Well, where do I start! Another cherub on tour mini trip this time to Italy and it was absolutely amazing. These journeys I go on may not always be far in distance but they take me far in my motherhood & life journey.
It all started well, a few people wishing me well on my journeys but kept warning me about pick pockets which is quite normal so nothing really bothered me I was just looking forward to being away! Most of my trip had been pre booked and my Itinerary was as follows:
Flight from UK – Rome
Train from Rome airport to hotel
2 nights in Rome
Train from Rome – Venice
1 night in Venice
Watertaxi back to the airport and Venice – UK. I felt prepared and prepped!
Now it all seems straight forward but it’s me! I researched all the hotels, distances and planned on just chucking the hotel into googlemaps on my arrival and off we go….you know where this is going right? So we get to the metro station (subway/underground) after a 30 minute train journey from the airport into Termini where we met a Brother and Sister on the train who were from the UK and kept telling me how brave and crazy I was travelling alone with Sophia…sort of encouraging and daunting all at the same time. So I am buying my tickets for the metro and whilst at the ticket machine Sophia is standing at my feet and an Italian lady comes over shouting “Hold your baby, hold your bags they will steal your bags and your baby”; Great start.
I grabbed the ticket from the machine grabbed Sophia and off we went, got to our stop got off, got outside I grabbed my phone and then it hit me, I don’t have access to the internet in a foreign country. So here I am, in Rome and lost. I had screen shot most of the directions but this made zero sense to me and the fact I cannot read or speak any Italian didn’t really help. I walked up and down the street and to no avail in finding out where the heck I was or where I needed to go! I was armed with Sophia who was strapped to my back in her carrier, my rucksack on my front, and a phone that doesn’t work oh and it was dark! After 15 minutes I saw the brother and sister from the train who were now with another man (Their dad) who was living in Rome so knew where I needed to go, they walked me half way and sent me on my way! After another 15 minutes and a few wrong turns I saw the hotel and just burst into tears! Was I crazy? Was I putting Sophia in danger by taking her to all these places to follow my dreams? Was I selfish? I composed myself for check in and got to the room.
I then sat and reflected, questioning my reasons behind these trips and really wondering if I had considered her in all of this? But then I was looking at her face screaming “we are in Italy” and realised not many 2 year olds will say or have said this. She is excited, happy and maybe I am a little crazy but only because I have crazy aspirations for myself and for her.
The next few days were amazing, exciting and just surreal; The Colleseum, Trevi fountain and then the amazing journey across country to Venice. The food, the people, everything about this trip made me feel good; especially the food. I got funny looks and people whispered but this is the way of the world and I put it down to the fact I only look about 12 so they were probably wondering what nursery we had escaped from.
When we got to Venice I attempted again to find my hotel and although I had tried to be wise and bought a map and followed it to a T I was still lost. After 45 minutes I dumped my bags on the floor, literally stamped my feet and screamed into my scarf. Sophia then with perfection timing asked me “Mummy, Are you crazy” I replied yes, picked our stuff up and asked a gentleman where the heck I was going! Finally found my hotel and it was everything I wanted and then some. We were upgraded to a honeymoon suite and had the most stunning 4 poster bed with a shabby chic style room! It was just simply beautiful, a massive bathroom with a huge bath and the softest white towels! Sophia ran in and screamed “Princess bed for mummy and Sophia” and I realised then that all the stress and the drama was worth it because this is what I lived for.
One of my bucket list checks was to ride a gondola in Venice; we headed out and saw Fabio! Once we negotiated price he then asked me if it was just me and Sophia, when I replied yes he asked me if I was sure! It was a quick sharp reminder that I was alone with her in a foreign place with my baby but his response was priceless to me. I don’t know if the look on my face said it all but in his broken English he said to me quite quickly “I don’t mean to offend, I just think Bravo. You bella are brave. Bravo”. Fabio won’t know what his comments meant for me but they answered everything I was questioning about myself and my travels the whole time away. We hopped into the gondola and had the most beautiful 40 minutes and the most perfect end to my mini trip.
I would use a lot of words to describe myself but never before this trip would I of said Brave. When I cry (which is normally at any given opportunity) and question every choice I make or why I have ended up where I am, whether it is a restaurant in Spain, A hotel in Italy or a shopping mall in Florida I look down at the mini person next to me and realise there is nothing selfish in taking her along with me on this crazy ride I call life.
The idea that someone like me, someone a little unhinged, emotional, wreckless and simply “just jess” could inspire someone to do something extraordinary makes me feel amazing. When I had Sophia I found my purpose in life, she has only brought me more joy, more purpose and ultimately shown me what I need to do.
I have a little plaque in my room and it says “if your dreams don’t scare you they are not big enough”. So every time I fear my aspirations, I get anxious, scare myself with my goals or worry about my dreams then I know I am doing something right!
Thanks for stopping by
The Fat funny one x
P.S When in Rome..