Today I met a couple from the UK. Very interesting stories they had of their travel, life and adventures. They were such great storytellers that I now want to add Turkey, Russia and Prague to my list of countries to visit. It seems I’m not the only one on this world that has a passion for visiting new places. But then of course seeing the “place” is only part of why I travel. Meeting new people and finding out about their lives and journey is what really makes it all so worthwhile for me. Now you think, what could possibly be so interesting to hear about a stranger’s life?
Yesterday I learned how a sweet lady named Gwen lost her two front teeth when travelling years ago with her husband in Spain. They were “young and full of spunk” she said and with friends out for an evening. In the early morning hours they decided the best thing to do would be to go for a swim. They all jumped in and the person ahead of her kicked her, accidently of course, and pushed her teeth back in her mouth! Well, she said, what was one to do but to put them back into their proper position and get on with the trip!! They continued on for another 3 weeks and when she arrived home had some new ones made. Now that’s life!
So now you wonder why I would be so interested in her story. How could this ever be something one would even care to learn about another?
I tell you this. Her eyes sparkled like diamonds when she spoke every word. The more she talked, the more she had to say. It was obvious to me that this woman knows how to live life! It didn’t matter anymore what her “story” was, only that she was absolutely, totally, and fully immersed in the memories of her life. She said: "no matter what life throws you, you must run with it and still find a way to enjoy the day!"
All of this information coming from a woman who was in need of a walker to get around and was now a widow of 5 years. When she spoke of her hardships, they really weren’t to her. Yes she did miss her husband very much but all she talked about was the fun and great times they had together and all of the places they saw and people they met throughout their lives. She said life is an adventure and you simply must make sure to get out there and live it the best way you can.
I am now on the fast train to Florence from Sorrento. The Italian landscape zips by with small villages dotting the hillside. Out in the distance I can see a castle now in ruin perched high above the village. I imagine the way it was when people had lived there raising their families and working the land. Now darkness comes as we pass our way through another mountain. Nothing short of magic for me to think there is actually an entire mountain above me now.
I have read in history books how many artists have made their way to Italy from England and France hundreds of years ago travelling by horse and cart. I am glad to be seeing it now with all the modern luxuries. But then again, horse and cart was also a luxury “in the day” so too I suppose taking a train will one day seem barbaric....but not today!
I have just completed a sketch of a building from the Armories in Venice. This is where ships were built and docked for repairs. Beautiful, elegant arches filled with such glorious light. A painter's paradise.
I am glad to be able to share these random thoughts and experiences with you in hopes that you too will discover this way of living for yourself. Embrace the day. Take time to sit and really listen to another’s story. You will be amazed the adventures waiting to be told.
The train slows as we approach the station...Florence here I come!