Florence, Italy – October 9th to Oct 11th 2013
Initial Thoughts: Arriving in Florence I had the intention of getting a hotel room for a much needed night to myself. However after checking my emails, I realized a booking that I thought hadn’t gone through had in fact reserved me a place at a small hostel. I was annoyed that my relaxing night was ruined but as soon as I arrived I knew it was for the best. The hostel owner Nadia was ridiculously friendly and helpful, the rooms were clean and comfortable and best of all my two roommates immediately included me in their plans and their bottle of wine. Within minutes I went from wanting a night alone to agreeing to climb the famous Duomo to watch the sunset.
Best Moment: After making it to the top of the Duomo and marvelling at the incredible sunset, we headed out for dinner. We followed Nadia’s hand drawn map to the best pizza place in town and shared a phenomenally good Margarita pizza on the steps of a church. Later we walked along the river, eating gelato and gazing at the city’s reflection in the water. Even though we had only known each other for a few hours, I already felt like we were old friends. I can’t remember what was said but I remember laughing so hard my sides hurt and tears ran down my face. I hadn’t laughed like that in a really long time and for the first time in months I felt like I was where I was supposed to be.
Take Away: We all need moments of solitude, of quiet, of relaxation, but closing yourself off from people means closing yourself off from experiences. After the events of last year, my heart was so hurt and my confidence so shattered that I wasn’t my normal outgoing self on this trip. I spent a lot of time alone, thinking, reflecting and wondering why I felt so detached. I know I needed this time to recover, but I hope on my next trip I’ll find more joy in being with others as truly the best moments of adventure are shared.