Snapshots of Italy (2).

Perhaps you have already made the journey. However, if not, I invite you to venture with me, by road, through the flatlands of Northern France, past the crisp cool lakes and the ruggedly charming mountains of Switzerland, with its grassy hills speckled with cute toy-like wooden houses, each proudly bearing the red and white Swiss flag, and onwards through the beautiful, joyously colourful and sun soaked Mediterranean regions of Northern Italy, where endearingly uniform cute wooden Swiss houses have given way to an array of brightly coloured tall rectangular buildings of yellow, orange, pink, green, white, brown, beige and sky blue, set in the hills, each distinctly decorated with uniquely ornate railings, flower boxes, and individually characterised front doors. 

Italy exudes charm, character, and vibrant sophistication that is at the same time rustic, homely and inviting. Italy is unashamedly proud of its identity, of its natural beauty, rich heritage, delicious food, and its stylish and charming inhabitants. The Lakes of Northern Italy are romantically seductive, drawing one in heart, soul and mind to savour a sparkling, vibrant, peaceful and life enriching experience of Nature as the backdrop to a truly unique, exquisitely beautiful and alluring country that is Bella Italia. ❤ (c). 

 

Advertisements

Snapshots of Italy (1).

Hi friends. Continuing on from my new travel series of what “Travelling teaches you”, I thought it would be nice to introduce you to a few of the experiences I had in Italy, and share pictures of some of the beautiful sights. I hope you enjoy, and would love it if you wanted to share your own travel experiences in the comments below. Ciao, bella! 🙂 ❤ x

To start with, here is a picture I took on approach to Lake Como, August 2018:

P1290790.JPG

(c).

 

“Travelling Teaches You” (10).

Travelling teaches you to know yourself. Sometimes we take it for granted that we know certain aspects of our character or personality well, however, it may be the case that we have allowed ourselves to be conditioned in a certain way in our day-to-day lives, or we may be drifting along with our ‘likes, dislikes, decisions or opinions’ being influenced or even imposed upon us by those around us. We may simply find ourselves going with the flow, and not really experiencing the opportunities to live in a way that authentically resonates with who we really are.

Travelling, especially when we are able to do so alone, helps us to grow in awareness of our own needs, wants, desires, as well as of our own shortcomings, failures and need to change or develop certain aspects of our character. Living a life of authenticity is so important, however, although travel is a beautiful teacher in this respect, we can also carve out in our daily lives opportunities for such growth and reflection by taking time out, and being purposeful in getting to know ourselves better, and living more authentically as a result.

barefoot beach blur break
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

“Travelling Teaches You” (9).

Travelling teaches you to plan ahead. Travelling also teaches you to leave your plans behind. 

There is so much to explore, and limited time, so we may find we gain the most from our experiences if we have in mind what we most want to see and do and focus on those. These lessons in planning and preparation can be useful and transferable into our ‘ordinary’ lives. We are so ‘wired up’ in the 21st Century to try to have multiple ‘tabs’ open in our lives, however, just as our computers and devices can only handle so much, so too we sometimes need a ‘re-boot’ or to close down some of the tabs we have so that we can enrich our experience of the fewer things we actually choose to do, and be more productive and efficient in making the most of our time in doing so. 

However, travelling also teaches us to sometimes leave our plans behind, to go with the ebb and flow of experience, and to discover these new experiences organically rather than rigidly trying to set our own timetables, schedules or expectations of how we think things ‘ought’ to be. Sometimes we are enriched by being open to possibilities in the moment, to saying ‘yes’ when it is safe to do so, and to being truly present and alive in the here and now. 

We all have different and unique preferred styles of learning, experience and also in our approach to travel. These may shift and change, or we may lean more heavily towards one side more than another…yet it is good to be open to learning from both, and enhancing the depth, and quality of our experiences as we do so. What is your preferred way and approach to new experiences and travel opportunities in your life? (c). 

P1300028

(c) Photograph I took in Bellagio, Italy, August 2018.

 

“Travelling Teaches You” (8).

Travelling teaches you that ‘selfies’ aren’t always best 😉 That is to say, travelling teaches you to look out for others, and to discerningly allow others to look out for you. 

It might be a little ‘tongue in cheek’ to use the example of breaking away from the ‘selfie’ approach, and asking a kindly stranger or fellow traveller to take a photograph of you, and maybe even to return the favour for them, which will create an end result of a wider panorama and view of your surroundings, and a fuller picture of yourself as an individual. Of course, I am referring to more than just the potential picture that you may come away with, but to the experiences of life themselves. However, I have found on my travels that offering to help others, or accepting help (and obviously being wise and safe in who you approach or allow to approach you), and commonly through taking pictures, opens up doors of interactions and exchanges that enrich your experience. In offering to help others, even in simple ways, you might find yourself in conversation with locals, learning something new about the place or people living there, or about fellow sojourners. Sometimes it is good to go it alone, but we also thrive in these simple exchanges with other people along the way. (c). 

four women sitting on benches outside building
Photo by ELEVATE on Pexels.com

“Travelling Teaches You” (7).

Travelling teaches you the importance of Home. Perhaps this in itself is a challenge to some of us. It is beautiful and inspiring to get away and explore the world. However, there are inevitably challenges and annoyances along the way no matter what we do. Moving from place to place, living out of a suitcase at times, being in unfamiliar territory or out of our comfort zone, or simply not being somewhere that is our ‘own’, of living in a constant state of the temporary, of moving, shifting, changing, can give us a deeper longing for and appreciation of Home. Yet, perhaps some of us, especially those of you who have spent years ‘on the road’ (something I haven’t yet done) find the idea of ‘Home’ a strange and transient concept, and maybe you don’t have a place where you feel ‘rooted’ to.

As much as I love adventure and travel, there is a sense of comfort, security and cosiness in knowing that I have a place of my own to return to, more importantly, I have people I love, family and friends that I can come back to and share my experiences with even if it is just a glimpse into the new worlds I or they have encountered. I find that I appreciate little things more, such as food or drink that would ordinarily be part of my daily life but that I don’t have on my travels, or the familiarity of language, and of shared experiences that go beyond the temporary excitement of travel, and that go back perhaps years with those who are nearest and dearest to me.

Yet, maybe ‘Home’ is not a place for you to return to, maybe your concept of home is different to mine, maybe you live a more ‘nomadic’ existence and you find other ways of embracing comfort and bringing familiarity into your life. If you do, I would love to hear about them. ❤ (c).

cat sleeping
Photo by Fabricio Trujillo on Pexels.com

“Travelling Teaches You” (6).

Travelling teaches you that there is so much more to life to be explored, discovered and experienced that you had ever though possible, and that there are so many opportunities out there to expand your horizons. It teaches you to think beyond what you are used to, to challenge yourself not to stagnate, and to bring these lessons back into your everyday life. Don’t get stuck in a rut, or think that just because the people around you may not be able to see beyond the confines of their day-to-day routine that you also have to limit your vision. Get out there, see new things, do new things, challenge yourself, and never stop learning or growing ~ travelling is such a great life teacher, so if or when you get the opportunity, with wisdom, go for it. (c)  ❤

P1310395 (c).