This week during lunch with a friend, I was asked a question that really gave me pause.
“When you return from Italy, what do you want your story to be?”
With the chaos of packing up my apartment, moving everything to storage, traveling on work trips, finding a home for my cat, wrapping up my final days at work and saying goodbye to friends and family, I really haven’t have much time or space to internalize or reflect on what I want to gain from my travels.
His question struck me because my first thought was…I don’t know.
Perhaps that’s the point. I’m craving the opportunity to slow down and be more present.
To Be Present
With being present as a focus, here are a few things I hope my story includes:
- Closing my eyes and savoring every bite of fresh made ravioli.
- Visiting an orange orchard in the town of Caccamo, Sicily, where my great-great grandfather lived before immigrating to the U.S.
- Practicing patience and being flexible when I get out of my comfort zone. Learning from those moments.
- Learning more about my husband (we’ve never left the country together). Creating memories with him that we’ll be proud sharing with our future children.
- Showing local Italians that I’m humbled by this opportunity and that I’m there to learn from them.
- Communicating with Italian hand gestures and the little bit of Italian language I know.
- Having a stronger connection to the food (and wine!) I consume. Eating food from local farms. Working on a vineyard. Picking olives and then pressing it into olive oil. Cooking in a kitchen with an Italian grandmother.
So thanks friend, for taking me to lunch, asking curious questions and helping me gain more clarity. Now my trip to Italy will be just that more rewarding.