Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Il Mio Sole - I

At this stage in my life, my career has enabled me to journey all over the world. Japan, Austria, The
Netherlands, Brazil, Italy, France, England. I have stayed in a number of five-star hotels, eaten at some of the finest restaurants, and toured some amazing museums and vistas. Many might even harbor a bit of envy toward me regarding where I have traveled as part of my work. Yet I can tell you that I have always disliked traveling. The disruption to my routine can become unbearable for me at times, even when I know I am experiencing something that not many other folks are fortunate enough to experience. When I have to travel, I miss my time with my daughter, I lose the usual freedom of my schedule, I have trouble sleeping in a bed that is not my own, and my body's circadian rhythm is thrown completely out of kilter due to the changes in time zones. Of course, travel is inseparable from the horribly uncomfortable experience of dealing with airports and long plane trips and then, upon arrival in any foreign local, figuring out train, bus, and boat schedules without a word of written english anywhere to be seen. Then there is the fact that I am traveling for a purpose, usually to attend meetings, make contacts, and deliver a presentation. However, I think the biggest struggle that I have when traveling is that I am surrounded by a sea of unfamiliar faces.

Today I look at the itinerary for my next trip. Virginia to Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania to Venice. Then shuttle buses, cross regional trains, and taxis to Trento for a week before I reverse navigate my way back to Venice. Venice to Frankfurt. Frankfurt to North Carolina. North Carolina to Virginia. I have been to Italy on two previous occasions. Once to Rome and once to Elba (the island of Napolean's banishment). Neither of these trips went all that smoothly, and the painful memories of those seemingly unending voyages will likely discolor all of my future travel under a veil of "I'd rather stay home if I could." Se devo devo ... il mio sole.

(Part 1 of 2)