Travel To Escape Reality

Beautiful doorway with flower pots in small town in Chianti, Tuscany @PennySadler 2013

Have you ever booked a last minute trip to a place that was several time zones away, where people don’t speak English, don’t use the same currency – and if you’re truly honest with yourself about the whole thing, you can’t afford it?

Have you ever spent a ridiculous amount of money just to get away from your life and all the things that go with it?

I’m considering doing just that. I need to get out of my own head. I need a break from the person I’ve become the past few months, feeling like a hamster on the wheel.

I’ve tried breathing, exercising, talking to friends, making gratitude lists, and it all works for a little while, but not long.

Tuscan country house, Chianti, Italy. @PennySadler 2013

“Must it be out of the country?” I ask myself. It would be easier to stay in the U.S. I wouldn’t have to change currency, deal with the long flights, the plane changes, the jet lag from crossing several times zones. I wouldn’t have to worry about roaming charges or keeping up with my passport, and I could speak English. But of course, my thoughts generally go to Italy.

But I can justify all of those inconveniences. In my mind, speaking a little Italian is a pleasure, and the worst thing about the euro is my dollars are worth less. I can call my cell phone provider and have roaming temporarily disconnected.

I don’t love the jet lag, but I know I’ll live, I’ve done it before.

Charming street in Trastevere, Rome, Italy. @PennySadler 2013

So I’m thinking maybe the way out of my funk, maybe the way I get “my groove back” is to go to Italy. I can visualize myself walking down some ancient cobblestone street, camera in hand, thousands of years of history all around me. I notice everything around me, sculptures by Bernini, 17th century buildings next to 12th century ruins. I notice people and try to guess where they might be from – are they tourists, like me, or locals? I eat a gelato and I don’t think about the calories or the fact that it’s dairy and I shouldn’t eat too much dairy. Dairy be damned! I’m in Italy! Without even being conscious of it, I begin to feel better – more attractive, more a part of the world. I’m living life, not going through the motions.

The parts of myself that stress me out begin to recede. Along the way I find the better parts, the Penny who is fun, and funny, and spontaneous, and curious, and who knows, it is insane to resist what is. And sometimes all it takes is a complete stranger who smiles and says, “Ciao Bella,” – or a cappuccino.
Italian style cappuccino @PennySadler 2103

All material copyright Penny Sadler 2013. All rights reserved.


20 thoughts on “Travel To Escape Reality

  1. When I lived in London it was great to know that I could catch the Eurostar or a budget airline and within 2 or 3 hours be in a completely different environment, such as a weekend in Italy or Morocco. Something I very much miss about living in Europe.

  2. Being Italian I can only feel very flattered that you choose Italy as the place that will make you feel better and bring back the best part of you. That is something that travel can do and sometimes does to me too.
    Whatever this trip brings you, make sure you take it back and keep it with you once you are at home again 🙂

  3. Go for it, Penny! Travel is a great way to break out of a funk. I recommend enrolling in language emersion program. I had been quite depressed when I first moved to Mexico, but I was in language classes for three hours a day and then my brain would stay “in Spanish” for a while. I couldn’t think depressing thoughts because I quite simply didn’t have the vocabulary! It was a literal brainwashing, in the best possible sense.
    Good luck!

    • Update for anyone interested, have decided to postpone Italy until September. Will be better organized and more funds. 🙂 But a good post came out of it so I’m happy.

  4. Pingback: Ci risiamo, alla solita crisi da rientro del viaggiatore. |

  5. Once I saw a friend who travelled to escape his ‘something’ that was bothering him – he had a psychological breakdown whilst halfway across the world because he didn’t deal with it first.

    In 2012 I decided to travel full-time because I was seriously depressed and not happy with my life was progressing.

    I’m somewhere on the fence of ‘should you or shouldn’t you’ leave something behind and fly of somewhere awesome because I’ve seen both sides of it. I guess it really depends on the ‘something’ you’re escaping, whether it’s a rut or something entirely bigger.

    • Hi Dale, It’s not that serious. I planned my Italy trip for later this year. for now, I’ll be in Dallas, California and that’s pretty much it until September. 🙂 Nice insight though and I really appreciate it!

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