This is a major blow to my coolness factor, but I like things to go as planned. Maybe it’s a type-A personality thing, or maybe it’s the oldest child syndrome, but I usually like things to generally go in order.
So why I am living in Italy I do not know. Not exactly the place to live with that attitude.
When traveling, we are supposed to be able to be flexible and able to adapt to our surroundings. We all have our skills and weaknesses, and this is mine. When plans do not go as planned, I tend to stress and fall apart.
I had an apartment lined up in Italy when I arrived here, but it immediately fell through. Of course, some freaking out, some extra nights in a hostel, and some major pizza eating was all involved. Why didn’t things go my way? Even after I had slaved and slaved trying to make sure all the necessary arrangements fell into place?
Because that’s not how travel (or life) works. At all. You just have to do the best you can. When most of us imagine the journeys we are about to take, we always picture the ideal or the end destination—instead of accepting the idea that the travels we take are about the process. Sometimes it will be hard. And sometimes we want to be home rather than experiencing the hard and difficult times.
I was so fortunate to have my dear friend (and former roommate from the study abroad days) join me on this journey. She has been such a wonderful companion for me as we trudge twenty-six miles from one end of Florence to the other. She has also taught me other lessons about being a better traveler—that just because things do not go as planned does not mean that it’s the end of the world. In fact, those are the events down the line that we tend to laugh about and enjoy later. If everything went perfectly, there would be no point in having a journey of your own, which is the whole purpose of travel.
This experience has taught me a lot about myself—that I can make things work even when it’s not how I’ve predicted or planned, that you need a good pair of boots wherever you are headed, and bring some extra gumption for difficult moments.
Guess what? It’s not the end of the world.