The intent of a bucket list is to maximize every precious moment of our existence and guide us to live life to the fullest. Why do you think the top of almost all of our lists is "Travel the World"? If you're being honest, it's because your travel goals reflect your inner passions and values. There are specific destinations that resonate within each of us and we're drawn to visit them. And not just for what we'll see, but for how we'll feel when we experience them.
I just returned from a week with my family in Tuscany, Italy and I've run out of adjectives to describe my journey. I find myself answering all questions with a "YES, and you wouldn't believe..."
Italy is; the stylized design of fountains, the taste of the local pecorino cheese, the aroma of homemade pasta with truffle shavings, the sound of perfectly poured Chianti, the view of endless vineyards and cypress trees, the history of medieval villages and the fashionably dressed people of the region. They were all extraordinary. Much better writers than I have unsuccessfully attempted to capture it with words so I won't even try.
Forget all of the images or visions you have of Italy, they're flawed and don't do this Mediterranean country justice. Beauty will capture your attention but personality grabs your heart. Italy was on my list because of its artistry and savor but it will be remembered for subtle inspiration from its style and historic soul.
Ted's Top 5 Things He Learned About Travel On This Trip:
1. Tuscan dinners are 3 courses. Meats & cheeses, then a pasta followed by a main course of meat. You're expected to take your time and enjoy a 3 hour meal accompanied by local wine and your comrades. How cool is that?
2. A Kilogram is 2.46 lbs so if you hold up 2 fingers to the nice little old lady at the deli for some prosciutto she'll be at the meat slicer for 10 minutes making you 5 lbs of cold cuts. I may have broken her little arm.
3. Getting the only 2 seats with broken TVs on a 9 hr flight gets you free beer and stale brownies + you don't have to watch "The Green Hornet" movie 3 times.
4. Italians believe it's their duty to create a more civilized world so they dress with style and pride. Their police uniforms were designed by Armani. If you go, dress to impress. When in Rome...
5. If you no longer hear the annoying rooster in the morning and the local ristorante's special the night before was "Young Rooster" it's just coincidence... right?
Well... on the flight home I revised my bucket list. I was blown away by Italy but my original expectations of Tuscany were not what I experienced, which is great. We should travel to places which arouse our own inner interest and not destinations that may be others dreams. You don't want a hole in your bucket. When you put travel on your list don't just focus on WHERE you want to go, your decision should be dictated by WHY you have a yearning to be there...
"Why do you walk around beautiful Florence in a safari shirt and shorty pants?" - Filippo (Fashion designer/shop owner in Florence)
"Because it's hot. Why are you wearing all black in the dead heat of the Summer?" - Shorty Pants (My father in-law)
"Because I can. You see... I used to be young and beautiful but now... sigh... I'm just beautiful." - Filippo
Additional photos & videos from this journey can be found by clicking here FlickrTravelWithTed.com