Occasional thoughts from a young adult reveling in the messiness of life.
There are several metaphors for what my list of “12 Things in 2012” means to me. All of them come down to the fact that I set out a long list of challenges for myself at the beginning of this year with no real concept of how I would make them happen, just the resolve that I would do everything possible to see them though. Today, I am happy to say that I have completed one more on the list: go to Italy.
After spending nearly two weeks in a country as amazing and beautiful as Italy, I cannot recount every detail of the trip, as this post would be far, far too long, and I’m honestly still “unpacking” the experience in my mind.
But here are a few highlights along with some pictures:
In 13 days, my husband and I lost ourselves in the magical back streets of Venice, traversed the Grand Canal, set out across the Adriatic Sea to Murano to see glass blowing and then to the colorful island of Burano. From Venice, we traveled to Bozen/Bolzano, the land of two languages that sits nestled in the Dolomites. We saw the 5,000 year old iceman named Otzi and ate the best food of our trip.
From Bolzano, we hopped on three trains before finally arriving in Monterosso al Mare. Tucked into the cliffs of the Ligurian coast, Monterosso is one of the five lands in an area aptly called the Cinque Terre. We dug our toes in the sand and swam in Mediterranean. The water was the bluest blue I’ve ever seen. We ate the best seafood and fresh pesto everyday. We walked in four of the five lands, and kayaked to a waterfall between two of them. The trip ended in Florence, where we sat in some of the most beautiful churches, walked across the Ponte Vecchio and gazed in awe at the architecture of the duomo and the splendid perfection of Michelangelo’s statues.
We first went to Italy in 2009 for our honeymoon, and I honestly didn’t want to leave. I comically stalled on our last day in Florence on that trip. But this time was different. It’s not that I wanted I leave, but by the end, I was incredibly humbled for the experience and grateful to have spent so much uninterrupted time with my husband. On the last day in Italy this time, I simply felt at peace and fully rejuvenated to continue the amazing journey that awaited me here at home.
The trip quite simply moved me in so many ways and stirred me deep within my soul. The most palpable of those moments came in Monterosso. I was laying across the bed, flopped down in exhaustion, and I started reflecting on the trip up to that point and all that we had just seen that day. Thinking of the beauty of that town alone brought tears to my eyes, compounded by an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness to God that we were fortunate enough to experience such a journey. I am truly blessed with so much more than I deserve.
Date accomplished: 6/10/12
Here’s a recap of where I am with my list of 12 Things in 2012:
1. Get back into rock climbing.
2. Buy a constant aperture lens.
3. Start playing guitar again.
4. Learn to make edamame.
5. Launch ArtisanShipp website.
6. Renew passport.
7. Learn Italian.
8. Start charging for photography sessions
9. Make that special scarf.
10. Go to Houston.
11. Enter photography contest.
12. Go to Italy.