Seven years ago I traveled to Rome for the second time.
The first time was a revelation and I fell hard for this crazy city. It didn’t make sense. Nobody in my family is Italian and I was not an Italophile by any stretch.
I loved London, Paris, and Amsterdam. When I was in junior high and high school I just KNEW I would live in Paris or London one day. I wasn’t thinking about Rome or Italy despite living in a town called Verona .
I thought maybe I had responded to Rome that way because of what was, or wasn’t, going on in my life at that moment. I had to find out why that one trip had unsettled me so much.
I returned the following year and took a short trip to Florence and Positano.
It was a pain in the butt to get from Rome to Positano. First the train to Naples (not bad), then the train to Sorrento (an hour on a local train with many stops), and then finally a bus to Positano.
I walked down the steep hill, followed by a million steps, to reach my hotel. Once I stepped into the room and opened the large French doors, I saw that view. My heart skipped a beat. It was so beautiful it felt unreal, like a movie set.
There is a great hiking trail/path way up in the mountains, Sentiero degli Dei/Path of the Gods. Early one morning, I went up the mountain.
It was quiet. I saw two German tourists hiking and that was it. For the first time in years, my mind wasn’t racing a mile a minute, overwhelmed by the things I had not accomplished.
That walk changed everything.
I realized I had to make some serious changes in my life for my mental and physical health. I wasn’t sure how at that time.
Eventually, I figured it out and moved to Italy two years later.