We've been home for 36 hours now. We're still out of sync with our sleep from time zone changes and the ending of Daylight Savings Time, so we wake up at 4:00 a.m. Still, three weeks away does yield insights. Here's what I learned.
1. Italian food is plentiful and excellent. Tastes are extravagant and subtle, never wasteful. We don't have to eat everything placed before us, but it would be nice if all we eat is of value. I'm going to try to eat wisely and well now that we're home.
2. The days got short quickly while we were gone, and the rain started. It's dark now when I wake up, but I'm not depressed. I'm still interested in lots of things and my time at home allows me to pursue them.
3. I'm no longer interested in exploring options for semi-communal living such as cohousing, where everyone has their own residence, but there is common land and a community building. The 17 other tour group participants were interesting and good to travel with, but I need more quiet time than I expected. Discarding the cohousing option has actually simplified things, because I will no longer need to investigate that option and visit cohousing sites.
4. I may decide to work at least part time. When I was in Florence I logged into a favorite travel company's website to see if they offered any trips in Italy that wouldn't go to destinations I've already visited. I found out the company is advertising for a writer/editor/proofreader for its series of guidebooks. I decided to apply for the job - not because I need the money, but because I really like the company's mission and the job sounded perfect.
5. If you leave a designer cat home, and they're secure in their environment, they are thrilled to see you when you return home, and they follow you around, sleep next to you on the bed at night, and sleep on your computer desk during the day. They purr loudly and give up all pretense of feline aloofness.
6. Traveling with a husband can be touchy at times, and it's wonderful to have separate schedules and activities at home.
7. If you eat heartily while traveling, but you walk three to five miles a day on cobblestone streets and on hills, you can still fit into your clothes when you get home.
8. It's possible to learn a lot about history, art and architecture on a trip, and still be profoundly tired of walking around looking at old churches.
9. Even though you like to travel, it's great to be home for two weeks before you leave on the next trip.