If you look at the pages on this site you will see that I love to travel and I am so excited to be off to Rome in a week. I will be spending 2 months in Northern Italy, Vienna and at the home of a good friend in Slovenia. I have wanted to travel to Rome since I was a child learning about the Ancient Civilisation and have always put off going because, as a teacher the school holidays are not idea times to travel, the summer is too hot, I don’t have time to see all the places…but now my excuses end and I will brave the heat and see the sights. The face that I have got to Tibet, Australia, Burma/Myanmar and lived in Asia for so long and never made it to Italy is one of those bizarre things which show that in life you never know what will happen to your plans or firm intentions, but I am hoping I waited so long so I can see it with new eyes.
I remember going to Ephesus in Turkey as a teenager as part of a family holiday, I enjoyed having the long coach journey to sit and think and gaze at the unfamiliar land, to dream, to imagine. My body still and my head racing ahead, when we got off the coach I remember explicitly realising that I was grateful for my body because it could enable me to move my brain to new places, to see, think, hear and remember what my senses took in. If I had a disability it would be hard to navigate the steps, if I was tired the heat would overwhelm. I didn’t realise the idea of being a head in a jar moved about by an amazing (but dead) machine was a common side affect of Western Cartesian culture. I’m hoping on my travels I will be able to experience more with my whole body and not just by hiring a bike or walking and swimming (though I love to do these things) but by taking conscious movements to be aware of my whole body. For example, doing a bodyscan while waiting in a queue for the gallery, noticing my breath while sitting on the train, making a decision from my gut rather than from my head, letting my skin ‘hear’ the sounds, my feet ‘remember’ the path, bringing in more awareness to what I eat, where I rest, how I engage with others.
So, when I come to pack I want to take only the basics, one pair of smart-as-I-can walking shoes, a few pairs of long shorts which go with everything, lush cosmetics with no packaging and that can be used for so many purposes, a soft yoga mat with sticky parts that can double up as a picnic mat, I have realised since a two day trip down the Mekong that a light blanket is a very practical travel item to nourish the soul. I will pack my old (but not too trusty) phone, my kindle which allows me to read so many books while being so light that it transforms living in countries where English isn’t the main language. I want to pack light to look after my back, to worry less about what I might loose but also as a symbol that I want this to be a trip for my whole self, and not just a means to cart around my brain.