SIENA, Italy – I’m tired. I’m exhausted. I don’t have much left in me.But that doesn’t change anything about my decision six months to go ahead with this trip, as it has proved to be the greatest decision of my life.
But I would be lying if I said the trip wasn’t getting the best of me of late.
I can see the bags under my eyes getting heavier and heavier.
This isn’t easy.
In no way am I complaining. Believe me, I know how fortunate and lucky I am to have this opportunity to adventure around 13 countries and make millions of memories along the way, but in no way is this a vacation.
Every day you need 110% because there truly is no time to waste.
This starts to hit me more so when my plans don’t get exactly according to plan.
Okay, everyone knows that plans aren’t made to always go as planned – nothing is perfect, but sometimes it takes events that you may not always want to occur to physically occur to make you feel beat down and also feel that you really are on a journey with both ups and downs.
Each time I have felt beaten down, however, it has benefited me in the long run.
You simply learn when something you really do not want to happen happens. It only makes you stronger, wiser and more prepared for the next time you may be put in a similar situation.
The beauty of travel is that you just do not know what is going to happen next. It may be the greatest moment of your traveling experience or it may be brutal – it’s a blessing and a sin at the same time, but a risk I am more than willing to take 10 out of 10 times.
Oh, and how appropriate that as I continue to write this post, I end up getting on the wrong bus when I arrived in Siena…a bus that was going to Florence.
Yes, I got on yet another 2-3 hour bus, but as it always does, things fell more than perfectly into place.
After about 10 minutes on the bus bound for Florence, I began to talk to an Italian woman about where this bus was headed and she told me where to get off to return to Siena.
After just being in disbelief about what I had just done, I relaxed and waited to get off the bus.
And then, as if out of a movie, here I began to wait in the middle of a small town about 30 minutes outside of Siena at a bus station waiting for over an hour for a bus to return to Siena.
As I waited – and wanted to make sure I didn’t take the wrong bus – I met this lovely young lady who was from the Republic of Moldova, but has lived in Italy for the past six years.
With her not being able to speak any English, it was time to put my Italian to the test, as we had an hour until the bus back to Siena.
Time began to fly and partially due to Aliona offering me an array of cookies she freshly baked every few minutes.
They were out of this world and it all made sense once she told me that she works in a pastry shop and began to show me many pictures of the masterpieces she has made.
All of a sudden, my tiredness and tenseness from making yet another mistake began to fade away and the smile grew more and more.
So, okay, I added an extra couple of hours to my trip to Siena, but all while having an experience that would not have happened otherwise.
As always, it’s the most unexpected moments and the ones that you don’t initially won’t to occur that become the most memorable.
Only 10 days remain on my journey and I do believe that when the time comes, I will be ready to go back home to New York. But at the same time, I need to remember to relish every moment I have because these moments truly will not last forever.
Things may not always go the smoothest, and sometimes things will go very bad, but it really is all part of the experience and every moment creates memories I’ll have for the rest of my life.
So, yes, my energy levels are running low, but that doesn’t mean it’s time for me to kick the bucket.
It’s rather time to finish strong and not have any regrets.
To a strong finish,