I hadn’t experienced any difficulties while I was standing on top of a cliff in Dubrovnik seconds before jumping into whatever was in store for me below. I didn’t feel weary when a large Nordic man asked me to sit on his lap in a public park. I hardly bat an eye after I shared an intimately small room with three Spanish men that sang me to sleep, but it wasn’t until I entered the country of Italy that my true grit was tested. Sure, the gelato on every corner is enough to make any sugar addict feel well sheltered, but I never could have prepared myself for the peril that was the most romantic place in the world. Miss me with the Paris argument. Anyone in their right mind would clearly know of the maddening number of honeymooners that venture to Amalfi Coast for a vacation only to spend majority of their trip arguing over incorrectly navigating the public transportation.
While chundering wasn’t on my list, I feared I could be easily persuaded. Their arms are wrapped lovingly around each other on the fast ferry from Capri to Positano: that is the newlyweds, each with their eyes closed desperately trying to block out their motion sickness, and me the same, except mostly due to the swaying of each twosome rather than the swaying of the large vessel. While traveling Italy solo easily could’ve been skewed due to my fellow Amalfi-goers, it didn’t because luckily, I wasn’t alone! The famous Papa Pete flew to the land of homemade pasta and tasty red wine.
My father and I traveled just the two of us prior to our European stint. We took a spring break trip to Park City, Utah to fulfill my dream of learning how to snowboard. It was there that we learned how well we travel together. Rolling with the punches is key for us. From butchering Italian, to getting ticketed for traveling without paying on public transit, we figured it out.
We drank our way through the Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, Pompeii, Positano, Capri, and Sorrento. Along the way we sparked conversations with travelers from Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, France, and many more. My personal favorite being the twosome wearing NYU gear. For those not familiar with my personal life, my brother recently moved to Manhattan, and both my father and I have visited him within the last two months. He approached the NYU couple and instead of mentioning any of the above information, he pointed at me and proudly stated, “Her first kiss went to NYU!” How my father acquired that kind of information is frankly beyond me, but it was undoubtedly hilarious to see the confusion on all three of our faces.
On our way back to Rome where my dad was flying out of, we struggled a bit with some major delays on public transit. Our train was stopped mid-track for hours, and with no English explanation, we were patiently confused. Unfortunately, our questions were answered when we arrived at a station and found that a woman had committed suicide on the rails. The most shocking part of the scene was not her body lying on the ground, but the amount of people taking photos. Picture a collection of Facebook photos from your trip in Italy! The Vattican! Cinqueterre! A lifeless body! Florence!
I’m not even going to sugar coat how hard it was to say goodbye to my Dad when he headed back home. Having a travel companion was so comforting. I was worried that I didn’t know how to travel with other people anymore, but it was practically effortless. Dad, thank you so much. I needed that week more than I need to fuel my daily coffee addiction (which is a LOT).
Seeya when I seeya!