So it turns out that something I am not good at is writing while traveling. I’ve been in Europe for the last 15 days, but – as you can see by the number of posts published during that time – have spent basically no time online. If ever I turn this project into something close to a money-making scheme, I’ll work on changing that.
For now, though, steeped in the feeling of already missing these places that I’ve loved – both individually and as a collective way of living and breathing – I thought I’d take a moment to share a few of my favorite moments, as captured by my handy iPhone. More explanation to come in future posts, but in the meantime, let me share a bit about what caught my attention in Copenhagen, Sicily, and Paris, on this wonderful visit…
Copenhagen was an incredibly easy place to visit. The people are helpful and kind – one local used the word “civilized” to describe his countrymen – and everyone speaks English. That’s not something that I look for in an international visit, but it makes visiting undeniably smooth. Being in the city at Christmas was an unexpected delight, particularly because almost everything closes from the afternoon of the 24th through the 26th of December. Yet something in that allowed for an exploration of the quiet streets that otherwise I might have missed. I loved the bicycles everywhere, a memorable dinner at Kokkeriet, and an equally memorable afternoon spent eating and drinking on a docked houseboat, with blankets provided for warmth.
Paris: what is there to say about Paris that I haven’t already said? There were two quick stops here, sandwiching the trip to Italy, and it was everything that I wanted it to be. Lovely, rough around certain edges, ridiculously full of rich food an abundance of pastries. I loved practicing French, running through the city’s streets, and navigating the underground tunnels of Metro stations. More than anything, as always, I relished time spent outdoors, at cafes, watching the Parisians and half-wishing I could stay forever. It remains, without a doubt, a city of my heart.
Finally, Sicily, which was in so many ways nothing like I expected. I missed a fair portion of my time there – and New Year’s Eve and Day – because of a sudden and thorough bout of flu, but that’s all right: the experience allowed me to see what an Italian house call is like. When I was again up and about, though, I loved so much about the landscape, with its hills and citrus trees, and the people, who are just as boisterous as Italians are always rumored to be. It’s a place I would happily visit again, though next time I’ll hope to be in better health, to soak up every moment on that sweet and fascinating island.
Now, after a rainy morning, the sun has come out to say hello here in Paris. There are only hours left on this trip, so I’ll excuse myself, and try to soak up what I can before heading to the airport to start the long journey back to California. I feel extremely lucky to have had this time, and renewed in my commitment to prioritizing travel in the future.
The world is so very big, and I am so very small: what a wonderful fact, indeed.