"I have a feeling we forgot to pack something..."
Trip Start Feb 23, 2010
40Trip End Jul 15, 2010
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"Of course; don't worry, Jimmy will take care of everything"
"Do you have your passport? "
"Les, for the fifth time - Yes!"
"How about the car keys?"
"I think they're in the ignition - Would you like me to pull over, stop the car and make sure?"
Such was our drive from our home in Greenville, South Carolina to Atlanta to catch the flight that would take us to Philly, then Frankfurt, and then Florence (Italy, not South Carolina!) and, finally, to Siena, Italy. It would be a nearly 24-hour journey by car, airplane, bus and one bad-ass taxi ride to Siena, our home for the next four months
We go through the same routine every time we go away for more than a 30 minute trip to the corner grocery store. Checking and re-checking. We're not obsessive, we're just careful. Real careful. So when Lesly was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach as a Senior Lecturer for one semester at Santa Chiara Scuola Superiore Universita Degli Studi di Siena in Siena, Italy, we were excited at such an honor and recognition of Lesly's accomplishments. And we were worried. The idea of living in Tuscany for four months was wonderful. Having the opportunity to visit Tuscan villages, eat Tuscan cuisine, explore old churches and walk the streets where Saint Catherine walked was a blessing. Putting our lives "on hold" for four months and being away from our friends and family, and the comforts of home, living in a country where we didn’t speak the language, was frightening.
We spent months preparing - checking (and re-checking) documents, arranging visas, packing, unpacking, and re-packing clothes and supplies. Add to this our rush to prepare and submit tax returns for both the US and Canada, and to update documents for our pending international adoption (we're adopting a baby from China), and you have a melange of mayhem. But, we were ready.
This is where our trip begins. But it was soon clear to us that this journey began months, maybe years, before. It was not to meant to put our lives "on hold", but, rather, to propel us forward. I hope you join us on our adventure the next four and a half months!
And now, "Andiamo!"