Summer is fully over now (at least where I live) and that is reflected both in the changing temperatures and turning leaves, but more significantly in my work. Gone are the carefree days of aimless wanderlust replaced by preparing lessons and early morning alarm clocks. Honestly, I don't mind, school keeps me grounded and focused (and truth be told I absolutely love it even on the difficult days). Plus, would summer really be as good if not for the busyness of these fall/winter months?
I'm trying to make a short list for next summer of where my travels will take me. Of course Italy is in the top 5! I envision seeing the countryside and perhaps traveling by ferry to northern Africa to the city of Tunis. Part of the grade 3 curriculum in this province includes a study of Tunisia, it would be enriching to actually travel there and take in some of the culture. I'd like to compare and contrast first hand the two places ~ both a part of the Mediterranean but one predominately Christian, the other Muslim. Also, observe (if any) the affects of two distinct continents.
Also in the top 5 is Amsterdam. One main reason is that English is so accessible in Holland and spoken by all, that and the beauty of the city with its many canals and stone bridges. It is also easy travel from there to so many other European cities. Given that I already speak some French it would be an opportunity to also visit parts of France and Belgium without communication getting in the way (something I did find frustrating while in Italy).
So far I really only have these two as part of the top 5! But I am open to suggestions! Prague, perhaps? Croatia? Spain and Portugal? Wherever I decide on, I would like to spend the majority of my time in that main country, take my time there and really get a feel for what it is like to be a citizen of that region. I also plan on going for a minimum of 4 weeks and ideally as long as 6! But Euros are much pricier than Canadian $$$s, so the exact time remains unknown at present.
It pleases me to no end that I have all of this to dream about and research over the next few months! For so long, I felt this overwhelming discontent with the undisciplined directions I was allowing my life to take. In a recent post I commented on how this summer I seemed to have gained an added measure of courage. Perhaps it is age. At 37 I can embrace not really giving so much of a shit about many things. And I have finally broken free of the self-imposed weight of others expectations, including my parents and husband. Tis good. I can accept that this new found "not giving a shit" is changing the dynamics of those relationships. But I'm going to just let that be what it is going to be.
Namaste. Fill your heart with love and appreciation for all that you are already.