Yesterday, at the end of another round of packing 'Jenga'- so much easier when airplane rules are not involved- and an hour or so drive from Milan, I was happy and tired. Luckily, a sweet local friend offered to come with me and help me settle in. Since I never dreamed the third floor airbnb would entail 6 flights of steps, I was even more grateful to have someone to help and share the laugh- crying. After seeing her off at the train, I had a walk and a wander till I found a shady table at one of the many tiny outdoor spots on the wide cobbled walk by the lake.
After a couple of Aperol Spritz and a panini by the lake, I climbed the six flights and made a mental note. One spritz might be safer when there are so many steps and so few railings lol. I unpacked the four bags, sorted electric cords, chargers and plugs and got things situated. Watched an episode of Ted Lasso which rarely fails to make me stupid happy. Then, despite the party going on 4 floors down, sleep, long and deep, found me. (The price you pay for being this close to the lake on a weekend is the noise of tourists, motorcycles and endless wine bottles crashing into the trash.
It's worth it.
This morning I woke up in this ancient village of Bellano, on Lake Como, in the Lombardia region of northern Italy. To be honest I have been floating around all day. After the past eighteen months of nomad life in the US, waiting for this to happen, it's not surprising that one questions the actual possibility of all the plans that were made.
I never stopped believing.
After two long stays with the kindest of friends, one in the beginning (March 2020) and one at the end (May 2021), and a couple of rentals in between, I boarded a 'covid safe' flight from JFK on the 18th of August. In Milan the next day, I checked into an amazing Airbnb for ten days, to find my feet, visit some friends and just let my body relax into all the emotions that sometimes threaten to overtake me. It was the perfect segue and a gift to myself.
Don't be afraid to do that - to give yourself what you know you need.
I'll be honest, in the last 18 months I've formed a bit of a routine to my days to keep sane. Some reading in the early morning with coffee- a luxury I deny myself when I'm in serious writing mode, a little online scrabble to connect with friends who play too, and a good stretch on the mat when I can't get outside. But unlike Florida, (my last stop) it's not the rainy season in Italy and the weather is yelling at you to come out and walk! Adesso! (NOW).
While I sipped my tea on this first morning -as there was the not so happy surprise of no coffee or coffeemaker in this place, I watched the early morning walkers from my bedroom window, and saw a little movie scene play out. At least, that's what it looked like. A woman, tall and blonde, wearing a dazzling yellow top, black cigarette pants and red heels, was having an animated conversation with a tanned, long haired, blue jeaned man. She was gesticulating wildly, he was feigning pulling his hair out and praying. I couldn't tell if they were laughing or angry. But I couldn't look away. At one point, he jumped up on the sea wall and threatened to jump. This, somehow, won her over. He took his shirt off at that point and threw it down into a yellow speedboat tied in the tiny marina. He climbed down and she handed him her bags, then took off her heels and climbed down to join him, and they slowly made their way out of the slip. The end. But hey, the show was great, the actors did their part, and it was free. Sometimes life just gives you a story you can't resist.
Later, on my walk home after a visit to the local market, about 10 minutes from here, mostly to buy the coffee lol, I had the idea to begin to document this adventure via this blog. The music of the scenery here lit the spark, and the words started dancing in my head. So I'll try . Today I am writing during the day, making appointments with realtors and finding my way around the town. There is an ease in knowing this stay will hopefully be my last 'temporary' place before I move to a long term rental. And a new chapter of life.
That search begins tomorrow.