again. A healthier mode of travel has been ushered in by this digital age with the Internet, email and blogging. Understanding that this world is one complete unit, a pretty abstract concept that doesn't realize itself by watching the nightly news, solidifies when the progression of your time changes location. This change of location also encourages open-minded and curious individuals. Only 10% of Americans have valid passports, and you wonder why they are falling back into fervent conservatism. If you are never forced into that uncomfortable zone where you cannot express yourself effortlessly or are never confronted to question your daily lifestyle by having minute changes in daily life introduced (as little as eating at different hours), then you don't develop a fresh awareness of another people, free from those stereotypes you may outwardly denounce but, before immersing yourself, couldn't avoid. You also don't develop a new awareness of yourself, seeing how you cope with distance, language, communication. Your values solidify themselves more when you are outside of that comfort bubble where you can just forget about ever considering the crux of your everchanging life more easily.
Whoa, Stefan, deep, what the hell is going on? If you know me well, you know that I am an introspective and thinking person who recently, being in Milan and just growing up, started figuring out those things important to him: family, laughter, honesty, communication, respect, awareness of others, regretting (if at all) what you did instead of what you didn't do, uninhibition, being a solid, strong assertive individual, aesthetics dosed with personality and sincerity, writing, yoga, sun and water. As my old friend Katy used to say: 'All you need in life is love and water'. I have really enjoyed my time in Italy thus far, it has promoted so much thought, writing, stimulation. This experience up until now has forced me into discovery, as travel should, others, myself, my world. Things may change at home, relationships fall apart and you can't talk to the person face to face but in a broken long distance connection, people get married and you can't be there to share the special moment with the family (yay Ali and Matt! boo for my missing the wedding), time continues no matter if you want to stop, think and catch up or want to run away. Seconds continue ticking.
So yesterday I decided I am going to go to Venice this weekend to both visit my dear friend Ayten and hang out some more with my twin of another mother, Carly. Mentioning Venezia to Daria launched her into praise, saying there is nothing like the city anywhere else in the world. My mother's first suggestion of where to go was to ripe the vaparetto. Carly said she got lost last time she was in Venice and loved it. The only way to experience Venice is to get lost and lose yourself in the sway of the boat. It will be a nice escape from Milan, my Internet connection to the rest of the world for 2 days before returning for the final showdown between Italy and France in a predictably packed Piazza Duomo. I cannot wait to be charmed by Venice, only before praised by Angela and depicted in the delicate photos of my mother. What I need this weekend is a little escape and a bit of the cradle-like rocking that harkens back to those thoughtless days of infancy.