I've been thinking about how, a few year ago, I got on a plane, all alone, without an agenda, without an itinerary, and scurried around Europe for a month! Then I did it again a year later! It was incredibly stupid of me, and incredibly wonderful, at the same time. I couldn't tell my mother, because if I did, she would have stood at the door and literally not let me exit! So she only found out when I was already two weeks into my journey— both times! And yes, she cried non-stop when she found out, and began calling every hour!
I'm wondering if it was the right thing to do. I mean, it was completely reckless but it was also 100% exhilarating and life-changing. I was scared down to my toenails, every single day! I was terrified! I didn't know anybody (well, the second time, I did know some people during some parts of my journey, and I did stay with a cousin in London on the last leg of it), I didn't know the languages, and nobody spoke English; so I actually learned the languages while I was there, out of desperation— totally forgot them later on though— I had no idea what I would do on a day-to-day basis, because I didn't have an itinerary... I was being stupid and I was being reckless, but boy was I happy! I had flung myself out into the world and each time at the airports, I was literally shaking in my shoes walking through the airports! I had never even traveled alone before!
I'm wondering if it was the right thing to do. I'm thinking about, how my life would be so different right now, if I hadn't done that; I'm thinking about how my mind would be so different now, my opinions, my outlooks! I changed my life, through forcing plane tickets down my throat! I was like, "I need a change in my life" and I forced plane tickets down my throat! Train tickets and bus tickets, too! I'd wake up in my hotel room not remembering that I had flown out into the world, half down to my wit's end! And then I'd fall asleep at night with eyes wide open, almost! I would be like, "Oh dear God, what's going to happen to me, tomorrow?"
I was at a point in my life where I needed to do what I did. For myself. But I can't help but wonder about how different I would be right now, if I didn't do what I did. I'd be ignorant of so many things (sometimes, ignorance really is bliss), I'd be less hurt and less frightened... but I'd also be less resilient and less brave! I wouldn't be able to write the many things that I write today, because I would have seen less and experienced less... I wouldn't have been able to write my now very famous quote that's about throwing yourself out into the open! Because that's what it was about! I wrote it on the airplane about ready to throw up from airplane anxiety!
While I sat in Venus' Temple in Portovenere, Cinque Terre, I became Pagan. I sat there, and I felt like it was home. I was like, "I'm home now." And that's when I started believing in many gods and goddesses! Because I felt that connection in the Temple of Venus. That's a HUGE change to have, in life! And it wouldn't have happened had I not gone on that trip! It didn't matter to me that the temple had already been remade into a Christian Church; I connected with the original stone of it! And when I went to Siena, I felt like I connected with a past life! I felt like I was in my childhood city, walking my childhood streets— I found closure! I found closure in a place I'd never been to before! How is that even possible! But I left Siena feeling whole on the inside! Like I'd found something I'd been looking for! And I hadn't even made any friends there!
I met people... maybe too many of them! Some I'm still friends with until now, some I was only friends with, for a day! I learnt what it felt like to really need companionship in one day, and then to have to let go of that at the end of the day because the other people were going another way and I taking a different path! I was homesick, but at the same time, I forgot about home! I found home in Rome, while watching a huge, large, big Italian family (three or four generations of family) having a party on the rooftop of Hotel Diana Rooftop Garden, where I was sitting and having dinner at, alone. I watched them, I listened to their laughter, I soaked up something that filled a hole in my heart! I realised, that one day, I wanted to fill that hole in my heart permanently— I wanted to one day belong to a huge, large, big family, too! And have parties on rooftop gardens with grandfathers and toddlers and babies! I had to travel a million miles, just to fill a hole in my heart!
I still refer to those trips as the best days of my life, thus far. But at the same time, I can't help but wonder if they really were the best days, because, had I not gone, I would have never known! But I just feel the goosebumps all over again, when I think of walking the Roman streets— those cobblestones! I feel the air over my skin again... the Roman Summer heat... it's like a dream, like your best dream that you've ever had, except you have the pictures to prove that it really happened!
I learned some of the most precious lessons of my life thus far, while on my travels. Some that made me, some that broke me in ways... I wonder if the breaking was worth the making... but something tells me it was.