Its like regaining consciousness. After lifelessly existing, without even being aware of this state of being, I’m waking up, and guess what…I’m in Italy!
Now in my sixth month away from “home”, I am beginning to understand why it feels like I only just got here. Now I notice the small details of everyday life in San Pietro Vernotico. Every morning little old Italian men ride their bikes around town and gather at the little cafes displaying a slow and leisurely way of life. Everything happens in the morning, the sun shines brighter.
There is so much life in this town that I had no idea existed, sleeping until noon everyday will do that to you. I had been waking up in time for siesta. The hustle and bustle of morning life contrasts with the quiet, empty streets come one o’clock. Shops close as everyone heads home for lunch, the main meal of the day.
I spent a lot of time these last few months repeating in my head “you are in Italy, you are in Europe, look at the buildings, look at the streets”, in an attempt to make myself realize how awesome it is to be here, to be living a dream that I have had for so long; missing a Winnipeg winter! (Although from what I hear it has been a mild winter and I picked the wrong winter to miss. And for those of you who aren’t familiar with my hometown, Winnipeg winters are brutally long and unimaginably cold with temperatures anywhere from -30 to -50 at times). Truthfully, I had always dreamed of living in Europe, and I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t taking it all in, why I didn’t feel amazing. It was as though I was missing the whole trip, sleepwalking through my life.
I suppose fleeing the country as my relationship suddenly fell apart, and travelling with a broken heart is the most reliable explanation for my inability to feel.
If anything, I am most passionate about travelling. I have always wanted the whole world, and to experience life outside of Winnipeg. When I was 22 I traveled to Paris, and wandered the streets of my most beloved city for two weeks. I was in love, I felt alive. It was beautiful and romantic. I felt a sense of connection, an energy that pulsed through the city, and I was over the moon to have it all to myself. I enjoy travelling alone, to me there is nothing better than getting lost in the world.
I came here to get lost, but not in the same way. I was hiding out. After six months of darkness and heartache, I’m finally waking up. I can smile at happy memories, and look forward to spending the summer exploring every inch of this beautiful country.