Posted by: dreamitalia | October 23, 2010

What lures us to travel?

Florence terrace

At home in Florence

I got to thinking about what it is that inspires us to take a journey. I have been following the amazing journey of Zach, my wise and adventurous friend, who set out last January for a year long trip around the world. Another friend, Kate, just put her home in NYC on the market to do something similar.  My beautiful friend, Kate, who is about to embark, wrote a thoughtful entry on her AuthentiKate  blog about her pending journey and the meaning of home. Kate & Zach both happen to be in London at the moment, which made me think about beginnings and endings and how circular it all becomes.

These two paradoxes, travel/home, resonate and sometimes conflict in our hearts. While ‘home is where the heart is’,and where we retreat and feel secure, travel expands our hearts and vision, in fact, expanding the entire concept of home and security. Loving the two equally, home and travel, I pause to consider what lures Zach home, and what lures Kate to travel.

I am reminded by Kate putting her home on the market to travel, that I did the same many years ago. I sold my home in Denver in order to travel in Spain, France and Italy for an indefinite period of time. After my fabulous time in Spain and France, I arrived in Florence, fully hit with the impact of my decision to detach from my ‘home’ and travel and live somewhere in the world where I knew no one. As if to counter my doubts, within 2 days I bumped into 2 acquaintances from Denver who were as surprised to see me as I was to see them. As we had wood-fired pizza together that night in Florence, they were so encouraging and inspired by my courage to do what I was doing, that they effectively held my hands long enough to set me free.

After living in Florence for the first month, as I was walking down the street one morning, I nearly stopped in my tracks as I was suddenly hit with the overwhelming sensation that there was something for me there in Florence, the heart of the Renaissance of humankind, some long forgotten connection that was reawakened in my consciousness. I didn’t know then that I would return ‘home’ to Denver in time, and that some years later I would start Dream Italia tours, which also brought me back ‘home’ to Florence.

As I am deep in planning Dream Italia tours for 2011, I realize that Italy lures me like a beacon home. Every year as I plan returning to Italy, I realize it is also home to me, the place where I feel safe and secure and welcomed with open arms. My colleagues are my extended ‘family’ there.

I could walk the streets of Florence blindfolded, and still feel the energy of the Medici’s, Botticelli, Michelangelo, da Vinci and Cellini guiding me like some internal GPS. Travel and home are the same to me, expansive and secure, adventuresome and familiar. That is what I wish for Kate and Zach, and what I hope to share with those who travel with me.

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Responses

  1. Elizabeth! What a gorgeous post! Thanks for the shout out. The travel bug is a funny one. The bite comes unexpectedly and without notice. If you had asked me six months ago if I would be leaving NYC I would have told you, “absolutely not!” But then you just wake up one day and feel drawn to a specific place, or to the world at large. I’m comforted by your story of traveling and running into friends in Florence just as you were feeling uneasy in your adventures. And that now you have a business based on traveling to the place that once felt so foreign from your home. Endings and beginnings. Comings an goings. Thanks for giving me a great deal more food for thought.

    Best,
    Kate

  2. Kate, Thanks! I love your way with words and your wisdom beyond your years! You have given me much food for thought on the journey.
    Warmly,
    Elizabeth

  3. We don’t know each other, but that was just beautifully written! I very much enjoyed reading it and share your thoughts in regards to loving home and travel the same. Thank you for a wonderful post where you were able to put my feelings into words without even knowing me! 🙂

    Kim

  4. Hi Kim, Thanks for your nice comment! I am glad that you feel the same way. 🙂
    Elizabeth


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