La Dolce Vita

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I have not blogged for over a week, and it’ll be a few days before I venture to write anything serious.  I am in Italy, leading a community member and alumni trip that ends alas on Monday.   This May I return, this time with students.  So I’m getting a good taste of Italy.

Nothing serious in this blog except that travel is truly a wonderful experience.  It changes you, and stays with you more than any material possession would.  It also is the best kind of relief from the daily grind.  Even though I’m working – setting up schedules, leading a group, taking care of planning – I’m away from the daily routine.

The best part is that without the daily worries of what has to be done and what tasks are ahead, one really lives in the moment.  All that matters is the experience as it happens.  The people along on the trip become close friends, even if I know that after we return we’ll all go back into our own worlds and hardly see each other.  For now, this moment, this day, we are sharing a wonderful experience.

Whether it’s food, gelato, walking through Florence at night as the vibrant city is alive with buskers, people out and about, and the glorious sites of the Duomo, Piazza della Signora, and the Ponte Vecchio, one lives in the moment, and feels relieved of stress, anxiety and worries about petty things like what’s going on in the news.

We started in Sorrento, went to Pompei, the Amalfi coast, Positano, Naples, Rome – that is also a city full of vigor as the past co-exists alongside the modern.  We end in Firenze (Florence), a truly wonderful experience.   At dinner last night we thought briefly about the fact the trip is soon ending, a few of us singing “back to life, back to reality…”   But then we said, NO!  Now we are in Italy.  Now we have a glass of Chianti in front of us, and can laugh and enjoy la dolce vita!

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