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Something every day makes me realize how traveling changes my life.
Just last night, I went to dinner with my boyfriend’s aunt. We had dinner in Piazza Signoria, listened to music, drank wine, had pasta, the whole Italian thing I’ve done a thousand times before. (Charmed life, I know).
After dinner we went back to his aunt’s hotel to sit on the rooftop patio and talk, drink prosecco, and enjoy the rest of the evening. The view was stunning, the weather amazing, and everything that could be discussed, from politics to makeup, was involved. (Though now that I think of it…politics and makeup really aren’t that different…)
As we left, in the hallway there was piles of guestbooks from the hotel, some dating back to the early 80s. Which, just as a reminder, was nearly 40 years ago.
Curious and eager I flipped through a leather-bound journal from 1994, the year I was born, excited to see what people had written on my birthday. Sure enough there were two notes signed around the same time my mother gave birth to me (shoutout to you mom!). One was written in English and Spanish(?), saying how lovely the hotel was, even though there were 120 stairs. The other was complementing the amazing town of Florence. I smiled, happy that almost 22 years ago, there were people loving Florence as I am now.
I then looked at more current journals. As the years progressed people became less and less creative. They wrote less. The words were less meaningful. In the journals from the 80’s and 90’s people inserted postcards, photos, polaroids, newspaper clippings, and more. The ones from this past decade were dull, and some people didn’t even leave a note, just a rushed signature, probably similar to the vacation they just went on.
I returned home thinking of all of this, and doing as millennials do, I logged onto Facebook to see what everyone was up to. I was greeted by new students in Florence posting photos of different aspects of their trip, each writing a clever caption, and inciting envy on all their friends back at home.
One post stuck out to me.
A uploaded photo of a girl in Florence, claiming she hated the town.
I instantly shut my computer and went to take a shower. How could anyone hate Florence? I can understand if it isn’t your favorite place in the world, but to publicly claim you hate the city?
I slowly realized why this made me so mad. The more I understood why I was so upset, the more sad I became instead of angry. I worked to get here. I continue to work to get farther. I now know I need to work harder every day to show people how blessed and grateful I am.
Remember every opportunity is golden, because who knows what will happen tomorrow.
Let travel open your eyes. Don’t hate a town because it’s not your vibe. Learn from it. Grow. Spend more time trying to find what you do like about it than focusing on the negatives.
I think if everyone tries a little harder in these aspects, the world would be a much happier place.
-Peace and Love,
The Boho Traveller