I’m a victim of wanderlust. There is no doubt about that. My original wanderlust had me traveling all around the country. Between personal travel and work I managed to see almost every major metropolitan city. Only Chicago, Dallas, San Diego and Seattle are left on my USA list. Then back in 2011 I went to London, England. That’s when my wanderlust went international. With a primary focus in Europe. After London I went to Paris then Rome then Florence then Venice. Next up will be Greece then Spain. I took something away from each of these beautiful European countries and cities. But Italy itself had the greatest impact. It’s something I like to call The Italy Effect.
Italy’s impact on me most definitely has to do with me being Italian and the fact that I went on the trip with my mother. While I was out there I had a lot going on inside of my head. Seeing how the Italians lived, worked, ate, loved and went about their everyday lives pulled at things deep down inside of me that I didn’t know I had. That I didn’t think I wanted to release. Sure I’ve always been proud of my Italian heritage. Always been an eater. I have my ways with romance. I like to think I’m cultured. I’m huge on family. Always appreciated art, architecture and history. But Italy amplified all of that and I brought it home with me. It made me want to stop and smell the roses. Or the tomatoes. I’m not sure. I found myself wanting to be a better man, yes. But I was already doing that. This made me want to be a different AND a better kind of man. Multiplied by a thousand. I wanted to let my friends and family know that I appreciated and loved them for who they were and what they meant to me. The timing was great because I came home to the holidays. We finally had an old-fashioned Italian “Fish” Christmas Eve which hadn’t existed in my family in years. I found myself paying more attention to all the buildings, people and history of my beautiful city of Boston in ways I never did before. I went nuts on Instagram with the pics! I took a step back and wanted to really change how I was writing with the T-blawg book. Instead of how I write on the site I wanted to tell these same stories but in a different way. With more heart. With more passion. With more everything. Then I started to date a special woman and for the first time in my life I really wanted to feel and love more than ever before. Every time we were together. Every time we ate. Every time we laughed. Every time we talked. This romance was different. Everything was the same in my life but I made it different. I put more into everything and everyone. My time, my heart, my passion went into it all. Went into everything. And I just went with it. I went with The Italy Effect.
I don’t know how long The Italy Effect will last or if it made a definitive change in me. I’m not sure if I’m a better man because of it. I just know that I’m different and really appreciate how that trip changed me. The jury is still out if the people in my life recognize or even like the different T I am now. But I know I’ve changed. And I like it. I mean this is how we grow as people right? To live, love, laugh, learn, experience, reflect, appreciate, discover, travel…and hope to come away with something. Anything. I brought Italy home with me. I hope it stays. I hope my friends & family stay. I hope the way I feel in relationships stays. I hope THIS T stays. The Italy Effect. Travel and find your own Italy Effect. And once again, thank me later.
Until next time. Always take it there.