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Friday, July 18, 2014

From Italy, with love

"The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see."  Hillaire Belloc

I love going on vacation as most people do. I however, find it particularly difficult to jump right back into the swing of things upon my return.  While I physically do it-- taking care of the laundry -- bills and such -- I am mentally just not into it.
We arrived home from Italy yesterday after a very nice time away exploring Rome, Florence and Venice.  It was my children's first trip to Europe, so it was even more exciting as well as riddled with meaning.

I have great pride for the beauty and richness of our heritage, culture, food, music, art, people, fashion and architecture.  The connection and rootedness that I feel is of great importance to me, and I want it to be for my children as well.  The endless stories of my ancestors from Italy remain a part of my soul, and I cherish their spirit.  I admire their strength, and I am thankful for their sacrifices.  They remain present in my thinking.

As we traveled throughout the country, I began to think about what life would be irk to actually live there.  As a traveler everything looks magical and perfect. I, however, am well aware that there is no utopia.  Life would be beautiful and riddled with the same anxieties, concerns and losses that we are all defined by regardless of place.

Traveling is stimulating in every respect.  It challenges us to become a stranger in a different land. It encourages growth and a well rounded-ness that can only come from leaving the safe haven of living in Fairfield County.  It teaches us to be patient as we are in a place in which perhaps communication is not so simple.  My children were using many Italian words to native speakers before we left so I was very pleased.  They also adapted rather quickly to the European schedule of dining very late and lingering over a meal.

Italian people consider sitting down with there family over a meal to be of extreme importance. I do as well, an it was nice to have my ideals and lifestyle supported with the reality of the culture.
Alas.. I have to get back to reality and get my mind away from Venice. The glorious beauty and experience that we all had shall remain vivid, and I shall start thinking about our next excursion. xo

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