mercredi 11 juin 2008

what I learned on the Italy voyage

I wrote this a while ago in my journal...

I just loved traveling with these girls. As much as we love being American, we certainly didn't fit that American stereotype that foreigners hold against us: loud, obnoxious, and sticking out like a sore thumb. Something that we call, "Ugly American". There's actually a book out with that name.

And, by nature, we're not really loud people. So it was nice just being in silent awe of what we saw and not making a scene.

The really hard thing about traveling is that you want to see the "best of" but, as I have learned, I also want to enjoy the moment and relax and take in this beautiful place. I think that's the difference from being a traveler and being a tourist.

To do to make this all possible and to keep a balance between both:
1. Plan ahead: If we had of known how long the crazy lines were, I would have made reservations for the Uffizzi. Instead we lost almost 3 hours standing in line

2. Make a conscious decision: This might be harder for some people, but I want to see a city more than once. I'm not one of those checklist people. I try to make a conscious decision to come back for another visit. You can't know a city in a weekend. There's just too much. I've been in Paris for almost a year and I still don't truly know some parts of it. I want a reason to come back though and explore more which takes me to my next point.

3. Explore: Traveling is about exploring, making the best out of your time in a beautiful place. Learning comes from experience, and experience comes from trying something new.

Also, I learned other things...

1. Have money: Take care of money problems and letting your bank know you're abroad. It sucks that this had to happen to Keisha.
2. There are amazing boys everywhere. Who cares if English is their second language.
3. I don't have to spend time in a museum to enjoy a city, and it's not the end of the world if I don't see some famous work of art.

Yesterday was pretty sweet. Went to the catacombs again this time with Melissa, Kathy, and M's friend Myra. Then lunch at an Italian restaurant. I got the fish and it was so good. Later decided to go to the Saint Medard to write a bit, and Lucia wanted to join, so we sat there with demi-citrons, our legs getting a tan since we were both wearing dresses. We talked, people watched, I wrote for a while and Lucia drew. It was nice. I saw a girl with a brown bike that I absolutely adored, and it made me miss my bike at home. A nice, laidback day.