Oh y'all...I am so excited to start this string of posts about my trip to Italy. To say this was the trip of a lifetime is an understatement.There are so many pictures and stories I want to share with you all, but wanted to start with a few overall thoughts for you.
Traveling out of the country is always worth the money and time.
I know full and well that no one normal just wakes up and says, "Of course I've got enough money to go to ______! Pocket change!" BUT when you invest in trips like this, you are not only investing in dear relationships with whoever you are traveling with, you are adding rich seasoning to your life. I always compare my life to a steak that is simmering on the grill..each trial, experience, relationship, is adding one more complex flavor to that steak...and traveling to other cultures around the world adds flavor like you wouldn't believe. I will be telling the stories from this trip for the rest of my life with fondness, thankfulness, and laughter. So when the excuses start flooding in for why you shouldn't go try to remember that.
This little phrase became the theme of our trip. When I say embracing life, I mean not being afraid... not being afraid to talk to strangers, to walk into awkward straight on and turn it into something you never thought it could be, to just say yes when every rational part of you says to say no. There is a freedom and confidence that comes along with this, and it is something my mom has been modeling for me in the best way for quite some time. For a little example, my mom knows no strangers. When my mom and step dad come back from vacation, they always have a handful of new friends that they have met on their travels..they even befriended Colin Ferrell on their honeymoon. And they didn't just say hi, they invited him to dinner, and by the end of the trip were introducing him to other friends they had met. I learned how to let go and embrace life on this trip because of Ashlea Taylor and Katie McAfee, the dear dear friends I was traveling with. Life happens when you let people in, when you talk to strangers, when you stray off the usual path...and it is a wonderful thing.
So to give you an overall snapshot of our trip, We flew into Rome, headed straight to Florence for 4 nights, headed down to the Amalfi Coast to the island of Capri for 3 nights, and then back to Rome for the last 3 nights of the trip. Can't WAIT to tell you all about it...