In reflection.... what can I say...
I can unequivocally say - I have fallen head over heels in love with Italy.
This old world seeps under your skin and into your bones and it lingers there always inside of you.
I think perhaps me and Italy will never be done with each other.
Travelling again, in my 40's is not by any stretch of the imagination easy.
But I think it's necessary... both trips to Italy impacted me so deeply and changed me so much.
It's deep and nourishing. But this kind of expanding from the inside out - is never comfortable, growth is never comfortable but I believe growth is imperative to who we are as humans.
For me, it's not a vacation. It's so intense. I got home utterly fatigued.
But as I unpacked my bags, my precious treasures and memories - I understood this...
that it was something I would be unpacking for a while.
I knew that I didn't want to be left wanting...
I wanted to know that with the time that I had, I wasn't wasteful.
I maxed out and I totally gave 100 and 10 per cent to everything I did.
When you live at the bottom of the world with a shocking exchange rate -
this is extravagance at it's finest and it's something I will never take for granted.
The most remarkable thing about Italy - is finding preciousness everywhere you look.
When you open your heart and your eyes - you see with your soul.
You find art, beauty and creativity everywhere you look.
Especially in the old.
From architecture, to buildings, to door knockers, to beautiful windows and frescos...
every corner you turn is more breathtaking than the next - I took so many pictures because I was desperate to capture it, remember it and to hold it close, so I will never forget.
This trip, I took time to be quiet and still and at times alone.
I stole early mornings and gaps in between to walk, to seek and find and capture.
To dwell, remember and hold onto. This time felt so sacred to me.
It felt so deep and spiritual... definitely more than the first time.
I came with an expectant heart and I left with it overflowing.
Now having gone twice - I know I will be back... I'm not sure when or where or how...
But I know we will definitely meet again....