As I write this blog entry, I am on a plane to Rome with my 17-year old nephew. He's awesome and I feel so blessed to have him to myself for a week!
I had the pleasure of taking my niece to London and Paris a few years ago, and although I had been there before, I am grateful that she allowed me to see it again for the first time through her eyes.
The same is true of this trip with my nephew.
His parents have called to thank me, and friends and family have told me what a wonderful Aunt I am for taking him on a special trip as a high school graduation present. In actuality, it is really I who is the lucky one.
I have two fabulous stepsons and a daughter in law, but don't have children of my own. I have gotten great pleasure out of seeing my niece and three nephews grow up. We live hours away from each other, but I have a unique relationship with each and I love them dearly (even if we don't see each other that much and two of them have “unfriended” me on Facebook).
Anyway, the fact that a 17 year old wants to spend a week away with me is pure gold in my book.
I’m leaving the hubby at home for this amazing and unforgettable adventure.
I’ve been working hard to get my knee in shape for this trip, and I feel strong. It’s odd for me to be a bit hindered while traveling. I’ve hiked the Grand Canyon! Climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and roamed throughout Thailand and New Zealand on my own for goodness sake! I can’t let the cobblestone streets of Italia stop me!
We’ll go to the Coliseum and the Vatican. The Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio. Take museum and culinary tours. He loves food, so even if I just shower him with local pizza, pasta and gelato he will be happy.
And we’ll sit and chat (and I’ll ice) in between.
The times in my life I spent traveling have offered me the opportunity to gain a perspective I never would have had otherwise. They have molded me into a global citizen. I hope to open up the world to these young adults even just a little bit, and have fun doing it!
After we returned from London and Paris, my niece started to pay more attention to fashion, and gained an interest in architecture. She is about to embark on a month long course in Paris - I couldn’t be more thrilled! I don’t take credit for her upcoming adventure, but I’m happy to think that when she visits the sites we’ve seen together, she’ll think of our trip with a smile.
My nephew has downloaded his Italian dictionary app, has maps in hand and a fork ready to go. His friends are going to the Outer Banks for “beach week,” and he’s bragging to them about his trip to Italy. I couldn’t be more pleased that he’s not disappointed to be missing a getaway with his friends. My parents probably remember well the trips I passed up so I could stay home and have a party while they traveled. I still haven’t made it to Israel (yup, as a teenager, I stayed home to hang with my friends instead of going to Israel), but will some day.
What can I say; I’m a social being (my friends call me Julie McCoy). Google it if you don’t know what that means!
But I digress. Whether it a trip to Europe, or an excursion to the local fair, I encourage you to take adventures. On your own, with a loved one, or an acquaintance. Step out of your comfort zone and just go.
While out to dinner the other night, our waiter talked about his grandmother’s love of travel. He mentioned a number of places she’s gone, and called her “the Italian Queen.” She’s never been to Italy. She is no longer able to travel and will never get there. I felt sad for her, but am hopeful that all she’s done and seen satiates her.
So whatever burning desire you have, whether it to put your toes in the ocean after this long cold winter, take a trip, or meet up with someone special to you. Make it happen! It’s YOUR adventure, and I encourage you not to hesitate.
As for us, we're off!
Ciao for now,
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker ™