Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Gone Walkabout - Italy to Croatia by boat

I found that during the two weeks I spent in Italy I had on more than one occasion one of those travel moments which I'd conveniently forgot. I refer not to standing in front of an age-old monument and feeling a deep sense that all is right with the world, but one of those moments easier to put to the back of your mind in which you really do want to tear your hair out. Whether it be turning a corner to find your hostel isn't where you expected as your water bottle dwindles and the weight of your backpack pulls on your neck in the blistering heat, or discovering the handy sugar sachets you picked up at your last jumping-off point have now helpfully split into pieces, their contents working their way into every crevice of your purse, this trip was no exception; Italy a country whose beauty was matched only by the infuriation I so often felt when trying to navigate its complex ways and unwritten rules.

So when I stood on deck on my overnight trip from Ancona to Croatia after another incredibly frustrating couple of hours spent trying to make sense of the nonsensical, I felt a bittersweet sense of loss at leaving the country behind, along with it the experiences I'd had there, but also relief in many ways to be moving on - and heading to the next and last part of my journey before returning home.

Travelling never fails to broaden minds and remind us of what's important - so at odds was this particular trip then with how I felt about the evident collective mindset of the majority of the electorate in the country I called home. I had never before felt so strongly a citizen of Europe and of the world, and so in tune with the new places and people I was experiencing, I resolved then and there to make post-Brexit the start of a time in which I opened myself up to new cultures and experiences and not closed the doors on them. 

But in spite of this, I found that the prospect of home had never felt more real or more appealing.