All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware…

11.22.11

“The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other’s welcome, and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image away from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life”.  – Derek Walcott

I read that quote three days before I embarked alone on a 10 day journey to Italy that changed everything, I didn’t know it then, but that trip altered my view on how I see my life, friends/family, aspirations, the world…

When you travel you experience more then just the sights, especially if you travel alone! Your support system is gone, & the safety net that some of us so desperately cling to, is ripped out from underneath us. The word Independent, takes on a whole new meaning, and you somehow rise to the occasion and find strength you didn’t know you had. Your senses are enhanced and each moment that you experience becomes better then the last and more meaningful then the first.

It’s exhilarating being alone and being able to do what you want, without anyone to tell you otherwise. You want to turn left and explore a small winding alleyway….you can do that! Feel like walking at 1am and seeing where your feet lead you, yes, that is possible. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that part, but my heart did ache sometimes when I saw something funny or beautiful and wanted to turn and say, did you see that? Its a harsh moment to know that no one is there….

In addition to being alone I was surrounded by unknown faces, confusing streets and a language that I wish I knew more of, fear could have taken over quite easily, a defense mechanism of the old ways, but it never arrived. It was claimed by an overwhelming joy, an intense curiosity and a wondrous state of peace, obviously, I never wanted that feeling to end and was afraid that, once home, I would fall back into the routine that led me to my travels in the first place.

That never happened either, its no secret that travel opens you to new experiences, people, art, architecture, food, culture etc., but, I think the silent lesson is best said by Miriam Beard; travel is more than seeing the sights; it is a change that goes on deep and permanent, in the idea of living Its a discovery or re-discovery of your soul that always stays with you and teaches you lessons long after you have returned.

Enough cannot be said about my trip to Italia and it, like theatre, influences my everyday actions, a year has passed and I am humbled by how much has changed since Sept. 17th, 2010. I have embarked on a new career, let go of the past and have big trips and plans for 2012….it short, living life to the fullest and with an open heart!

Don’t every say no to any opportunity, especially one to travel, it has the chance to change you in ways that you never thought possible, good or bad, it’s meant to teach you something and that is beautiful!!

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