Today, I left Venice and the people I was travelling with for the last week – a fun week. Rome was pleasantly historic, much along the lines of everything I expected it to be. Florence was beautiful, and Pisa pleasant, a sleepy seaside town that just so happened to have one of the iconic monuments of the world. Venice, while living up to nearly every stereotype about it you can imagine, was filled to the brim with tourists; it hardly feels like there’s anything else in the city – I’m at a loss to imagine who actually lives there that isn’t there to serve the tourism industry. Milan is probably the most instantly “modern” city I’ve seen in Italy, and it pleases me in a little way to find ‘modern’ buildings aren’t the exclusive preserve of the American or Asian cities.
Now… to the bit which probably sounds a bit worrying to Mum, most especially.
I was thinking, reconsidering so many times during my flight out to Rome whether I should stay the extra week or not. Within a day, I had firmly decided I would stay the extra week, travelling by myself, seeing things at my own pace.
Ah, the decisions made on the fly. I remember Studds lecturing me in Japan last year that I wasn’t open enough to leaving things open; now I’ve swung almost completely the other way, still not having a booking for Barcelona, not knowing how I’ll get from Nice to Barcelona, considering an expensive last-minute flight, only knowing that I have a flight booked from Barcelona on the morning of the 10th, and it terrifies me.
I’m still not sure if it was the right decision. I sit here in Milan, and I reconsider whether it’s wise to bother continuing to travel. I’ve made bookings for the train tomorrow to Nice, and the hotel as well, but I still wonder if I shouldn’t hop it back to London for a few days, consider my flight from Barcelona to London a sunk cost and just be done with the whole thing. Perhaps even make a few days in London on company expense by arranging a few days at work.
I don’t know. I felt this instantly when I parted with the others this morning, on a bridge in Venice, but then, when actually sight-seeing in Milan, or indeed even just travelling from Venice to Milan, I was enthralled. It’s the evenings that are the worst, I suppose, because there’s only so much you can do alone at night. Winter by my definition is definitely here in Milan, and that only makes it worse for feeling that keen sense of being alone.
But… but I don’t want to abandon this trip. It’s a telling experience, and I think it will be a valuable one. Going on experience, everything will work out just fine, and this is just my paranoia talking. I’m a Grown Up and I have to show it.
I’m ok, Mum, and I’m just about to call you. I’m ok, guys, I’ll survive this and keep in touch.
Somehow, I’ll turn up at that airport in London on the 11th of November, at 11:30 GMT, bags in hand, hop on that Qantas plane and get home. It’ll be awesome, and something worth talking about. Thumbs up.