Ok. Time for a look behind the scenes of the Don and Linda trips. It’s a combo “True Confessions” mixed with “Reporting from the Scene. . .”
I, Linda, plan our trips. I imagine them, play with dates, spend late nights and early mornings researching accommodations, restaurants, interesting places to visit, trying to take into account each and every element that would make this trip special, memorable, and fun. I plan surprises, a variety of accommodation types, schedules for tours. In other words, I OWN THE TRIP!!
One thing I didn’t take into account on this particular trip was the difficulty we would have in finding the accommodations I had booked. Sometimes we were given only a village name, sometimes an address which defied all logic. And the heat. Each time we pulled into a town it was probably close to 90 degrees F. We were toast.
This caused stress. And arguments. And me saying, “That’s IT. I will NEVER travel with you again. I HATE this.” Read into this crossed arms, lots of harrumphing on both sides, and exasperation.
About half way through the trip, faced with yet another hot afternoon, unknown streets, and the knowledge that ONE of us strongly dislikes walking up hills and down hills, I think I really lost it. And it was at that point that Don came through with some words something like, “Lin, this is part of this trip. It’s really part of the journey, part of the mystery, part of the hunt. Sure, the goal is to find our apartment, but really, let’s just enjoy the process.”
Later in the evening, reflecting upon what he had said, these words just popped right out of my mouth, “You know, you were RIGHT.” Don, in mock or maybe real disbelief fell over laughing and for the rest of the trip we chuckled when we looked back upon this AHA moment!
We still found ourselves confounded at times, trying to decide between a map, a 10-year-old GPS, or signposts. I learned to ask our hosts in emails where we could meet them to find the apartment. People were very ready to help and direct us, and if we were both listening to directions we could piece it together. We relaxed and discovered that walking up and down hills looking for an address strengthens hips and legs, stress and anger produces more body heat, and ultimately, we were never really LOST,, just temporarily mis-guided.
I loosened my grip on MY TRIP to allow for the unknown, the unexplored, the untested. With my concession to Don that he was RIGHT, he loosened his grip on . . .well, he just loosened his grip!!
Is it a metaphor for Life?
What if it really IS possible to loosen your grip, approach each unfamiliar road with curiosity, forget the drama and pre-suppositions, accept that Mother Nature gives you what She does, not be so focused on the end result that you miss beauty.
Speaking only for myself, I liked the journey much more from that point forward.
And this just might be the best photo of the entire three week trip through Maremma and beyond!
Arriverderci, Italy! You always change my Life! Grazie mille!