Today I had a thought. This is my last day in Italy before my dad gets here. My last day, here, alone, in Italy. I have been here a long time. The family I live with is in Namibia, so I have had the house to myself. Well, as much to myself as things go in Italy. The bird-like maid still shuffles around squawking Italian (and testing my patience more and more ever second), and other family members rotate in and out of the house and the pool (one of the only pools in Bergamo) like an Italian country club. But today, for the first time, in a long time, I was lonely. Walking down my quiet street on the hill, many people are gone the month of August for holiday. My street feels more quiet than usual, and it hits me just how long I have been living here, amongst all of this Italian, without any sense of life in America. Traveling is amazing, but for those who think that it is always fun and vacation and party- think again. I always write about how much I love to travel, and how much everyone should do it- but the truth is, traveling requires a lot of tradeoff’s. In Italy, I often feel like I live in an aquarium. Sometimes people stare at me here. Not casually, either. A few days ago, I was taking a bus to go run in a park away from my home (a bus to go run, absurd I know) but this old woman actually stopped in her steps, dropped her bottom lip, and so blatantly stared at me you would have thought I was naked. Yes, I’m in lime green running shorts on a Sunday morning taking the bus… So? I’m not exaggerating when I say she stared at me for five minutes without looking away. Okay signora, I am a weird foreign girl, not an escaped zoo animal.
Don’t get me wrong, I love it here. But sometimes I miss the fact that at home, I could walk around in my pajamas, and park myself on the floor of barnes and noble and no one would even think to look twice. Traveling is about the trade-off’s. It’s like a game of cards….I’ll trade you my venti iced coffee with 2 percent milk and 2 raw sugars for that cappuccino. Sure, I will say the cappuccino is better quality, but after soooooooo many cappuccinos, I miss Starbucks. Speaking of Starbucks, there was a rumor one was opening in Milan. The other day I was in Milan, googling it on my iPhone trying to figure out if this rumor was true. The exact moment I’m typing “Starbucks in Milan?” a group of tourists stop to ask me where they can get the most authentic Milano food. I laugh and tell them I’m currently searching for the opposite, and then I point them in the direction of the best aperitivo. Turns out it is a rumor, there is still no Starbucks in Italy.
I love to travel. I love this world. I love the experiences I have all over this world with all of this world’s crazy people. But today, I missed Nashville. And I couldn’t stop thinking about New York City, and how badly I want to live there. I am nothing but grateful for everything this year of travel has taught me, but I do feel it’s time to be back in the states. Originally, I had planned to travel another month around Europe. But the truth is- I don’t think I have it in me. So, I’ll fly from Scotland to New York City on August 17th. I have an interview in the city for a job I don’t know I will get. I really don’t know where I’m moving, and I don’t know what I’m doing. But right now I’m sitting at my favorite cafe in Bergamo, writing this post under a cool umbrella next to a merman fountain. I’m wearing a new dress I bought myself yesterday, sipping a fresh glass of white wine, and toasting myself for a wonderful year of travel. Life’s not so bad. And I’m sure I’ll connect the dots one of these days….right?