Hello everyone! I hope you’re all having a good week wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. I can’t believe my trip to Italy is over already, and I’m back in London.
I had a lovely ten days in Italy, and I’ll write a bunch more about it soon. My parents arrive from New Zealand tomorrow, so I thought I’d kick start the first Italy post today before I get sidetracked being official tour guide to my mum and dad.
We saw so much on this trip, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Tuscan villages and Florence. There were moments of non-stop moving from A to B and other moments of stillness and relaxation. I had planned our trip this way to take advantage of seeing as much as we could with the time that we had, hence the multiple destinations.
I’d been feeling pretty exhausted before leaving for Italy, it’s in my nature to have a constant overflowing to-do list, both work and personal related. I rarely relax and just watch a tv show, or read a book. I’m always thinking, over-thinking, planning, rushing between jobs and starting little personal projects, which by the end of some days, I’m so wired come bedtime that I don’t even have a restful sleep.
By the time we were a couple of days into our Italy trip, the busiest part of the itinerary, I could feel my all too familiar anxiety rising, which had me stressing about things that didn’t need to be stressed about. Easier said than done when you’re in the throes of anxiety.
When we arrived at our gorgeous farmhouse accommodation, Croce di Bibbiano, near San Gimignano, I was all out of energy and rational thinking (anyone want to come on vacation with me? Hah!). I discovered the best thing I could do was to let go of what I thought we ‘should’ do, and what we ‘needed’ to tick off our vacation to-do list. Instead I accepted that it was okay to just do nothing. What a concept! Not one that comes naturally to me, but boy did it feel good when I allowed myself to relax under the Tuscan sun.
Looking back on my vacation, I realise my favourite moments were sitting poolside, in the early evening, when it was still warm enough to lounge around in a bikini. The sun would be setting behind San Gimignano in the distance, and the other guests would have departed for dinner. There was silence, a sense of calm, a beautiful Tuscan sunset to gaze out at, and usually a glass of rosé to sip on.
I’d no idea that the quiet, still moments in Tuscany would be my favourite memories. I thought I’d feel complete seeing as many places as I could possibly squeeze into our day. How wrong I was. That’s not to say I didn’t love our little road trips, and the gallons of gelato I ate around Italy, but learning to stop, and not feel guilty for doing so, was a huge lesson learned and one I’ll try to keep in mind for future vacations.
I’m already dreaming of stillness under the Tuscan sun on a future trip, sitting poolside, soaking up the Italian rays, and doing absolutely nothing. Who knew doing nothing could be so fulfilling.