After another very great Gate1 Travel fly-drive deal for Italy, Marcy and I find ourselves back in Montecatini Terme – a town about 25 miles west of Florence. We are very travel-weary but I think we have gotten used to the rhythm of how it feels to do a 30 hour turn-around from Knoxville to Europe. I would say I was a neurotic mess doing this same thing last year, but in my defense, last year included:
- a 6 AM departure time
- a 9-hour wait in New York
- a three-hour drive from Milano through the stormy, windy Apennine Mountains
- capped off by being hopelessly lost trying to find our hotel at the destination. This included a few trips wrong-way on one-ways and a drive on what we thought was an unusually narrow road but turned out to be a sidewalk.
NEVER AGAIN! I said. But nevertheless, here we are.
This travel thing reminds me so much of running Marathon races.
For the first one, I probably over-prepared on some things which actually hurt me in the long run. I didn’t know how bad it was really going to hurt, and 3/4 of the way through, I said NEVER AGAIN – but as soon as that first race was done, I was ready for another.
Still on racing – The second time around, I knew how painful it would be, but at least I was mindful of what I was up against. Each race got better – No less pain mind you, at least I knew when, how much and how long it was going to hurt – which freed me to enjoy the great part of the race.
Regarding trips, Our first big adventure just four years ago followed this same path. We had pillows for the long flight, I brought my old military tactical thermal blanket for who knows what reason and in general, we just had a lot of STUFF (and lost some important stuff, too.) Then there was the fatigue. It had been years since I experienced such sleep-deprivation, That trip was a group bus tour, and I figure I slept through 30% of Ireland.
We are no less tired this time around, but somehow it doesn’t seem nearly as bad knowing what to expect.