It's hard to believe that this nearly month-long tour of England, France and Italy is almost over. It's been a long time since I was home, and trains, hotels, rentals and strange languages have become the normal. Our world has shrunk, while becoming strangely big. It's odd to spend weeks at a time talking to 2-5 different people each day without much other interaction with humans other than, "I'll take two scoops of gelato please." (guilty)
I'm ready to come home, while hating the thought of being so far away from all these beautiful places, languages, people, and food. We've done some really incredible things: like viewing original manuscripts by 13th-18th century writers, stood in places of history like Westminster, Luxembourg, Florence, been rained on in London, drank tea and espresso, listened to street musicians of every description, woke up in Paris, viewed original works of Michelangelo and 12th century Chinese artifacts and ways or writing, developed inside jokes and laughed over wine and dinner many a time, made mistakes and of course had high and low times.
Writing this now makes me realize how incredible trips like this really are, because to expand to assimilate all this takes a lot of fast growing and it's like living a 1,000 years in 1 month. Sometimes you can't do it anymore and have to retreat into music or a quiet moment in a park somewhere, and sometimes, like when I walked into the British Library's collection of British literary treasures, almost have to cry over the sheer amount of collected literature in the room that has impacted so many of us over the centuries. It does something to see the author's scratched-out and written-over sentences, with replaced words and notes in the margin, especially to a writer who is far from leaving a mark on the world. It reminds one that this was life for them, and the mistakes and changes and growth are a part of life.
Stay Tuned: this is not a wrap-up to the trip, there's more to come.
Iconic sites and sights.
.. and then more. We are in Italy currently, which is high on favorite places to be, and I plan to blog about being in Verona and Florence, travel mistakes and tips, favorite things, places, and tips for packing and working while traveling.