30 Days of Indie Travel Project Day 12: “MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS – Travelers meet dozens, of new people on every trip. They may stay in your life forever or be forgotten the next day. Tell about a time you felt a powerful connection to another person while traveling.“ : To Read the blog in Italian click here
For me, traveling is all about making connections. I am not talking about making an airplane connection or jumping on the right train as it pushes out of a station, but instead I am talking about making personal connections. Travelers by nature share a tight bond. We are curious, we are adventurous and we are ready to step outside our normal comfort zone. There always seems to be an esprit d’corps amongst a group of travelers staying in the same hotel, riding in the same train compartment or hanging out at a bus stop waiting for a ride. It is easy to strike up a conversation with our fellow voyagers. There is never a lack of subject matter. “Where are you from?”…”Where are you all going tomorrow?”…”What did you guys see today that you recommend that we see tomorrow”?…”Do you want to grab a bite to eat together”?…”Let’s go get a drink at the bar”?…and so it goes. Traveling changes the speed in which we make friends. It seems that in a shorter amount of time, based on our shared experiences, we connect and develop friendships that last for years, long after the vacation is over. It doesn’t hurt also that we have Facebook to keep us all connected.
Therefore this blog is dedicated to all the friends we have met along our travels and to those we have still yet to meet. Some of you I have met by chance on the street in Italy, others of you I have met through the Internet and then in person. You are all great and make the travel experience so amazing. Looking at all these photos makes me remember all the wonderful times we spent together. I am really blown away that I have the great pleasure of calling of you my friends. Traveling is better when shared with others… and friends are the best souvenirs you can bring home from a vacation.
Charlene è Pete Gridley we met for the first time in the Cinque terre in Vernazza. She is a graphic designer and artist and he is a photographer. Charlene shares a passion for the Italian language. We have met up back in the states and even tried to coordinate meeting up in Italy again.
Anna e Dave Porter we met on the Amalfi coast at the Hotel Onda Verde. What a great time we had together in our cliff dwelling days together at the hotel. We also went to Capri together …and of course drank too many bottles of wine to count!
Claudio Maraniello e Lara Gargs we met first on the Impariamo website practicing my Italian and then during our stay on the Amalfi Coast. They drove all the way from Napoli, battling evening traffic to meet us in Praiano. We had dinner and chatted late into the night. Hoping to get them both out here to see us in California soon!
Rossella e Massiamo Balestrini Rossella and I also met for the first time in the Impariamo forum. We quickly became friends and now consider ourselves sisters. We meet frequently on Skype and facebook and I have been fortunate enough to visit her and her handsome husband Massimo, a talented artist, several times at their home on Lago di Garda.
Gabriele Moschini Gabriele and I also met on Impariamo and then in person along with Monica Gallini in Parma for lunch. He was a wonderful tour guide and showed us all around Parma. Gabriele is a font of fabulous information!
Le donne di Milano! During our stay in the agriturismo in Mantova we hung out with these lovely ladies and their kids, who were escaping city life for a taste of the Mantovan countryside! Every morning we shared breakfast and animated conversation. That rainy weekend in September we ran in the same circles & every time we bumped into each other in Mantova or Verona there were big smiles and hugs all around.
La Dalla Ricca famiglia we visited the in-laws of our friends from Milan who have a summer house in Mantova. The warmly welcomed us and we spent a great day with them on their cow farm, visited the Grana Padano cheese factory and the area around Mantova
Serena Carresi Serena is an Italian friend who follows my blog. When we were in Cortona last summer, out of the blue I heard my name being called. It was Serena that had recognized me. She was with her mother and we hugged and had a wonderful reunion in front off the ice cream store. My family was amazed that she had been able to recognize me in the middle of italia!
Gli amici d’Umbria!!!! It seems as if I have known these friends for years. But, infact we all met for the first time on Facebook. The last two times that we have gone to Italy we have made special trips to see them. They are so warm and lovely and everytime have put on a great big feast for us. We are so fortunate to know: Giselle e Mark Stafford, Gabriele Cruccolini e Federica Lorenzoni, Letizia Mattiacci e suo marito Rüd, e Rebecca Winke
La famiglia Mirabile. The Mirabile’s are the family of Francesca (our exchange student from Puglia/Italian daughter) We stayed a week with them last summer. Vittorio, Francesca’s dad is a fantastic man that did so much for us and made our stay a real delight. He also found us a trullo in which to live! All the aunts, uncles and cousins were terrific and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.
Vita Gentile e la sua famiglia Vita is a friend of Francesca, my Italian daughter, and now a dear friend of mine! We meet often on Skype and this summer we met in person for the first time and our families spent a wonderful day at the beach together. I will never forget the excitement and the joy we felt when we embraced for the first time!