We are going to Italy!


Someone asked me the other day, "If you live in Turks and Caicos where do you go for vacation?" My answer "Anywhere but here." I know it hard for the tourists that are choosing this beautiful island for the travel destination to comprehend why I would ever need a vacation from here. Most of them never want to leave! The truth is I need a break from the day to day thing just like everyone that's coming here needs. I need to see and experience new things, meet new people or visit family and friends. And I need to break up the daily patterns! Vacation doesn't need to be extravagant. Growing up in the midwest my family and most other families that I grew up around weren't the types that could fly their whole family to a 5 star resort on some Caribbean Island. We took out the middle seat of the van, threw down some blankets and pillows (that's totally illegal now- please wear seat belts) and road tripped one state over. Two states if we were really fancy! The point is it doesn't matter where you go your vacation can provide a way to break up the day to day patterns hopefully allowing us to return to our lives afterwards a little more enriched and maybe even with some new perspectives. SOOOOO! Hubby and I are crossing one off the bucket list this year. We are headed to Italy this Saturday! Italy has always been a top travel destination for me ever since I fell in love with the handsome, Italian stallion foreign exchanged student my grandparents hosted when I was 10. Oh I thought any country that could produce a boy this gorgeous was definitely worth a visit. I was determined to learn Italian. Actually, I just fantasized about learning Italian- never really put in the work. And of course, I got over my crush, but Italy remained on my bucket list. After a missed opportunity to go to Italy in high school it became even more important (for whatever reason) that I should go. I remember my great grandma, seeing my disappointment about not being able to go, looking at me and saying with a calming amount of certainty, one day you will go. I often wonder if she had a hint of psychic ability lol or just an optimistic attitude. It's been a number of years since she passed and my memories of her become more distant- but I have always remembered that one particular thing she said to me on that day. The first glass of wine in Tuscany will be for Mildred. I hope she is watching.

This is a unique trip because I didn't plan anything! In fact we were invited on this trip by my husband's mom and sister. So its a family trip and I didn't really partake in the planning. After last years big 3 week honeymoon to Europe my control freak status has really subsided and letting someone else do most of the planning and booking is proving quite ideal. I can't even tell you for sure where we are going! I know we fly into Rome- spend a few days there of course and then we rent a car and drive all over. This is definitely going to be a "go with the flow" sort of adventure. I don't have a lot of expectations besides good wine, good pizza, amazing views, enriching history lessons and good company. My Italian may not improve much, but my Spanish will as Mau's family primarily speaks Spanish. This always proves challenging for me at times, but hey, if the pizza keeps coming I shouldn't speak with a full mouth anyway. :)

For the backpackers


For the backpackers out there I am only using my amazing Osprey backpack! I highly highly recommend investing in a good quality back pack and learning how to travel with a pack alone. It's quite liberating. Our last 3 week visit to Europe my husband and I invested in some nice back packs before hand. We were determined to travel light. We did it. After all our purchases though I looked like an over sized turtle coming back to the island. I feel even more confident this time in my packing abilities based on what I needed and didn't need last time. And I am overconfident in my abilities to make more purchases while I am there.

Just to give you an idea of how casual I feel about packing for a big trip now- It's Thursday evening. I have to work most of the day tomorrow and we leave early on Saturday. I haven't even begun to pack! A trip like this a few years ago would have had me stressed for weeks trying to figure out what to bring and a few practice rounds of seeing if I could fit it all in my suitcase.

but it is probably that time to start packing....I'm working on a video to give you a review of my backpack and how I plan to pack for this trip!

I'm excited to return and share with you a recap of the trip and include video and photos and any recommendations from our experience.



Selfie of hubby and I in Paris at the top of the Basilique du Sacre Coeur de Montmarte in Paris, France. I have on my trusty Osprey Day Pack!

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The Siren and The Pirate, Arizona, United States