Kicking the Habit

I can’t believe it. I’ve done the unthinkable: I’ve booked myself a holiday, and for once, it’s not Spain. Well, that’s not strictly true. I should say I’ve booked half a holiday that isn’t in Spain, because there’s nowhere else in the world I’d rather be in Holy Week than with my family, especially since the procesiones haven’t happened for two years now. But after an evening spent stuck in a rut over where to go and what to do in the week prior, I decided it was high time I broke the mould and explored somewhere new for a change. It’s a place I’ve never been before, and yet it’s also a place I’ve had so much to do with over the years that it would be nothing short of criminal to keep ignoring it.

The destination…? Italy!

For years the excuse for passing over Italy has been my (completely unfounded) belief that “everything Italy can do, Spain can do better… plus they speak Spanish”. Spoken like a true tercio, but not exactly the most grounded of opinions, nor a particularly sensible idea for somebody who’s supposed to be a modern foreign languages teacher.

So I’m giving myself a week out there to open my eyes and blow my mind.

I have six weeks to teach myself some basic Italian. Given the almost daily contact I have with Italians at work, that shouldn’t be too difficult – and hey, I could use a challenge.

Part of me feels I’m getting a little old for this solo travel malarkey, and yet there’s another part of me that’s been getting restless for months. I need something to take my mind off how messy 2021 was, something to jumpstart the thrill of adventure I used to feel all those years ago… and, most important of all, something that will give me stories to tell on here that aren’t always about my grandparents. I could certainly do with some fresh material for a change.

A slightly mad move on my part, but if I have to spend another holiday at home I’ll almost certainly go mad. 2017 Me is wagging a finger and calling this kind of behaviour entitled, but then, 2017 Me thought he had it all figured out – and he had just spent a week up at the Edinburgh Fringe, which was probably one of the most expensive holidays I’ve ever had. To throw more fuel on the fire, this year’s summer holidays are going to be little but driving lessons, and as the Camino de Santiago has yet to return to normal, I have no excuses. So it all hangs on Easter.

I have a start point in Venice. And I have an end point in Rome. Eight days is what I have to play around with. I suspect there’s so much to see in both cities that I ought to split the week in half between the two rather than trying to cram in anywhere else en route, but I’ll cross that bridge later. For now, I have a language to learn.

Gee, I haven’t felt this motivated in ages. It’s time to fall in love with the open road once again. Fatti sotto, Italia! BB x

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