A Vacation from Travel

I’ve been a lot of places on this journey. They were all places I have never seen before, with the exception of my 20 hour layover in Singapore. Many of those places were in the third world, in diverse climates. Until now, I had been really nowhere familiar. I hadn’t realized how tired I was until I got to Florence. Maybe this will sound silly, but before, I felt like I was “traveling” and now I feel like I am on vacation. It is so nice. It’s a gift.

In Florence, I know where everything is, I know where to buy stamps and transit tickets, and I know what kinds of food are good. Nothing I eat, within reason, will make me sick from food or water contamination, it’s safe to have the dairy products, and the wine is good. I know what the robbers and pickpockets here generally look like, and it is safe for me to walk around alone and photograph or shop if I want to. With the exception of safe food and water in Scandinavia, it hasn’t been like that in over two months. Imagine what it is like not to know any of those things for weeks at a time, always looking over your shoulder or having to say no to food or drink when you are hungry and it is right in front of you. Don’t get me wrong, I am very fortunate and I know it, but I think I was also exhausted.

I am so relieved that I have stopped planning for the next destination, or anything else. I have just sort of come to a halt. Yesterday, I walked around all day with my camera in my handbag and didn’t take one picture. I let it all go. It felt so good to do nothing but wander. The thought of leaving this beautiful city today makes me almost cry. Florence has been like a balm to my soul every time I have come here. It is comfort, warmth and beauty all at the pace I prefer: reasonably efficient but with time for friendliness. Today, I have a train at 3:00 PM to Torino, another new place to me, but until then, I am going to finish packing and wander the streets with my old camera. I think black & white film will suit the timelessness I feel here. I hope you understand.

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2 Responses to A Vacation from Travel

  1. Aiyana says:

    Hi Jennifer
    Been away and off internet for a while so catching up on your adventures. My, you are one brave lady…you have such fortitude and strength. I think you could have taken Carthage by yourself!
    Glad you found some peace in Florence which is always a delight…You have seen so much, learnt so much, felt so much…you must feel a completely different person by now.
    Your blogs are fascinating and I love all the minute details you put in them..it makes it so much more personal. Sorry I haven’t responded more…
    Enjoy the rest of your time! what a great way to lose weight!

    Love Aiyana

  2. dinky says:

    jennifers,

    Glad that you’ve had a chance to truly relax and enjoy yourself in Florence. I’m just sorry that it’s been for such a short period as I know several more days would have been an even bigger blessing.

    Travel safe and secure my friend!

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