Today a solo trip home to Italy requires more planning and a lot more HELP.
I have signed up for a global “watch” to give me assistance if i run into trouble. Nice but I can’t even use the Italian phone system without help! One year,before cell phones, until I met a very helpful shop keeper in Venice I could NOT call the airlines to change my ticket. I ended up phoning from a public booth in the middle of a piazza! A little noisy.
I plan to go back to this shop and spend money on xmas gifts as a thank you for her kindness. I often wonder if the people who touch my life while traveling even notice or remember the incidents that meant so much to me.
When I am in Sorrento next month I will visit the Tuesday market just to see if the man who sells cheese remembers me. I still can feel the thrill the day I visited the weekly market when his face lit up with a big smile and a buongiorno! I felt as if I actually belonged. Perhaps I just looked like someone else he knew but no mater.
Being an observer and not always a participant I notice reactions, facial expressions, gestures that never seem to be seen by others. Example: the flower vendor was offended when the tourist wanted to take a photo and NOT buy a plant. When I always asked for one vegetable at a time, I often received exasperated looks that I was a waste of time.
But back to prep work for a month+ solo in Italy: Now I require trip insurance and the more important insurance to ship you home if you become ill or worse die while away. A procedure I did not care to discuss with the insurance agent. After insurance you find a place to buy Euros. You forward the mail.
Find someone to pay your bills on time. Have someone do your yard work so the neighbors do not think you have walked away from your mortgage. And then there is packing.
Does anyone else pack by putting everything they have every wanted to take to Italy with them on every flat surface in your room. Sort by colors, Cross sort so colors work with several different items, on and on and on. Eliminate, eliminate.
But my favorite was deciding what remedies for what ever possible condition you could ever come down with in a few short weeks: itches, pains, scrapes, blisters, etc. And then there are the hair products……..
All this will fit into a 40 lb bag! This year I have a 7lb suitcase which will give me 4 extra pounds of stuff I can bring that I may not use.
So back to the sorting and stacking. Guess I really do not need that “out to dinner dress” since I don’t know anyone and to stay in my 100 Euros a day budge, I shall be having a good lunch and probably pizza for dinner.
If you have the perfect packing list, let us know.