Sunday, November 7, 2010

What I learned from our trip to Italy

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.


Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

This trip seems to have been really useful in your transition to retirement. Or semi-retirement, if you do some editing. What a great job that would be!

Teresa Evangeline said...

I gave some thought to communal/co-housing living a couple of years ago and abandoned it for much the same reason. I absolutely must have a great deal of quiet time.

I had to chuckle at your #8.

Welcome Home! Enjoy!

DJan said...

Yes, welcome home! And time alone and lots of space to explore your own life apart from others was a great insight. I spend lots of time doing my own thing apart from my husband, and it works out great!

#1Nana said...

Where are you off to next? Good luck on the editing does sound perfect for you. They would be dazzled by your blog posts from Italy!

Arkansas Patti said...

That does sound like a neat job. How fortunate you discovered you wouldn't be content with semi-communal living without taking the drastic plunge first.
I too enjoyed #8.
Welcome back.

MyMaracas said...

Coming home again may be the best thing of all about travel, though you had a wonderful and enlightening trip. It's good you discovered in time that communal living wasn't for you. Good luck on getting that job! It sounds like a fun one.

Deb Shucka said...

It sounds like you had the perfect adventure. You had to be present for every minute of it, you learned about the world and yourself, your life will never be quite the same, nor will its trajectory, and home seems sweeter than ever. Welcome back.

Pearl said...

The best part of any travel is coming back home!


Cheryl Kohan said...

I totally agree that travel is fabulous but the best part is coming back home. I'm impressed with your insights, too. I'm with you on #6. Sure do hope you get that job...that would be the icing on the cake, don't you think? Fingers crossed!

fiftyodd said...

I love the uncluttered layout of your blog! I would love to visit Italy but it is so fiendishly expensive for South Africans! I picked up on the fact that you and your husband have different schedules at home. I am busy trying to train mine in this direction - he has another 3 years to go before he retires and I so enjoy the luxury of 'my' time at the moment.