This is a view of the itinerary Pat and I will follow in Italy. The trip will begin with a week in Rome, a week in Puglia with our base in Lecce — you can see it right on the heel of the boot, a week in Eastern Sicily with an apartment in Syracusa, then five days on the Amalfi Coast (Ravello) and then a return to Rome. An entire month. And that requires a little bit of background.
Pat and I have traveled to Italy twice previously, but both have been in the northern areas, Tuscany, Venice, Cinque terra, Lucca. We’d only had one day in Rome, and I have been eager to get back there to get a better feel of the city, see more of the city’s art and architecture, and hang around places like Campo de Fiori that I have heard so much about. But that’s an old story, and there are a lot of places we’d like to go.
The difference this time began with the decision to leave full-time employment — officially on Oct. 1, which, incidentally, is the day this trip begins.
Pat suggested that I might need a month’s trip to move past thinking about work continually and focus on the next phase. It is a worthy goal, and part of this trip will be an investigation into whether I can do that. I have always identified myself with what I do for a living, and my goal is to live more in the moment, be content with what I am doing at the time. Cliche? Sure, but accomplishing it will require going beyond cliche status.
So the decision was made to take the month of October to travel. I think Pat may have had some self-interest in mind, but she seemed from the very beginning to be willing to make the sacrifice to take a month from her schedule to mess around in Italy with me. The itinerary was interative: I wanted to go to Rome, and I had been thinking about Sicily for a while. Patty wanted to make sure there were opportunities for walking and hiking, which she prefers to the more urban pleasures I prefer such as hanging around drinking coffee in the morning, wine in the afternoon, and napping in between. So this itinerary is an amalgam of those two pursuits. Not really a compromise: the idea was for everyone to get to do what they wanted some of the time. As this blog evolves, I want to talk about where we have been and what we have seen and done, but also explore the other questions of life after work — or before returning to self-employment — and getting along with each other while everyone around us is speaking Italian.