“Out of my country and myself I go.”

18 Flares Filament.io Made with Flare More Info'> 18 Flares ×

Montalcino ViewRobert Lewis Stevenson. Wow. What a statement. So powerful and spot on and well, I am amazed I haven’t run across it before. It so fits for my life as an expat. And today, as a traveling expat.

As I write these words I am sitting alone in the living room of my friends in Montalcino, Italy. I am having one of those “pinch me” moments. I have my coffee and biscuits, and, having been here several times now, have moved the chair to the place I can sit and see the castle across the way, hear the sounds of the town waking up, feel the slight breeze for which I am so thankful, and just be.

Yesterday, after having not slept well, I boarded a train at 7am for Luzern. I walked to the lake’s edge for a bit of breakfast, then back on the train headed for Milano Centrale, then Firenze. Both trains were pretty much on time, excellent! Really I have rarely had any problems with the Italian trains, but last year my sisters and daughter had quite the adventure, so I thank the trainangels, (yes, I know that isn’t a word, but I think it should be. Has a nice sound, don’t you think?) and get off the train only 10 minutes late in Florence. I could wait for the train in half an hour or run for the one that leaves in four minutes, so of course I run in the 98/37 degree weather and get on the next train for Siena. It sits there for another 10 minutes, but I am just glad to be on it.

As we take off, the sun pours in; the air feels like it’s coming from an oven. I laugh at the sign that is partially hidden by the opened window; it says, “Do not open – this air is conditioned.” Thank God someone ignored that. I move from the sun to the shade, stand and look out the window, pulling my head and hands in whenever a close bush approaches. The heat is stifling and while I am glad I chose to wear all cotton and light colors, the waist band around my skirt is damp and uncomfortable. Or is it? I remind myself I can just feel it, let go of the judgement, be hot and get on with it because I have chosen to head south from Switzerland, to come to Tuscany in late July when I knew the forecast was for unusually high temperatures. Might as well make peace with the heat, right?

And then I see it. Off in the distance are deep gray blue clouds. And we are headed right for them. Good, I think to myself. Maybe it will rain or at least cool down a bit this evening. But it turns out I don’t have to wait. Within 10 minutes, the clouds are over us and the temperature begins to drop. I stand again and feel the now cool air coming into the train car, and my waist is refreshed and cooled and I breathe in my good fortune. Moments later as I stick my hands out the window I can feel the raindrops hitting my fingers like blunt needles. Fabulous. By the time I arrive in Siena, there is a lovely light rain coming down and I walk pulling my suitcase behind me, happily feeling the drops cool my back and neck. I love walking in a summer rain!

Giovanni shows up soon, and soon we arrive in Montalcino. It is beautiful, but I can hardly let it in. I am weary and my head is heavy; indeed it feels almost like jet lag, although I have crossed no time zones nor boarded a plane. But the combination of not much sleep the night before with about 12 hours of travel door to door have taken their toll and I am exhausted. I sneak in a nap before dinner, then enjoy a wonderful Risotto Peporonata which Giovanni made up on the spot in order to use his left overs. Some salad, wine and conversation and I am cooked. I sleep deeply, waking as I often do, but returning to deep sleep easily.

And so, now I find myself sitting here, feeling the cool breeze as I write this. Today I can take it in. Today I am rested and find gratitude easily. How is it that I have come to have friends here in this beautiful place? How is it that they are so generous as to let me show up last minute, and welcome me in like family? How fortunate I am.

Last week I posted an article about luck on Facebook. What struck me about it was that luck is maybe just about going with what is, letting go of resistance, and being open to anything. The research showed that people who didn’t see themselves as lucky missed opportunities, because they were so focused on doing things a certain way. Kind of like walking around while blocking your peripheral view; you miss out on all that is to either side of you.

So, in this season of vacations and travel, I wish you good journeys, and should you find yourself outside of your country or outside of yourself, go with it. Look around and don’t miss a thing.

18 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 18 Pin It Share 0 Google+ 0 LinkedIn 0 Filament.io Made with Flare More Info'> 18 Flares ×
18 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 18 Pin It Share 0 Google+ 0 LinkedIn 0 Filament.io 18 Flares ×