"I can't believe you're taking a two-month vacation," more than one of my friends has said to me recently.
"It's not a vacation," I usually respond, although I've given up trying to explain that for me, this is not a vacation. I plan to be working, writing, learning, researching. I guess that some people think that international travel, unless one does so for a particular company or business, is automatically a vacation.
Mike and I have discussed this and are trying to come up with a different term to describe our trip. So many thoughts and images are continually running through my mind these days. I imagine sitting in at the window of our Paris flat, gazing at the rooftops, and writing every morning before we hoof it down seven fights of stairs to explore the city. I see us sitting at Cafe Annunziata in Sulmona, Mike working on his laptop and me on my iPad. I can feel the Pettorano sun on my face as I write in the piazza overlooking Valle Santa Margherita. I even feel the dread of stepping on the plane in Bologna as we leave for home.
At any rate, we've talked about what we should call this trip. Sojourn? A little too tame, I think. Holiday? It still leaves out the working part. Respite? That makes it sound like we recuperating from something. Dream? Well..... While I've dreamed of doing this, calling the trip a "dream" is a little too cheesy or sappy for me. Adventure? A HA!!
That works (except for the hazardous action, of course), so I've been calling it Le Big Adventure. Of course, I look at so many things (LIFE!) as an adventure, so calling the trip that really makes sense, no?
At any rate, le adventure is less than three weeks away now, although as I type this, I realize that three weeks from right this minute, we'll be sitting in Heathrow Airport waiting to board a flight for Paris. We have a layover of roughly five hours there, and while I'm not too wild about that, at least it isn't as long as the almost-nine hours we spent in Helsinki's Vantuu Airport two years ago. Talk about adventure.
More on Vantuu next time . . . .
PS The photo above is of the Abruzzi village of Bugnara, another hilltown about 10 minutes from my grandparents' village.