I’m home, or more specifically Los Angeles. I’ve been home for a week and while I was going to continue in chronological order of my trip, I’m in a completely different headspace now, to be summarizing what I did. I will have a followup post of all the places visited and things that happened. Soon.
It turned November 1st and similar to the U.S. Christmas decorations are slowly being put up. In my head I would think “We’re not past Thanksgiving yet.” And then realize I was Italy, where Thanksgiving means nothing.
Here’s the thing about leaving for a long trip in August, the weather eventually will turn cooler. It got to the point where a third of my suitcase was pretty useless. I had planned to go east, but needed some warmer clothes, and probably some boots. Rain is a naturally occurring event everywhere except for Southern California.
The other thing about traveling by myself is I’m the one doing the planning. Finding places to stay. Finding things to do. Researching flights. Train tickets. Museum times. Where to eat. Places to buy boots. I like to research, sometimes to a fault, but it does take a lot of time. There were a couple of times I didn’t know where I would be going until the day before. My plan was to go to Vienna and then to Budapest. Budapest to Croatia and then onto Romania. Then home, because by then it would be close to Thanksgiving.
Something else happened before that, I met a man. An American, who lives in Milan. I had changed my location in Milan, on a dating app and matched. I of course didn’t even see it until after I had left Milan. Then we emailed for a couple of weeks. I decided to fly from Milan to Vienna, because it’s cheaper, but also my curiosity got the better of me. My flight was leaving on Sunday night. We met up on Saturday night and then met up again Sunday during the day hung out all day until it was time for me to leave. We discuss meeting somewhere the following weekend like something out of a formulaic rom-com movie.
I go off to Vienna.
And because of logistical reasons, and because it’s last minute flights gets too expensive for him to meet me someplace, I in turn come back to Milan on Thursday night. We spend all weekend together, going on day trips, spending a night in Como. And, no, I did not see George Clooney.
For not knowing someone long, there was an easiness to being with him. And everything we did was magical. We went to a bar and had the best food. And then randomly we went to this super cool wine bar/restaurant that was great.
And then on a bus ride in Como, it hits like a ton of bricks. I realize that I can’t keep traveling by myself anymore, not after spending so much time with one person. I needed to go home. I also kept having dreams about looking at a subway map and not being able to understand it. Which is probably a telling sign.
There have been parts of this trip where I have certainly felt lonely but pushed past it and bounced back. This was a different feeling, I couldn’t go further. I bought a flight home on Monday and left on a Thursday. I feel like my gut reaction to everything was good, I don’t have any regrets about not staying longer. I even thought about going back to Barcelona again, just because I loved it, but that didn’t sound appealing, I was just done. Now comes the hard part.
Now that I’m home, I don’t know where to begin.