Danté and I began 2018 with a trip to Rome that was intended to be a celebration of his birthday.
I’d been several times before but Danté never had and as someone who is Italian American, I thought it was time he changed that. We’d also both seen video of a phenomenon which is supposed to occur in Rome during the winter months, when clouds of starlings can be seen all over the city. From the videos we’d seen where they dip and dive and undulate over the city of Rome’s landmarks like some kind of aviary ballet, we couldn’t resist seeing it in person.
Alas, a monstrous experience with our AirBnB host and a robbery of my bag on NYE meant our trip did not start off well. I ended up being plagued with negative feelings as a result of the robbery that nearly ruined the trip for me between my visits to the Embassy to replace my stolen passport and my inability to pay for the things I’d had planned for Danté, what with all my money and credit cards stolen………
So my photos from Rome are little more than a diary of wandering the streets. Almost aimless. Hoping to be cheered by the sights and sounds, yet followed instead by rain, gray skies and a near total lack of the hoped-for starlings. We ate but didn’t take photos of our food. We walked but not always with a destination. We explored more by feeling than by purpose.
I share these photos and this story not to ever discourage you from visiting Rome. I’ve had several trips to Rome in the past that were nothing short of magical. It’s a great city. Italy is a great country. Rather I share this post and these photos of Rome to prove that [my] travel isn’t always five star hotels and spa treatments and Michelin-starred meals. Sometimes it’s just, ok.
But I still travel. I will still travel.
Because akin to what the president of my country might have people believe, the world is a place that should be explored. There is no such thing as a shithole country and while there are bad people everywhere, the majority of people you will meet when you travel are wonderful. There are people everywhere wanting to be known and wanting to know you. We learn to be better people who are more tolerant and more compassionate and more understanding….when we travel.
Give the gift of travel. Because you never know how it might change the life of the recipient.
While my experience in Rome during this trip wasn’t entirely magical…
Above all, just explore more. There is nothing to be gained from staying locked up at home.