Archive for May, 2009


adventure one: due to weather, anisha and i are rerouted from delta to alitalia on a direct flight from boston to roma then to venezia. it was more fun this way in the end i think, and no one’s luggage was lost.

at the roma airport, my first observation of italy was more than half of the men were wearing suits and the jackets and pants fit them well whatever their body shape may have been. and the fabrics! everything from heavy cotton to linen and a whole range of blacks, tans, and pale blues. they look good.

adventure two: from the airport, onto a bus to venezia – mestre where essentially all the venetians live. we find the train station using a combination of english and broken spanish. at an automated machine, we buy the ticket five minutes before our train is supposed to leave, but we have no idea what platform until we ask a girl with punkish piercings. we sprint up and down two flights of stairs getting from platform one to platform nine with two backpacks and three suitcases between the two of us to find the doors to our train closed. except for one. we run again, throw our luggage in and jump on about 10 seconds before the doors close.

adventure three: on this very hot day, we get off at monselice, an hour south-west of venezia outside of padova. we know the hostel is at the base of the hill, so we walk towards it (there are no directions from shun when we spoke with him briefly from a pay phone except “i know it’s hot, but i would like you guys to walk from the train station to the hostel). after dragging our luggage across not very smooth cobblestone for 20 minutes, we arrive near the town center and there is shun having a nice salad in the shade. and so begins the veneto experience.


In a few weeks, I am leaving the country for the first time in five years. Five years is too long.

Five years ago, it was Paris, Biarritz, and the beginning of the Santiago de Compostela trail. I usually spend a good portion of the day in my head daydreaming about something or mulling over some specific moment or exchange with someone, but while I was in Paris, I did not daydream even once. I was physically and mentally there. I did not realize it until we were leaving Paris on the train to Biarritz.

This summer, it is three weeks on the Veneto Experience in northern Italy with the enigmatic Shun + a week somewhere else. Suggestions for the somewhere else?

google driving path between towns

The towns I will be staying in, connected by Google driving paths

For me, it’s not about the architecture or Italy but act of traveling, learning to be a traveler, explorer and observer. I want to come back understanding how to observe and more, to come back needing desperately to travel again. Hopefully, it will inspire me (and give me courage) to work abroad after MIT. That is the dream, anyway.

The most appealing part of the Veneto progam is that Shun encourages us to go through Venice alone. Being alone and being in cities is my childhood in some ways and the two combined is always wonderful.

Appropriately, I’ve already bought my moleskine – sketchbook paper, bound in portrait orientation. I would be very proud of myself if I filled the whole thing while I was there.

In the next chaotic and rushed two and half weeks, thoughts of walking through streets in comfortable sandals and hot weather with a glass of white wine at the end of the day will be keeping me going. Ah, the vino will be so great!

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