Tuscany: To Gallop or Not to Gallop?
I’m off to Tuscany in a few weeks. Haven’t been to Italy since a school ski trip saw me in the Italian Alps and Venice—so long ago the Alps were shorter and Venice wasn’t sinking yet. Loved Italy back then and sense I’ll love it even more now. But when I venture into unchartered territory, I always find myself wrestling with the same quandary: gallop like a mad woman all over the place to take in as much as possible as quickly as possible, or chill the heck out? It’s a holiday, for crying out loud! A chance to relax, stroll, sip, live in the moment, save something of myself for later. It’s a retreat from the craziness of life. From minutia and housework and diet plans. From deadlines. A chance to stop and smell the Chianti. Why do I find that so hard?
I sometimes wonder if my fear of missing out is something to do with being an expat. As you know, I tend towards the “grass is greener” philosophy of life, always worrying I’m missing out on something somewhere else. This results in hurtles through foreign cities, blurred sightings of famous artifacts—Louvre Lite, anyone? —scarcely slowing down long enough to smile at the Mona Lisa. It leads to studying maps on the sightseeing boat ride, planning the next venture before this one’s absorbed and filed for posterity in the memory banks of life. Why would I add more craziness, more wake-up calls, more deadlines? Even if the deadlines signify more enjoyable reasons to be on time, like closing hours at the winery, restaurant reservations, sunsets from castle battlements?
My get up and go has its advantages. I’ve lived several lives, several careers, several manifestations of myself; all driven by hard work and a sense of ‘better get it now while the getting’s good’. But I’m starting to think trying to take in everything means I’m missing out on something vital to existence: peace. Serenity.
Tuscany, if everything I’ve heard about you is true, I’m going to be relying on you to show me the way. Don’t let me down.
To read more about finding your serenity, check out Pauline Wiles’ blog, The Serenity Project at https://www.paulinewiles.com/serenity-project/. She is soooo much better at it than I am!
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3 thoughts on “Tuscany: To Gallop or Not to Gallop?”
Thanks for the kind mention! I’m a little less than serene today due to a somewhat unreliable wifi connection in Iceland, but the journey to be calm is ongoing 😉
Like you, I definitely tend to do a little too much galloping when visiting new places, but am slowly learning that some chill time is vital.
Tuscany sounds amazing – hope you have a truly wonderful trip.
Ooooo I am so envious , Tuscany is high on my to visit list!!! I think you’re right though, sometimes we’re in such a rush to do everything we can’t necessarily enjoy!! Have a fab trip!
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Sorry for the delay in responding – for some reason I only just saw this! I had a lovely time and really tried to focus on ‘the moment’. Sitting still in the main square in Siena, concentrating on the flavors of the gelato, listening to birds in the vineyards. It all helped to slow things down. But here’s the big one – putting the camera away to look at a scene without feeling I had to capture it in anything other than my memory. Hope you have an exciting trip lined up. Thanks for dropping by!