Monday, August 1, 2011


Do you have those places that sit just on the edge of your memory? Places you can envision as clearly as if they were floating in the space right in front of your nose?

Six years ago, I spent three weeks in Italy as part of an accelerated academic program through my university. The trip was expensive, and the days went by at break-neck speed, but it was worth it.

I got a stamp in my passport, but really, I think I also somehow got a stamp in my soul.

Even today, I can still taste the fresh pasta on my tongue, the cold gelato trickling down my throat.

I remember the sweltering heat, ducking into small shops just to feel cold air on my face.

If I listen closely, I can hear the sounds of voices blended together, singing praises to God in a language I couldn’t quite recognize but still tried desperately to imitate.

I remember crawling about the catacombs, riding buses with tiny, precious nuns, stopping to take pictures of window boxes overflowing with flowers.

The quaint bars and shops, the outdoor markets, the time spent soaking in a culture so different from my own.

Sometimes my memory plays tricks on me, and I forget how far away six years ago really is, how over 2,000 days have passed since I climbed aboard an airplane in southern Alabama and made my way across an ocean to another life. I was young and high off my freshman year of college. I was giddy with excitement, thrilled to the tips of my toes to finally make one of my dreams come true.

A lot has happened in those six years, and even though my day-to-day life in a tiny town in Florida doesn’t much resemble the days I spent roaming the streets of Florence, I know I’m living my dream come true. And one day, maybe not so very far from now, Jordan and I will collect our change, pool our funds, cash in our savings, and traipse back to the towns we fell in love with way back when.

I will learn Italian, eat gelato, sit in hushed sanctuaries, and breathe it all in.


Christina said...

I definitely have these same feelings about Peru. I spent a summer abroad there and it touched my heart. I think about it all of the time.

Jules said...

I have those feelings about Argentina and Italy/the Holy See. I would love to show my husband and our boys both.

Erika Lee Sears said...

I have the same feelings about Paris but I too loved Italy. I have been bitten by the travel bug and I can't get enough

whitney johnson said...

this post just brought back a raging flood of memories for me! i went to italy for 2 months in 2007 and L-O-V-E-D it. my favorite part was eating gelato every day and walking on all the pretty streets--i felt like i was in the movies! :)

Nikki said...

loved your pictures.....

Jennifer said...

Oh goodness! I would love to have that same experience. I feel the same way about India though. There are so many sights and sounds that I can recall at any moment.

Kelly Sauer said...

It is Virginia, for me. A swing under a deck, the wind blowing through the trees, the pastures, the smell of cows and the sound of the tractor, the fireflies in the evenings and the homecooked meals to the sound of low voices around my grandma's table.

They're gone now; I can't just buy a ticket back. But it's here, in my heart, so real.

I dream of going other places now, but always, this is home to me.