It is truly unfathomable that we are on the final legs of this trip. We had our last day in stunning Sardinia today, and it's onto Rome (our final stop in Italy) tomorrow.
People keep asking how we feel about the transition towards home. In short, it’s complicated! Here are a few of the many emotions I am experiencing:
- Giddy: for some of the creature comforts I have missed (kitchen, food, soft couches and beds, reliable internet)
- Can't wait: to restart a regular dance routine
- Neutral: returning to Vancouver, with its combination of wonders (friends, family, beauty, food) and foibles (dark, long winters, the way its weather imprints on its personality), but buoyed by our resolve to re-pattern some of our old habits
- Conflicted: the thrill of having personal space with the knowledge of how special, unique, and fleeting this time is – when the majority of our needs are met by proximity to and intimacy with each other / conflicted also to watch the kids apply this transformative year to their Vancouver lives, and/but will likely struggle in ways they can't foresee
- Gentle dread: the growing list of real-life to-do’s, the balancing act of personal/spiritual fulfillment, family, marriage, making money, the loss of the spaciousness of travel
- Wary of: getting again swept up the seeming significance of those to-do’s and the reprioritization of what is important
- Peace: feeling grounded knowing it’s time to go home
Sardinia has been the perfect place to dig in before the anticipated chaos of Rome. It’s beautiful and wild, with terrain that feels sometimes otherworldly. We are based in the small town of Santa Teresa di Gallura, hanging out with our good friends, Nina and Steve. What a gift that they met us here. We explored local beaches and rocks, spent a day in Bonifacio, Corsica, and rented a boat to adventure around La Maddalena archipelago.
Rewind a week back to the north/west side of Sicily: We had a great time in Palermo, though I think I might prefer to live there (or better yet, be a university student) and dig in deeper, rather than be tourists. Past its busy, edgy exterior, you could only just feel its underbelly of art, markets, family, food (gelato in a brioche, pistachio pizza, so much seafood). Palermo was thinking someone was yelling at you in Sicilian, gesticulating wildly, but then breaking into a big grin and giving you a fist bump. Always that edge. So much I didn’t understand. Yes, the driving was chaotic, but it just gave Chris fond memories of Asia. Yes, there was a lot of trash strewn all over the streets, but that just made it easier to toss our Airbnb garbage.
We also went to the beautiful beach town of Cefalu (see Emmet's sand construction of one of the many volcanoes we have seen on this trip), Agrigento (ancient Greek temples), and the gorgeous Scala dei Turchi.
Also, Asa turned 7 in Palermo!!! We had a day of pancakes for breakfast, a hike to a wild beach in the Zingaro reserve, sushi for dinner (with a sushi birthday cake), and general lavishing of love on this sweet, thoughtful, mythology-loving, existentially-aware little being.