We were talking more than lets go to Italy; we were talking dates, plane tickets and hostel reservations.
I sit in front of a map of Europe and find “Bordeaux,” the place that has become familiar to me in the last few months abroad. But as I study the map, I feel that something has changed. City and town names are no longer city and town names. They are places, real places with real people. And so the planning begins.
A few girlfriends and I are in the process of organizing our spring break. The countries I’ve heard of, seen in photographs, read about, and whose airs I’ve wanted to breathe are only a plane ticket and a short ride away. England, Portugal, Spain, and Italy. Will the trip make my bank account cry in agony? Yes. But then I reflect and think to myself, is there any other way I’d want to spend my money?
A while back in high school, I worked in a Santa Monica bakery with a Frenchman names Patrice. He was a stocky, happy man who would hum and bounce around when no one was looking.Well, one day he saw me eating lunch and reading at the same time. Needless to say, I was reprimanded. “Food needs to be enjoyed,” he said. “If you don’t enjoy it, don’t eat at all.” In other words, eating is not a multitasking activity. Food and traveling were of most value to him. At the time I was too preoccupied with prom, finishing high school and going to college to even try to understand the beautiful things he attempted to convey. Now, in retrospect, I empathize with Patrice.
So, here I am sitting, looking at a map of Europe on the brink of choosing how I will be spending three weeks of my life. Only now, the girls and I were talking more than dreams. We were talking more than lets go to Italy; we were talking dates, plane tickets and hostel reservations. We are on a journey for beautiful things, beautiful places to discover, and, of course, good food.