…and I don’t listen to Salvador Dali. I blink.
My holiday is officially gone. Not that I can complain as this year, I have been travelling quite a bit and have managed to visit a lot of new places and I am still planning some weekend gateways in Italy, but … as always, holiday is always too short. Anyone is brave enough to say I am wrong? Well, please share your days off with me. I perfectly know what to do with them.
This year, as I have just moved to another country, I have invited my best Friends and we have decided to do some explorling around the area I am currently settling in. I was kind of responsible for organizing the trip – our schedule, hotels, being a driver etc. Was I perfect? No… I failed a lot of times. Have changed the plan uncountable amount of times and got lost at least once every time we were going somewhere. In the end though, I think we had a great time. Personally, I have forgotten about all the stress linked with the move, new challenges and have simply disconnected from my everyday life. Just enjoying having my Friends around. We don’t see too often, so I just had to take the most out of those days.
There we go… I picked my Friend Ewa from the airport last Thursday and unfortunately, the weather completely messed up with our plans from the very start. I wrote in the past, I don’t like having plan. In this case, I did have it and.. had to change it. Instead of a nice walk at the Lake, we had delayed plane due to storms, huge lightning, heavy rain and bedtime at 2 a.m. We woke up… another storm coming. Nervous checking of the weather forecast was not very promising. Crazy idea in one second. Let’s try Torino! Weather forecast seemed fine. Ok. Let’s go. Only 2 hours of drive, so we can easily make it a one-day trip. Almost the whole way the clouds were heavy and dark. First 30minutes in the city was kind of a nightmare, that led us to the nervous laughter and a feeling of giving up! But we didn’t! After looking for few supermarkets, getting lost in the not very beautiful and safe looking park.. we have made it to a beautiful square, had really late lunch and… the sun came out! Our day has started… Our trip has started. Since then everything must have gone right. Next day we picked up Asia and Happy T(h)ree Friends were together again!
I don’t want to bore anyone with all the trips we took, sights we have seen and all the mishaps that ended up in a great adventures. What I want to write about today is my feeling from the first exploring of the place which will be my home for at least next few years. What is exciting, what is scary, what I have learned by now and what is still in the learning phase. Because any expat knows that first few months are only the surviving moments and only after that you can start actually learning the new world around you. Frankly speaking, despite being few years in the UK, I still don’t feel like I have been completely adapted to that world. But this is for another story.
Italy – country of love, food, landscapes, family… Seems like a paradise and I must admit it is very close to that. I have experienced only positive energy while being here and even small problems that occur with the whole bureaucratic world do not change this feeling. What I have experienced those days is that no matter where you go and which way you take, there is always something to look at. No.. sorry, to stare at. The beauty of the country is just not to be described. I have already seen a lot of places in Europe, but never so much beauty crammed in one place. We were walking many kilometers a day. Doing some trips by car. Taking train, cable cars. Walking up the hill. None of this was boring and none of this waste of time or… our energy, which trust me was very limited in the heat we have experienced. Every day while coming back home, I was just stunned and couldn’t believe that this is my new place to live and where to go next. My Friends shared the same feeling and experience with me. They were happy for me, probably calmed down, as they remembered my first quite difficult months when I first moved abroad. Both them and myself have discovered that I am simply another person. With a smile on my face. 24h/7days/week.
We have met some people. In the B&B we have rented, on the street, in a restaurant. Each of them with their story. Each of them with different experience and each of them made an impact on me. Even if we only spoke for few minutes, I felt I have taken out something from them. First person that really impressed me was an elderly Lady that had the B&B in Verona (really beautiful city btw though Casa di Giulietta was the biggest disappointment of the trip). She was running this place for few years already. It seemed that she has given her whole heart to this house and guests. Every morning getting up to personally prepare the breakfast, have a chat with each guest. She has decorated the place in a very stylish way that described her passions and personality. She is a person very interested in life and very caring. As all Italians I have met by now. There is a stereotype saying about Italian hospitality and by now I have experienced it in the best possible way. Even on the street, we had some people stopping us, helping with the way. Once we had a situation when at very late night, me and my Friend were a bit lost, but decided to take some photos. At that stage some strange to us Italian guys came over and started talking. In Poland what you do at midnight… Run. Here, they showed us a way, told us a bit about the history of the place. Nothing intrusive. Probably trying to flirt, which is kind of understandable in the country of love, but nothing uncomfortable. Really funny. 15 minutes of chat and every goes their way. They proved me how easy it is to start talking to people on the street here. This is not that common in any other country I have visited (well, maybe in Spain as well).
The next day, completely devastated after the day in Gardaland (which scared me to death!) and sightseeing all morning in Verona, we have finally made it to Desenzano del Garda. I forgot to mention that from the previous day Ewa has already left for another holiday trip, so it was me and Asia continuing the italian journey.
I almost screamed when I finally saw BEACH! After a week of sightseeing in a full sun, it was a great relief and relaxing time. What I loved there was that dogs are allowed on the beach. Not very common approach, but in Italy it is natural that you bring the dog to the store, restaurant, beach. This is what I love about this country as well. They love pets/animals. Obviously, in my head people that love animals are the best kind of people! 😉 The same day we have also met a Band from South America. I must admit that the only way I remembered their name (my Spanish lessons back in a day were not as advanced as I could have thought back then) was thanks to very explicit story on its origin and it actually made me laugh a lot. I will try to look it up and maybe share some links in the future. I’d love to share their energy! In any case, I have thought I was so brave to leave from Poland while not knowing anyone in the UK. Wait a minute.. was I? I had a contract in my hand, help from HR, some relocation package. They have left to another continent, dropping their probably more or less settled lives to come to Europe. Kind of other side of the globe. The only plan is to follow dreams and to show their talent, which I must admit stroke to me. Everyone has different reasons for leaving, but you need to have the courage to follow your dream and they definitely had it. Short moment but made me think. I said I was jealous of that. Some adrenaline in veins, not knowing what’s the next day, instability, lack of settlement. Yes, I am jealous. Not brave enough to do that though. Possibly also not talented in anything enough that would allow me to make any kind of money to survive…
Ok, but what scares me in Italy. One thing, that was not that obvious for me probably in the UK as I was surrounded by other expats, so I felt that such life was normal. But what I seem to be missing is some kind of link to the past. I have felt it with my Friends now. Having spent my whole High School with Asia and having her now here was a great time. Because we understand each other without a word. I know what she wants by only a look I get from her and the other way round. I am not saying I won’t be able to make such close friends in Italy, but in the end we have grew up together and experienced a lot of teenage ‘problems’ and overcame some challenges, which simply made us closer. I miss it. This is why I really wish they will come here as having them close would be so much easier for me to share every moment.
Still to learn.. Italian people have time. Time for everything. I don’t. I mean, I have the same time as people here, but I am not used to … use it. In Poland we have learnt to be stressed about everything. Every little thing, but in the end what is the reason of that? To shorten our lives? In this stress, we tend to lose the focus on good things. On happy moments. I really hope to be able to learn this and give up my previous habits. I also want to be that happy with no self-created executioner hanging above my head waiting for me to make a small mistake. Just relax and take things easier than in the past. Not less serious, but with less nervous approach and headache.
Probably my longest post, so if you have made it till the end, I hope you will also share your experiences on the foreign place you have lived in or visited that made an impact on you. I am really interested if you have similar thoughts on the world surrounding us.
Keep in touch,