I have never been a very good tourist. I often don’t know what important landmarks a city boasts. I rarely do any research before a trip. I don’t like tour busses. I hate lines. And I don’t like other tourists.
So when everyone told me that I absolutely had to visited the Vatican, I took their advice with a grain of salt. Wanting to make my own decision, I did some basic research. I read about long lines, hordes of visitors taking photos of priceless paintings and strictly controlled access to see the most famous pieces. But I was so intrigued by the complex history, the breathtaking art and the stunning architecture that, against my natural inclination, I decided to visit the Vatican. I should have known better.
I have wanted to visit Rome for as long as I can remember. I grew up listening to the stories that my mum, a Fine Arts major, would tell me of her travels in the late 1970s. Vivid descriptions of her wonder as she experienced her textbooks come to life had my imagination running wild. Near the top of her list of highlights was the Colosseum. She remembered being overcome by emotions as she walked through the ruins. She told me that she could feel the gruesome history in the air around her. Continue reading
This time last year I was standing in the cold misty rain, surrounded by a thousand green revellers, drinking a pint of Guinness. I had just arrived in Ireland and was ringing in St. Patrick’s Day in the heart of Dublin. The chaos, the crowds, the drinks, the newness of it all. It was exactly what I had been craving and what I thought I wanted. So why was I feeling so sad? Continue reading
One warm, sunny morning last October, I walked through a crowded, busy market in the old town of Split. Located just steps away from the harbour I could smell the sea breeze and see the bobbing sailboat from where I stood. I wandered slowly around the packed stalls with their mountains of sweet, ripe, fly-covered fruits and vegetables. No intentions. No thought of where to go. No plan for what to buy. I just observed. Continue reading