Time to jump ship. Since January, we’ve blogged our way through South America and most recently left the last tale quite near the docks in Rio.
More than a few stories wait to be told from our final days in the southern hemisphere: a mid-March visit to Roberto Burle Marx’s estate, time spent with an 81 year old fellow working at a 106 year old organization serving the disenfranchised in Rio de Janeiro, Ted’s fishing escapades on Brazil’s Northeast Coast, crossing the Atlantic Ocean for sixteen nights and watching that red equator line slip past the boat’s bow, early-April Easter arrival in Spain, and a 1,500 mile road trip from Barcelona to Cadiz with Mike and Tracy.
For now, tidbits live in the Daily Travel Journal, and the fully-fleshed-out-and-photoed posts will make their appearance at some date in the future.
Today…we’ve found ourselves in the middle of a plan that was never part of the plan:
We’ve moved to northern Italy.
On our Itinerary page, we share a Proverb that keeps us humble and excited: “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” How true it is.
We’d planned to spend the last of April in the south of Spain, working at a culinary school and trading landscape architecture and miscellaneous skills for room and board. We’d planned to head across the strait to Morocco after that and wander through lands we knew little about, hoping to encounter people and places and life lessons. We’d planned to be independent and footloose, locked in only to arrival in Lebanon later on in June…
When plans began unraveling (and especially when I was disheartened at missing the culinary school opportunity), we fell back on our faith that grander things are in play and that it’s our privilege to learn patience and grow along…
With a wide open schedule, the Travel Bloggers Unite conference in Umbria, Italy popped back on the radar, and shortly after the decision to attend, we were offered the opportunity to apply for a new project even farther north in Italy: an apartment stay and time to enjoy the Emilia-Romagna region while we share our travel stories about life on the road.
Home is each other, and life fits in a backpack.
In this season we’re mobile enough to jump a plane, train, or automobile (still hoping for a yacht) to make our way forward into the unknown…
Here we are today, settled in Bologna, Italy until mid-May, perched in an apartment above the city streets, sipping dessert quality balsamic vinegar from silver spoons, waking to church bells chiming through the windows, spending time with new-found travel friends, and thoroughly enjoying this unexpected twist in life. After the 13th of May, we move again. Who knows where?
For now, we’re ready to crisscross the land between the Po River and the Apennine Mountains, exploring Bologna, Rimini, Ferrara, Ravenna, Parma, Modena, and all the green fields in between…
My takeaway? Plans change: skip fear, choose trust. We’re in this together, and life is good.
Stay tuned in coming weeks for stories of fine foods, rich culture, and beautiful countryside… Photos and story snippets are flying on Twitter under the #blogville hashtag. Please feel free to jump into the conversation to share insights on enjoying the best of Northern Italy!