I recently read something that brought to mind travel and how we are when we travel. This was amplified by two trips we’ve enjoyed this year – one to Australia and one to Colorado.
Here’s what I read from Mark Nepo:
“The moment we stray from where we are, we create a tension between two places – where we are and where we are thinking of being. It is this tension that blocks us from the sensation of being fully alive.”
One of the things I love about travel, particularly to an unfamiliar place, is that we tend to be fully present. The new and different engage our every sense and we pay attention in a way we don’t when we think we know everything about all that is around us. Because all the senses are engaged it does feel very much alive, and intense, and rich.
This was our experience on our two recent trips. We were fully there, not thinking of or worried about anything else. And it was such a pleasure. We observe this same presence and pleasure in the people who travel with us on our Adventures in Italy trips. Interestingly, for them and for us, things change when we get near the end of the trip. At that point we are beginning to be both where we are and where we are going next. While natural, it is, for us, a bit sad to see as our new friends of a week, begin to look away to what’s next.
I think this dynamic is one reason to opt for longer, slower trips, rather than the shorter, long weekend trips that seem to be increasingly the norm. The longer your trip the longer you are more fully present, the longer and more completely you are fully alive, and the more deeply you are able to experience and enjoy where you are. If you are having to think about your return shortly after you arrive, you don’t really get to experience a place. Longer, slower trips lead to being truly there. In today’s world this is a true gift.
|Kristi and Bill Steiner began leading “learning vacations” to Orvieto, Italy in 2003 and were founding members of Slow Travel Tours. Through Adventures in Italy they provided a cultural immersion experience. Many trips included the pursuit of some kind of creative work that complemented and reinforced exploration of Italy’s culture. Relationships built over the years enabled Kristi and Bill to provide experiences that a typical visitor to Orvieto never gets.|
The Steiners retired in 2017 and sold Adventures in Italy to Michelle Logue, who has continued as a member of the Slow Travel Tours group. Michelle continues to offer trips in the same format and with the same spirit that Kristi and Bill hosted for 14 years.
Learn more about Adventures in Italy small group trips in Orvieto.
Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.