Life these days

June 4, 2008 at 3:23 pm 2 comments

Life these days reminds me of a trip I took a few years ago. I was invited to spend a week in a Villa in Lucca, not far from Florence. I thought about driving, but I was too nervous to go on such a long car trip in a country where I don’t speak the language. So, I decided to take the easy way and go by train. I took one look at the train schedule. Then I took a second look, to see if I’d missed anything. That’s when I summoned up every ounce of spare courage I could find and decided to drive.

I prepared ahead for the trip and bought maps of Italy, Florence, and Milan (which I’ll explain later). I also printed out a route planner from the internet. A friend helped me figure out how much the toll fares would be and buy the toll card in advance. I packed a few things and my guitar and set off early in the morning – around 4 am. The route was from western Austria through Switzerland, and then down to Lucca. I’d never driven in Switzerland before and at 4.30 am it was still dark, so I had a little trouble and wasted half an hour driving in circles. Eventually I was headed in the right direction – towards the San Bernardino Pass (elevation 2063 meters) in the Swiss Alps. I planned to drive through the tunnel, but there was a long line and some kind of construction going on. In the grey dawn, I decided to drive over the pass. I didn’t feel like losing more time and I figured it couldn’t be too bad.

It wasn’t bad at all! The road was windy and steep with lots of hairpin curves. More than once I thanked God that I was the ONLY person driving. I’m serious! No cars were behind me, and not one single car passed me from the other direction. Just as I got to the top, the sun had risen. It was absolutely incredible. I had to laugh. I’d quit smoking around 7 months earlier, but one of my thoughts in that incredible sunrise splendour was: “If I still smoked, I’d stop the car, get out, have a cigarette, and enjoy the view.” I just stopped and looked around for a few minutes, enjoying the view.

After that, I literally sailed through Italy. As I neared Lucca, I tried to call my friend with the cell phone. I had basic directions from the internet, but I figured once I was closer I could get exact directions. Well, my phone didn’t work! I drove around, following intuition, stopped, turned around and went back into the town part and asked for directions. As I soon realized, I had turned around in the parking lot of the Villa but hadn’t seen the sign! (It was not exactly a flamboyant sign to begin with.) I spent a wonderful 5 days with an incredible group of people and collected many fond memories.

I like that story, because it shows that my intuition was working. I just didn’t believe it, so I didn’t bother to look more closely to see where I was.

During the course of my life, I have done many things. Many people have told me I am courageous. I generally reply that I don’t believe that, as I don’t think I had a choice to act any other way. I’ve always done what I had to do, whether it be leaving home at 17, quitting my job with no money in the bank, or moving to Europe. That’s it. However, this trip did require courage and I was quite proud of myself for doing it.

What? Oh, yeah, I almost forgot! You want to know about Milan. Well, only if you promise to keep it a secret. I didn’t tell that many people (only close friends), because my husband and neighbors probably would have thought I was crazy or something. Driving back, I planned to meet a good friend in Milan and go to a Patti Smith concert there. I had trouble near Milan and asked a nice policewoman for directions. It was funny. She spoke only Italian, I only English or German, and yet we were able to communicate! Driving in Milan was a nightmare! I spent at least an hour looking for a specific garage near the theatre where the concert was to be. Finally, I gave up and said, “Okay, I’ll try one last time and that’s it.” And the entrance to the Park Garage appeared out of nowhere. Yes, I had a map, but there are several one way streets, as well as streets closed to private cars, so it’s rather tricky.

The concert was fantastic. Afterwards we drove back to Austria. Since it was late at night, we drove through the tunnel. There was construction going on in the tunnel, and bright lights and the whole thing reminded me of driving into another world, or even hell. It was spooky. Kind of like something out of a Mad Max film, actually. I got home around 4.30 am, after dropping my friend off at the train station where he’d parked his car. I confess, I would have been too scared to drive alone at night such a long way on an unfamiliar route. I knew my friend would take the train there and drive back with me. So I’m not THAT courageous!

Oh, and what does all of this have to do with life these days? It’s quite simple. I am really well prepared. Now I need to trust my intuition, since it leads me well when I listen. And I need to take risks. The results will be my reward.

Entry filed under: free time, life. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Mourning Desire to Recover

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. SanityFound  |  June 5, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Wow what an adventure! Intuition for me is essential, when I ignore it things seem to go wrong as you say – it leads us well why not listen to it.

  • 2. diaryofarecoveredbulimic  |  June 5, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    The biggest part of the adventure was in my head, because I’m a scaredy-cat! It was fun, and not heeding my intuition has brought about more regret than the rare times it led me astray. I’m just assuming it must have led me astray at some point, although I can’t think of a single example! 🙂


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