(Originally written 12/24/12)
It’s rather late and I don’t feel tired. Excitement builds for my trip to Italy when I’ll depart tomorrow (or technically, today). My grandfather is picking me up at noon for my flight that leaves at 4pm from LAX to arrive in Milan December 25th at 5pm.
I have a very minimalist pack ready to go and I’m surprised by how light it all is. My pack is the size of typical school backpack and is made up mainly of clothing: 2 polyester t-shirts, 1 long-sleeve polyester undershirt, 1 flannel shirt, 1 small quick-dry towel and 2 pairs of socks. Besides that I have my toiletries kit, which includes just the basics and Dr. Bronner’s soap which I will use to wash my clothes when needed as well as for showering.
I will wear most of my clothing: socks, shoes, underwear, polyester t-shirt, beige hiking pants, a red insulated pull-over sweater and an outer jacket.
The irony is that I bought a large, light backpack after spending 2 hours suiting up at Adventure 16, an outdoor equipment store, only to realize I filled up half the pack and was wasting space.
I also have a very light over-the-shoulder Patagonia pack with my iphone, camera, pad and paper, passport and “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac.
In Italy I’ll treat myself to a few items like sunglasses, a beanie, gloves and new shoes (I plan to throw away the ones I’m wearing, which are some old bball shoes) but I don’t plan on spending much more on clothing. Maybe I’ll buy a dress shirt for New Years.
The point is that now that the basics are taken care of, I can devote my time to just enjoying the cities and travelling around. I don’t have any definite plans except:
1) Spend a week in Padova with the Valeriani family.
2) Go to Florence until I have to go home January 8th at 8am
3) Learn 10 new Italian recipes
Everything else will be improvised. Airbnb.com will help me find wherever I will live in Florence. The only place I know I want to revisit is Venice, and then I’ll probably just pick random towns to check out based off of recommendations from Italians I meet along the way.
It’s thrilling to have so little to do. Part of the plan is wandering around and getting lost. Don’t tell my mom that last part. But hey, I’ll get myself out of any jams I get stuck in. Isn’t there an app for that? If I can survive the time in the spring of 2007 when I was stuck in Naples…at night… with all my luggage, a female companion who was scared out of her mind and no idea where our hostel was, I’ll be fine.
Naples is making me think of pizza…and now I’m getting hungry.
Earlier in the day I had an incredible lunch at Honey’s Kettle Chicken a local spot in Culver City with the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. Seriously, every bite of chicken is loaded with crunch and who knows how many spices. Also their biscuits are buttery, sweet and a tad salty and expertly pair with the chicken for a truly indulgent meal.
Now I’m even more hungry, and still not tired. I better go “try” to sleep. Buona Notte!