The Art Of Getting Lost

Take a Jersey/Florida girl, insert into a foreign land and whadda ya get? A girl who pretends she knows exactly what she is doing at all times. I landed in northern Italy in a mountain lake town called Varenna and literally stumbled off the train. Thanks to my 2 heavy backpacks that slid off my shoulders of my $8.00 goodwill slippery coat. The platform to get off the train had a 12” gap step down, here I am, with a 20lb suitcase and a backpack on each shoulder. LOL…I didn’t fall to the ground thank god, but came real close. Its 80 degrees when I expected 50, I am sweating and tired and its 3am my time, but I don’t care, I have arrived.

The Italian hum outside starts before the sun rises with delivery trucks bringing in fresh goods. Then the church bells ring every 30 minutes and the constant flow of people walking and talking in all different languages. There are suitcases rolling on the streets, music coming from the cafes, kids playing, motorcycles zipping by and lots of bike riders, the serious kind wearing their spandex.

5 days in George Clooney land. I choose this area for the tranquility, was thinking lazy days, good food and rest. First order of business was to get an Italian phone number, had to train it to the next town and had my first lesson in the art of getting lost. I really have no idea where I am going. Every town here has a square and this is where the shops will be? Just follow the people? This was my first visit to a grocery store too, fascinating watching these mamas shop and socialize. No men shoppers. I just pretend I know what I am looking, stopping to smell the tomatoes, all the while watching and listening. My Italian language lessons are definitely helping. The phone store needed a passport, who knew? In the beginning, being lost felt nerve wracking, I had to force myself to do it and just kept repeating, I’m really in Italy, I’m really in Italy.

By the time I got to Venice I read that I should get lost on purpose, it’s an island, and to get the real feel for the place is to venture away from the tourist areas and roam the alleys. I am not here to shop, ok bought 1 scarf and 1 necklace, I am here to eat and learn this culture. The Italian men are easy to spot, not so much the women but everyone is smiling and friendly, I feel safe. One woman came up to me and started talking in Italian, going on and on hands flailing about, but in a nice way. It must have been over 5 minutes before I pointed to me and said, Americana. She just laughed and said a whole bunch of more things I didn’t understand either, she talked really fast. I smiled and we bid each other good day and went on our way.

So I will continue to practice getting lost without letting it bother me. As a former planner of all things, this will take time. Time is the one thing I have a lot of.

Comments ( 9 )

  • Lynne says:

    Hey Girl! Looks and sounds fabulous! What an amazing experience. You really are in Italy!!!!
    Have fun and stay healthy and safe. Think about you all the time. xox

  • Dionne says:

    Thanks for sharing. Love it! Wish you the best and hope you accomplish everything out of your travels. Loved hearing from you!

  • Denise Gallello says:

    So happy to read about your long awaited arrival to beautiful Italy. And that your internal compass has brought you to discover the many delights of this beautiful place. And it's just the beginning! Ciao Bella !!

  • Di says:

    Happy to hear you have arrived in Italy. Looking forward to reading all about your adventures. Be safe, have fun and enjoy being you! xo

  • Lisa Maleh says:

    I'm a friend of Denise Gallello
    Ciao wanted to recommend the island of Burano! Fantastic!

  • Kathy LaFayette says:

    You made it!!! Enjoy, be safe and eat yummies for us!! xo

  • Debbie Mastenbroek says:

    HI Deb

    Sorry, you were a little late, George got married :)
    Glad you arrived safely.

  • gloria says:

    so happy you are having a great time. pictures are really beautiful. I will email you later. love ya...

  • Mike says:

    This is exactly what I hoped for your first experiences! Maps are overrated and you'll find the best cafes and shops will be in the small alleys and neighbourhood corners. Love you!

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