This post is supposed to be about Oslo Norway. But we left this morning and landed and Milan. We drove north west to the lake Como area and that's where our lives changed. As soon as the lake came into view all of my troubles melted away. Nothing outside of that moment seemed to matter. All was right with the world. Perhaps it is just my affinity for the beauty of lakes or other large bodies of water, I don't know. What I do know is the first time I laid eyes on Lake Como an overwhelming sense of peace and tranquility entered my soul. I'm not trying to be all mystical but that is the best way to describe it. That same sense of love and belonging I got with Las Vegas (and we ended up deciding to move there) is the same sense I have here. It feels like home and this is where I'm meant to be. Now, I'm not gonna pack up and relocate here (as much as I would love to). I have to much going on back in the states but I do have a new item for my vision board: a fully renovated house right here in Lezzeno, Italy right along the lake with a large garden. The kids are loving it too. It amazes me just how in sync we are but they are ready to pack up and move here too. In all fairness though who wouldn't want to pack up and move here.
Some things that have been interesting so far:
Everyone is so friendly. I was warned that emerging ourselves in an Italian community outside of a major city would leave us feeling alone and abandoned but that that is so far from the truth. We have felt nothing but welcome since we arrived in the Como area. Everyone we've encountered has been nothing but warm and friendly. We were warned that if we don't speak Italian we'd be shunned but again all falsities. The people we've encountered have made every effort to communicate. Those that can't understand have been gracious and offered a "no parla ingleis" with a smile and a look of wishing they could be more helpful. So if you're putting of visiting the area because of what you heard of how you'd be treated ignore all of that and book that ticket.
The driving is definitely not something you can prepare for ahead of time. It's one of those things you just have to experience to understand. Let me start by saying I was so relieved to see that Italians drive on the same side of the street as us Americans. That was a huge apprehension for me. But nothing could have prepared me for actually driving. Off the major highways the roads are single lane roads in size by American standards but Italians use then like two lane highways. Cars go fast and squeeze through the narrow, winding streets with ease. My anxiety level is still way us as I drive the windy streets but I'm hoping that in a day or two I'll be taking these curvy streets like my Italian neighbors. Things go pretty fast as well. I haven't quite figured out what the rush is, especially in a place so peaceful and serene, but people drive really really fast here. At one point I found myself doing around 150km/h (around 105m/h) just to get out of people's way and keep up with traffic. So just make sure you have the stomach for driving here or have atleast packed your nerve pills.
The food is EVERYTHING you ever imagine it to be. I can't emphasize this enough. If you are conscientious about your weight Italy may not be a place to add to your bucket list. The fresh bread, tons of different types of cheese, salami, prosciutto, bologna, pastas, pizzas and coffees will have you throwing your diet to the side and diving right in.
The views are breathtaking, stunning, exquisite... Actually I can't think of enough adjectives to describe the sheer beauty of this place. The pictures don't do it justice. To be right here sitting outside feeling the sun on my face as I watch the boats pass by on Lake Como and hear the Italian ladies converse from across the lane while children play and roosters doodle doo all while taking in the background of the mountains juxtaposed by the blue waters of the lake is an amazing thing. And until you can experience it for yourself there aren't enough words for me to do it justice.
There's so much more I could say about this place and we just got here. I won't bore you with my ohhhhh and awwwwwing. Just please take my word for it and add the Lake Como area of Italy to your bucketlist.
Until you see us on the road or somewhere around the globe... Love hard, live hard, and travel even harder.