The European adventure – VI

This vacation draws to a close. On the way from Florence to Pisa to take a flight back to Paris, I feel free. This is the first time I’m taking a vacation alone. It’s taken me 31 years and over 10 years of work life to gather the courage to go somewhere alone, just to take a vacation. When Pratibha said she couldn’t make it, I had serious second thoughts. I’m glad I took the plunge.

There is something liberating about not planning every minute, not being required to be at a certain place at a certain time. That dictated my decision not to take guided tours. And I’m happy about my decision. It’s been the best vacation I’ve taken so far.

Italy lends itself beautifully to the idea of a solo vacation. Lovely place with the most amazing sights and sounds. The people are cordial and willing to help. You might have some trouble if you don’t speak Italian but their cordiality more than makes up for it.

The police and officials at the tourist information desk seem to be trained to help non Italian speaking foreigners and are almost always willing to go the extra mile, at least in the major tourist attractions such as Rome and Florence. It might be different in the smaller towns.

On the whole, if you’re planning to take a few days off, Italy must be at the top of your list. Yes, even higher up than Paris.

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