I had a solo flight to Venice, Italy for a weekend getaway from my then-home in Malta.
It would be the first time that I would ever truly travel alone. I was anxious, and everything my father had ever warned me about — be it based upon truth from personal experience, or propaganda for the purpose of making me never want to leave home — echoed in the back of my mind: “Keep your bag close. Don’t trust anyone. Don’t let anything you own go unattended. Watch your drink at all times. Everyone is trying to kill you. Or frame you to complete their drug deal.” You know, the usual.
So I packed my little backpack, held my purse tight against my chest (already crossed around my shoulders multiple times and under two layers of jackets), and jetted off to Venezia. And even once I arrived, I clutched my belongings tight. I made sure I knew where my map was at all times. I was alert and over-prepared.
I’m not sure if it was because the last couple months up until that point — in my first own apartment, alone, thousands of miles away from Mommy and Daddy — had already prepared me in ways I didn’t even realize, or if it was because God was making sure that my first solo-outing went perfectly, or if I just downright underestimated myself in the first place. But the way this trip worked itself out was like a dream, and one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever been on.
Venice was amazing (I’ll save that for another post), but what made Verona so amazing was the way it happened.
It was surprisingly spontaneous. I was. In a way I never thought I was capable of before. Probably just because I’d always doubted myself so much. At the same time, I do reminisce on some incidents and think, “Wow, that was kind of sketchy.” But it’s hard to explain. There are some moments where you just make a decision without much thought; you just do what feels right. (Famous last words, right?)
After a day and a half of Venice, some girls I’d met in my hostel told me they were going to a city in northern Italy called Verona (“Never heard of it.”) I could not go with them, because my flight back to Malta was the day before they had planned on going, but they urged me to go on my own. “Have you seen the movie ‘Letters to Juliet’??” I hadn’t, but they were so insistent that I would love it. So I went to the train station and bought my ticket.
And I was on my way.
I fell in love. The place is a gem; the most romantic little place I have ever seen. I met some amazing people and created some of my favorite memories abroad. Operating solely on my gut and on a whim definitely worked in my favor this time around.