I love plans. I love to plan and to know plans.
But, believe it or not, I enjoy not having a plan. I enjoy not knowing what is happening or when it will happen. There is something freeing and light about not knowing what’s what.
So, when my plans for my time off changed and I had the time to fill, deciding to go somewhere was exciting. Pondering in the wee hours of a Wednesday morning about going to Rome on Friday was exhilarating but seemed unwise and a bit impulsive. So I waited.
Wednesday afternoon seemed like a better time to make the decision to go. Ater finding a place to stay and a plane ticket (and my passport), I was off last Friday to Rome with little idea of what I would do during that time.
Meandering without any direction seemed like the best idea – and it was. The moments I look back on are the times I had nowhere to be and nothing to do but wander and wonder.
Because traveling alone is different. It is freeing in that I have no one to consult or concessions for planning. I have no coordinating for what to do or where and when to eat. It is easy in that way.
I also have no one to share the experience with. I have no one to share the thoughts and reactions with. I have no security in traveling by myself.
Going to Italy alone is easy. But it is also hard.
A place where visitors and locals alike show their connection to one another is a beautiful and isolating thing to witness. It’s a place where people freely display their affection for one another in blatant and subtle ways.
When one person would reach for another’s hand or arm – to connect to what was familiar in an unfamiliar place. To not get lost. To guide and be guided.
It was some of the sweetest moments in Rome.
It was also the hardest.
So, how was Rome?
It was beautiful. It was lonely. It was hot. It was delicious. It was freeing. It was hard. And it was good.
And I understand those with roots cannot fly as easily as I can. I love that about my life.
But understand that flying about means I am unrooted.
Being unrooted is not the same as being unconnected. Being connected is a necessity. But being rooted is a different kind of luxury felt at the deepest places in the heart.
So, for those who followed my steps (and pictures), I hope you enjoyed the journey. You are the reason I shared my pictures in an attempt to share the experience from an ocean away.
I also hope you hug those whom you are rooted to and with a little tighter.
Because when it’s all said and done, I’m sad I had the chance to go, but I am glad I took the opportunity and went.