Here I Go Again On My Own

I promise to write at least once a week.
I promise to write at least once a week.
I promise to write at least once a week.

Hopefully if I keep repeating that in my head I’ll annoy myself into remembering to update my blog consistently.  Although pestering me to do something doesn’t seem to work all that well as my parents can attest to.  The “Risa get a real job…” mantra for the past seven years clearly hasn’t stuck.

So where to this time?  Good question.  On my first trip I could tell you an itinerary down to specific addresses of where I wanted to go to dinner.  This time, I can tell you I’m in Milan right now and finishing up in Prague in three weeks, but everything between is as unsure as Nick Jonas’ sexuality.  Not to say that I’ve lost the joy of planning, but I think I’ve really embraced the concept of venturing out completely into the unknown and gotten spoiled by things always working themselves out.  That or I’ve gotten quite lazy.

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The other new component this trip is that it’s the first time I’m truly traveling alone.  On my first RTW trip I left from New York with other people, and the day we split up a friend I had met earlier on my travels came to meet me, and a day after that I met Handsome.  This summer I was working, so technically I was traveling with a purpose and already had a preset itinerary.  I started to freak out a bit on the plane about my complete lack of plans and companionship.  What if I got lost?  What if I couldn’t figure out what to do?  What if I don’t make any friends?  I poked aimlessly at the unidentifiable “meat meal” on my tray. I downed two glasses of wine to relax.  With my tray table down, and my seat back in the reclined position, I realized how little some of the things that people normally hate about traveling didn’t even cross my mind as problematic.  Being on a cramped plane, with shitty food, heading to a country where I don’t speak the language were things that hadn’t even crossed my mind.  And not knowing the answer to my questions about my arrival is exactly what I like so much about traveling.  Getting lost has always been my best way of exploring.  Not figuring out what to do means I’m more inclined to ask people for suggestions.  I haven’t had problems making friends since I was a 4 year old telling my mom, “I tried to make friends with her, but she didn’t want to talk, so she must be shy.  It’s okay.”  So really there’s nothing to stress about, plus my facebook status requesting couches turned up tons of familiar faces I can visit in the next few weeks.

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I got all optimistic, and then the plane landed in Milan.  Milan, where it’s presently raining like a mofo and my allergies I always get after flying flared up making me sneeze all over the place and have people give me the “did that bitch just fly with Ebola?!” side eye.  So now, here I am, alone in rainy Milan laying in my hostel bed with allergies and a nose running harder than an ultramarathoner with a lion chasing him.

On the bright side, despite my lack of planning I do have a few good pointers for Milan when the weather and my nose hopefully clear up.  As soon as I left the airport I met a good looking stranger who sat down next to me on the mostly empty bus and started talking to me – which I think is how most of those kidnapping movies start.  Except this guy had no interest in where  I was staying and was more interested in talking about travel, sailing and food, which are all perfectly acceptable topics for me. Especially since I have a very mixed relationship with Italian food.  Seriously hate it in New York, where I avoid Italian food like the crappy cheese, heavy pasta and over sauced heart attack that it is.  Absolutely loved Italian food when I actually ate it in Italy this summer.  I also found out about the local specialty risotto which is a yellow risotto with …”are you a vegetarian?” “no” “good,it has a sliced piece of leg bone in it.”  Bone marrow risotto?!

This weather needs to clear up so I can go walk around and eat everything ASAP.

At least I guess the silver lining to this rain cloud over Milan is that I actually got a blog up!

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