the journey will begin in england
It’s not where I thought it would start. Truth be told, I had no idea where I would first step foot on my travels. For the past few weeks, I’ve been staring at a map of the world and reading travel blogs, lost in colorful dreams and wanting to choose everywhere and nowhere at once (because choosing one place meant turning my back on others and how could I do that?). Being a person of passion is a struggle, it can make you freeze in the face of so many choices. Because there is so much I want to do and see and taste and experience, I was, indeed, frozen. I had no idea where to begin.
everything unraveled (in the best of ways).
I won this giveaway in December, which led to a spontaneous exchange of emails, which led to me asking the question that has been on my mind 24/7 lately… where in the world should I go this Spring? Long story short, she suggested that I come visit her in Bath and I was all “that’s very sweet” but I thought she was just doing the polite thing so I gave her the option of backing out, no hard feelings. But then she insisted, so I accepted, and this led to a fabulous 2-hour phone conversation last Sunday.
(Something you should know about me… I don’t dig the phone. I am a serial screener. The telephone is a torture device created for people who are uncomfortable with silent moments (um. yeah. I’m one of those people). So the thought of having to talk to a complete stranger, with whom I felt a strong e-connection, scared the living shit out of me. What if I had nothing to say? Worse, what if I said random stupid things to fill in the silent moments? What if she didn’t like me?)
But you know what? It was amazing. Susannah is so real and easy and freaking hilarious. Remember when you were a teenager and you had a cheap pink phone (giant by today’s standards) and you would talk for hours with your best friend even though you just spent the whole day with her at school? But there were so many boys to talk about, it necessitated the 2-hour after-school conversation, the analyzing of him looking at you as you walked down the hall. What did it mean? Not that I did that, I talked about carbon-carbon bonds and differential equations (mmm hmmm). Anyways, that’s what this conversation felt like (minus the boring academic talk). 2 hours of me walking around the house, lying on the bed with my feet up against the wall, sipping espresso then sneaking a pee with the phone out of earshot, laughing, sharing, constantly nodding my head in agreement.
That phone conversation reassured me that Susannah and I are going to get along splendidly. You guys, I simply cannot wait to meet this woman in person, to take photos with her, to cook meals with her, to listen to her stories told with that adorable English accent. I do believe it is the perfect launching pad for my journey.
So Monday morning, I booked my ticket to London with a return flight from Rome. My trip is officially book-ended, now I just have to fill in the blanks. The journey begins in London, where I plan to see the city solo for 2 days and partake in pub food and a couple pints. Then I hop on a train to Bath for a few days and from there, I slowly take the road less traveled to Rome. I have a feeling Spain and Croatia will be featured. Again, I would have never considered Croatia, but I’ve talked to several people who have been and absolutely loved the place. I’m paying attention to all these little signs. That’s what this trip is about, opening up, connecting, going with the flow. You have 3 separate people telling you that Croatia is one of the prettiest places they’ve ever traveled to? Well, hells bells, you pay attention to that shit. Because who goes to Croatia, right? I mean the odds kinda make a girl feel like she should see what this place is all about.
Wherever I go, I’m seeing days filled with walking, writing, snapping photos, eating, meeting new people and hopefully blogging if time permits. I’m okay with the fact that I’ll probably come home with an extra 10 pounds on my ass. I’m prepared to sacrifice the ass in the name of good food. The ass, I can always work off. The perfect pasta and wine? They don’t come around every day.
Y’all… I’m getting so excited about this trip.
Cheerio, ciao, adiós, dovidjenja
P.S.: Two people at work mentioned CouchSurfing to me. So I’m looking into it as a way to travel cheaply and meet interesting people. Has anyone couch surfed before or know someone who has? Any other suggestions?