Tag: lifestyle

New year’s eve for ladies

As usual I find myself starting this story from afar, but I’ll try to keep it short. Well, a long time ago, when I was a teen ager, I loved last year’s celebrations very much. I didn’t go to clubs and I didn’t spend uncanny amounts of money in fancy restaurants, I usually had a very abundant dinner with my enlarged family, then went out with my friends after midnight. This was more or less the italian tradition. Time passed by and we all get a bit older, which was even better because it was dinner with friends and a party at home soon after. As it happens, yet more time passed by, so friends were tired an started to claim they wanted to go to sleep right after midnight, then some of them had children and all that jazz. I found myself associating boredom, loneliness and depression with one of the holidays I used to love the most. For a period I told myself, give it a rest, this is just how life goes! Then I changed my mind. I started to tell myself I’m still alive, I want to do things, I want to be happy now! So what saved me from all this decay? As usual, the solution is within ourselves, it only takes a small act of will. I truncated that sort of umbilical cord that tied me probably too tightly to my friends, people I still love more than my own life, with whom I don’t have so much in common anymore, and I started reorganizing myself, for myself, by myself. You should never, ever, delegate your happyness to other people, not even in small things such these.

Well, last year I found a small agency that organized dinners and parties for people who never met each other before. It was fun! I made some new friends and got the chance to wear my favourite dress, the dinner was great and we partied almost all night. This year, tho, I find myself running out of the necessary amount of energy to interact with brand new people. I’m basically an introvert, so making friends doesn’t always come naturally to me and I decided to do what I always do when in doubt. Travel!

My first step will be the little, lovely Tivoli, near Rome. Easy to reach by train from Tiburtina Station, not too expensive and surely equipped with some amazing gardens and ancient villas to see. I honestly don’t know why I never went there before, there’s so much to see and I even found a lovely apartment to rent. I’m almost more excited about that than all the things I’m going to see! Soon after I’ll go to San Gimignano, Tuscany, where I’ll even meet two friends I didn’t get to see since last year. Now, San Gimignano is really, absolutely a must see if you happen to be in Italy. It’s probably on every, single travel guide and if you go there you can see why. It’s a small medieval town, with stone towers, narrow streets and amazing art hidden inside the churches. The last time I went there I was a little girl of maybe ten, so I remember almost nothing, but I still have a small, marble owl my parents bought me as a souvenir. The only flaw, maybe, is that the ancient burgh is not immediately linked to Florence. You can still get there by train+bus, so this is not even a real problem, and probably it’s even easier to reach if you’re in Siena.

Well, of course I’ll be back on this topic probably at the very beginning of 2020 and hopefully with some nice pic to show you. Let’s hope the weather will have mercy.

Never too late

This feels sort of personal, but I want to talk about my experience because I’m sure there are a lot of other women out there who are going through the same path. Maybe this can help a bit.

So we all want to go, right? Then why we end up staying?

When I was 20 I was super shy, afraid of my own shadow and at the same time eager to spread my wings and fly. Imagine the amount of frustration, to be like a tornado trapped in a bottle. I had to finish studying anyway, so university kept me from having to make any actual choice.

When I was 30 my family went through a very rough period. It really didn’t feel right for me to just leave, even if it was what I wanted the most. I knew pretty well, tho, that leaving was 90% running away from problems than anything else.

Now I’m in my 40’s and still afraid, still making excuses with myself. I mean, I do a lot of things, I travel much more than before thus I’m proud of myself, but there’s always that little voice in the back of my head. “It’s not yet the right moment. Just wait for things to settle down. If only you had a little more money.” What changed then? Mainly it is that now I am aware enough to understand when there is a real problem that prevents me from leaving and when I am only finding excuses.

Just a few days ago a friend of mine said something along the line of it’s too late for a new chance and I realized, not for the first time, that I didn’t want to become that sort of person. I didn’t want to wither to the point of thinking that at 40 life is already over. Actually, I feel much more an accomplished and complete person now than 20 years ago. People gets sad when they realize time goes by, I don’t. I wasn’t a very happy teenager and I already talked about my 20’s. Time is making me wiser, calmer, more positive, thinner, even (my nutritionist is an hero and I’m on a super diet which I just love!), but I am digressing.

Granted, there will always be something or more probably someone who doesn’t want to let you go. For me there is family, with the good old adagio: you should think about how to fix your life before anything else. This is a vaguely polite way to say that since I am not married, I don’t have children and I work as a freelance, my life is a disaster and they worry for me. The last part is true at least, they worry because they care, that’s why I don’t get mad at them.

Anyway, my point is it’s never ever too late to leave life at the full extent, to be what you want to be, to pursue a dream or simply to enjoy a peculiar hobby. Unless you decide so in your head. There are many people who are loaded with prejudices that prevent them from doing things, but I don’t have to be like them and neither do you. This obviously doesn’t only concern the topic of travel, it applies to everything. So what I’m doing next? First of all I’m looking for a job abroad. Secondly I’m planning to go away for the next couple of months. Most probably I’ll find myself a nice farm in the UK or Scandinavia to spend the summer, it get’s too hot in the south anyway. They always need an helping hand and they give you a place to stay for free. Isn’t it a great deal?

Is solo traveling the recipe for happiness?

The last time I was in Milan, a few days ago, I went with some friends. A small group of four people that I feel great with. We are soulmates, or something like that, literally on the same wavelength. We had fun, we laughed, we basically lived in symbiosis for four days. It was great and I wondered more than once how fun it would be to go somewhere together, for a longer period. Then I realized that with three of those people I have already traveled on several occasions and it has not always been easy. Indeed, sometimes it was really difficult and this is one of the reasons why in this phase of my life I tend to want to travel alone. Except when I do it I really feel guilty toward others, the friends I left home. Maybe they wanted to come too? Maybe they’d have enjoyed this place or that even more than me? Also I feel like I am missing something, or rather someone, with whom to share my emotions, or simply a table in a restaurant. What I really wonder now is if I am in a transition phase, one in which my tolerance for people, even those I love dearly, is getting lower for some reasons. Or if we all simply changed a little bit so that we are not 100% compatible anymore. Or, again, if it is really so difficult to find good traveling companions but somehow I never noticed before.

A few months ago I also tried to make a little trip with complete strangers and it was tragicomic. I have to admit I have good memories of that trip, especially since in the end the tragic parts were tragic to the point of being funny. After all life should always be lived with a smile, right? Anyway, as silly as it may seem, I’m almost scared to leave town with someone else, but loneliness is not an option that makes me perfectly happy either.

If and when I find a way to solve this dilemma I’ll share my wisdom, that’s a promise!