22 years ago today – at the tender age of 24 – I boarded a plane to embark on a month-long SOLO trip through beautiful Italy.
Armed with a wheeled carry-on luggage, backpack, calling card to phone Mom frequently and let her know I was ok, 1000+ page fiction novel, guide books, Lira currency (!) and 35mm camera with lots of film, I had a reservation at a modest pensione in Rome to start the journey.
Back in 1999, my roundtrip airfare from LAX to FCO was less than $400 USD, Eurorail pass was less than $400 USD!
During my month there, I met up with friends-of-friends who toured me through the little towns outside of Rome, connected with my cousin Laura in Firenze and stayed with her former classmates in their Florentine flat, took a bus tour with architectural grad students through the streets of Verona, stayed in a seaside hotel in the Ligure area, had my breath taken away by all of Venice and hand carried 3 bottles of wine back to the States.
Most of the time, though, was spent in quiet contemplation about the future . . .
What turned out to be a trip of a lifetime, I look back with delight that 1) I actually did that, 2) how different the world is now and 3) I wouldn’t do anything different. Well, I wish I didn’t have bronchitis and walking pneumonia during the trip – THAT I would change!
I would return to Italy 5 years later with my (now) husband, making even more incredible memories while reliving the great ones of the past.
Closing the chapter on the year 2020, I look forward to what 2021 will bring: more memories, hope and amazement for what is yet to come. (And more yarn, of course).