It’s funny how Uganda has ceased to be an adventure over these past two years. Bustling markets and overcrowded taxis and tropical storms fade into normal, taking their place alongside the coffee shops and beach towns and wide open deserts of southern California- things that are always there. And there is some underlying part of myself that always longs for an escape from the everyday, even if that everyday was initially a once-in-a-lifetime happening.
My friend Abi is getting married in London next week, and what originally began as a plane ticket to attend her wedding has spiraled into a tri-country escape that seems perfect for the sort of break that I’m in need of. I’ve expanded my initial trip to include quick jaunts down into northern Italy and also to Barcelona- inspired largely by the affordability of intra-European flights.
Italy has never been at the top of my travel itinerary, but my friend Meredith is living there now, in Caldogno, a town outside of Venice. Over prosecco, shared expat woes, and mutual admiration of her new baby Noah, we spent a sleepy two days exploring neighboring Vincenza, and a bit of the Italian countryside. Sometimes, I like to see “the things that you are supposed to see” when visiting a new place, but I often prefer to get a taste for the pace of life there, and Meredith was the perfect hostess for it. We walked slowly around the cobblestone streets of Vicenza; explored the vineyards at Vo ‘Euganeo; and filled up on pasta, pizza, and even a culturally errant plate of sushi.
Mostly, though, it’s good to get my mind off of work, off of the constant potholes and muzungu mugzungu rhythms of Uganda, and to just simply relax.