Life is Short, Eat the Cannoli First

June 6, 2017

Sunday evening, I sat in the living room of my apartamento in Chiavari and watched the I LOVE MANCHESTER CONCERT organized by Ariana Grande.

It was a wonderful performance from so many artists. They raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for The Red Cross. And many thousands of people attended. The concert was free to those who had attended her concert the week before, that horrible night of the terrorist attack. Some even attended this concert coming directly from the hospital.

I know this does not seem to be a travel blog. Please bear with me.

The terror attacks of the last week or so have been a horrible example of what human beings can do to one another. Two attacks in the UK, one in Kabul, one in Iraq, one in Nigeria and I may have forgotten others. All is done to instill fear in the populace, in the world. The news corporations tend to play the images over and over again, burning the images into our brain. This spreads fear, terror, anxiety and pain across borders.

When I feel that fear and anxiety, my first instinct is the stay home, stay in my safe place, and to give up on anything that even remotely feels like it is a risk. Do you experience this response too? I think it is a very old survival instinct. Go back to the cave by the fire when the mastodons begin to stampede. Gather in a safe spot and wait it out.

We can do that. And there is no shame in choosing this path. I have done it. I have spent what would amount to months of my life curled up in a ball of fear. It can happen to any of us.

However, what I have learned from my moments or days of anxiety and fear is this:

  • It is only a momentary band-aid on the fear.
  • Nothing changes while I am in that place.
  • My fear feeds my fear. I must face it.
  • My dreams die while I am locked in fear and anxiety.

When I am not on that sofa curled in a fetal position, lost in panic and fear mode, I can begin to think logically again. I can think.

  • Life is short. And I am missing some of it.
  • I am powerless over crazy people. That doesn’t mean that no action should be taken to protect myself and those I love. I simply must remember that I have no control over other people.
  • What I want out of life isn’t going to happen unless I get off this sofa and move.
  • Sometimes one minute of clarity at a time is all I need. Then I do another minute.
  • You can’t travel with your house, unless you are Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz.
  • Travel is my passion. If not now, when?

No matter what your political persuasion is, no matter what your religion or background is, no matter what the color of your skin is, you have choices. We all can choose to live.

For me, travel is such a strong pull that it assists me in moving forward. When I am gazing at the Pantheon after dark

or Michelangelo’s Pieta’ in the Vatican,

I forget for a moment about the rest of the world. I am right there in that very moment. When I gaze at the Sea in Liguria, nothing else is in my head distracting me from experiencing that moment.

Does travel do that for you?

Who knows what tomorrow will bring? I hope and pray every day for peace in our world. I want to believe it can happen. But if you want to see something in particular in Italy or anywhere, Go NOW. See it, experience it. There are tornadoes, floods, earthquakes everywhere. There are volcanos and rising sea waters. There are wars and crazy people who start them. And then there is YOU.

Chase your travel dreams. Come to Italy. Take the risk to have the best few weeks of your life. You are safer flying in an airplane than driving your car. Hotels have security. Italy has a very low crime rate other than pickpockets—I can help you prepare for that.

Those people at the concert were not without fear. They participated in spite of their fear. They showed us all what courage looks like. Every day of our lives we need courage and we use it. Below is my favorite definition of courage.

That’s what those policemen and women, those concert goers demonstrated. And they benefitted from it. That is what travel can do for you. We can assist you to make it go smoothly. And, if there is ever a doubt that time is short, remember you CAN eat the cannoli first!

Ciao for now!

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