Some people tell me they are proud of me. Some tell me I will find it liberating. Quite a few people tell me they couldn’t do it or wouldn’t want to do it.
Some get so choked up and uncomfortable I have to help them out. I lie. “I have a couple of girlfriends meeting me for parts of it”, (there is an outside possibility of that, most likely not); or “I’m going with my Italian teachers’ tour then branching out on my own for a bit”, (I did investigate that but was a bit too expensive for me and of course restrictive to what I could do).
The truth is, I’m going alone. There.
I could get into details about my husbands disinterest in long haul travel and Italy. I could rave on about finding myself and being grown up and brave. I’m not very brave, the night I booked the flights I couldn’t sleep I was so filled with fear. Since then i have the occasional pang of terror but mostly part of the thrill of this is the going solo.
I met a girlfriend for a coffee yesterday. In a relationship breakup funk she signed up for creative writing classes and she confessed she is using me as a character in her novel. A woman that travels alone to Italy and stays in convents. There I am, doing something that is so outside of peoples comfort zone but somehow fires imagination, undertaking the archetypal journey out alone into the world…usually undertaken in fairy tales by youthful males!
I have no idea yet if I will be content, pottering through my days, talking to myself, meeting others, catching buses and trains, looking at sites alone, or whether I will suffer with feelings of desolation and loneliness.
A wise friend told me to expect a bit of both.