A month ago, at the beach..

Like ants traveling down the only roads we don’t know; a symptom of wanderlust is the distancing of our emotions. The fight or flight instinct. The mountains, the trees, the changing scenery matching the sun-drenched elsewhere you’re sure you will forever be haunted by. Are we running or being chased? Is it both and does it matter? What matters is the train ticket in your shaky hands, the bag on your back, the loneliness you’ve grown to love and hate, crave and wish away, depend on. The faces you’ll never see again yet grow to love look past you and leave you doubting they can even see you at all. The built in mazes of concrete begging your decisions, take me, follow me here. You fly past the lonely yet fully lived in villas, the low fruit bearing trees, grids of grapes. Castiglioncello, where the beach is made of rocks, the kind where only natives have tough enough feet to cross them, but you do and you laugh and you’re happy ‘cause you’re here. And you’re alive. And you can feel the pain and the sun and the salty mist forming on the peach fuzz hair on your arm, taking residency on your body. The rocks near the water are slippery like they’re wearing hairy wet suits, daring you to step too fast. And you do. And you laugh.

Even though these fields flying past my train window are so reminiscent of home, I have a feeling they smell different, rustle in a foreign way, running through them alone would feel different, arms outstretched to the sky. A constant state of wonder. Trying to always remain in a constant state of wonder.

 

What is it about the sea that draws us in so well? As if we all understand its unspoken healing powers, ebbing and flowing with the unrest of millions who stare upon it. All of us flocking for some sort of mesmerizing calmness, our daily dose of relaxation. Is it the wonderment of the unknown, hidden depths we can never know or the infiniteness of the horizon? Almost as if, if you never turn around to face land, no problems or stress can come from this line of blue to blue, where our understanding barely reaches. All we know is that we can never know and we like that. All of this floods me while lying on the beach in Vada. After getting off the train, we found ourselves on a tree lined back street with no signs of direction or life. We wandered to the beach eventually, small, with the only few people most likely living close by. It was quiet and beautiful and I laid and listening and drank and was happy.

 

We went to Capri and never wanted to leave.

I’ve successfully accomplished two big trips to the Amalfi Coast and Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. While I’ve been sick the entire time, it has still been the best time of my life including the most beautiful.

While in Capri, post our 7.5 hour bus ride from 7pm until 2:30am, we wake up at 6:30 to start the busiest day of the weekend. We all wipe our eyes from our lack of sleep and start our walk to the boat that will bring us to the island of Capri. Even though our tour guides said not to stop and take pictures because we could get lost, they were guiding over 100 20-somethings and it’s a known fact that taking direction before 10am is just not possible. Especially with a view like this.

Finally arriving to Capri, we boat around it first. Passing all the sites like the house the island refused to sell to Michael Jackson and the house Moussilini previously owned now home to the Gerber family (as in the baby food). We went under the iconic site of the Tunnel of Love, where you’re supposed to kiss your loved one, an awkward encounter for most on a boat of strangers.

We then boated up to the Blue Grotto, or Grotto Azzura, one of the wonders of the world. This was the most breathtaking thing I’ve ever seen. We all disembarked into tiny rowboats fitting only 3 or 4 people and rowed through the tiny opening, ducking our heads and hoping for best as we watched waves roll in, covering the opening completely. Once inside, we jumped into the fluorescent water, 100% clear and illuminated from the suns reflection off the bottom and the cave walls. If everyone could do that once a week, the world would be a seriously better place.

After the Grotto, we made our way to Marina Grande port in Capri and took the ‘short’ walk up a mountain. Short is apparently a relative term I’ve learned here, as I dripped sweat and was sure there was no actual ending to the hike through a tiny walkway of residences and flowers. Once in the town of Capri, we bused up to Anacapri, even higher up the mountain. There we were able to explore a little, have a lemoncello tasting, eat delicious Caprese and pizza, and take a chairlift to the tip top of the mountain.

By the end of the day, we were delirious, happy and making no sense. However we mustered up the ability to go out to dinner and then out for drinks at a place called English Inn were we were essentially drinking at a high school dance with lots of cigarettes and Peroni. And this is only day one.