Explore and Wander | Pack Light we're off to Europe
SPOILER ALERT: OUR FIRST TRIP IS THROUGH ONE OF THE MOST CLICHE UK/EUROPE ITINERARY BUT I GUARANTEE, YOU WON'T REGRET IT
So I got asked today to partner in a small travel company. A new startup among wanderlusters who have enough travel experience to be able to collaborate and offer travel experiences to others... wow...
My first thoughts
I've secretly, somewhat selfishly, been scheming in my mind a group travel trip to London, Paris, Zurich, Milan, Florence, Venice, Rome and Back to London. Is this the universe with me? I have been dreaming of this itinerary ever since. It was the exact route I took while on my first trip to Europe and the very route I take again a million times. I have such nostalgia for this that I would repeat it in the exact way alone or with companion. One of the highlights of that trip was Venice. In-fact let me be real, everywhere was magnificent. I can't even front or pick a place.
Then I thought
...ahhh there is going to be a time commitment here!! Is this something I am willing to invest time and money that I may not get back?
I have no idea but it is worth a shot at least to explore this. I am adamant that I will return I am just still very unsure still today, when and with whom. Maybe a venture like this may make this more feasible/ possible.
How would we travel?
Slow, local and casual. We would pack light and there would be no excessive shopping sprees. We'd pick one of two items, if any, in each place that would forever transport us back. It would be meaningful.
I'll try to share with you why I am so touched by this trip and why being in this part of the world left such an impression on me hence changing my perspective on life and, by extension, travel.
I'll start with Venice.
I arrived at the Saint Lucia station in Venice. Via the vaporetto line 1, we traveled through the Grand Canal (towards St. Mark) to the station S. Maria del Giglio. For ten minutes along cobble stoned paths we walked it was eerie, it was in the still and dead of night (p.s. first timers DO NOT PLAN TO ARRIVE AT NIGHT WHILE DARK). We passed by the Teatro La Fenice, down another narrow path, across a quaint bridge into a courtyard and to the BnB door. My first impressions were not so good. I was quite scared and wanted to return to more familiar territory that very night. You probably could have seen a tear drip down my cheek. The fear was real. It was in the morning, with the light, that my life in and experience of Venice changed for the better.
Photography. At the time I had no clue photography would form such an integral part of my creative spirit. I had no clue either of the rules of engagement a the time. I think it was here the seed was planted. A photographers dream. The light, the colours, the character.
Romance. Venice was romantic. The clocking of heels on the cobble stone street was something I would never forget. Venice, I kid you not was romantic. I slept canal side, in BnB whose windows opened onto the canal just above the passing gondolas.
Age. Venice changed my mind on what old meant. The aging and the old. It was beautiful there. The walls. The buildings. The quaintness. The cracks. The Venetian plaster. It touched me. A natural patina that formed part of my sense of style today.
Do you ever have travel nostalgia? I suffer with it immensely. My heart takes to most (if not all) of the places I visit and it hurts to leave. I love home do not get me wrong, I love routine also. I crave it, it grounds and settles me. It also allows for my travels. These places that I travel to are places that I always leave a piece of my heart in and yearn to return to, I think because most of the places I go to is deliberately and after long thought, years of imagination and painstaking saving and planning, hence my nostalgia. What do you think? Would you travel in this way with a group in a group? Would you go with me? Oh wanna know where I stayed?
Ca 'Maria Callas (a hotel in San Marco, Venice overlooking Rio De La Vesta off the Grand Canal) is a tribute to the well-known soprano of Greek origins who chose the Teatro La Fenice (the phoenix rising from the ashes) as her favorite. Ca 'Maria Callas is just behind this renowned theater, known worldwide.
With love from Freeport