Next month I’m heading Rome for a much needed change of scenery and a visit with a friend. Because there have been so many aborted get away attempts in the past couple of pandemic years,* I’m trying to rein in my excitement about the trip, but I’m optimistic it just might happen.
While my mind can’t help but consider the necessary hurdles yet to be leaped in terms of Covid testing and potential transportation issues, I’m also allowing myself to think about being in Rome again, enjoying cacio é pepe washed down with vino and, of course, what I’m going to be able to fit in my exclusively carry on luggage.
I know this dress is coming.
I’m looking forward to lots of walking, eating and drinking, however, I don’t have any firm “plans” for my time in Italy. This is my second visit to Rome in recent years and, beyond revisiting a favorite restaurant or two, I have no agenda. I just want to be in a beautiful city with my friend, free time and my camera. Alive.
Recently, I was messaging with a Potential First Date (known generically as PFD going forward) about places we had been to and our individual travel styles. I shared that I would be visiting Rome in a few weeks and staying with a friend. This prompted the PFD to remark admiringly that my trip sounded like a very “local” experience.
I explained that I don’t like to overschedule my vacations, preferring instead to research available things to do, without actually making a decision until the moment of action arrives. I mean, naturally, there are some exceptions to that pattern of behavior, like a restaurant that demands reservations, or visiting the Vatican, but being able to experience my days whimsically truly makes time away feel like a vacation.
At least to me.
I was a little startled when I read these words, my words, in text:
I like to be familiar with options but not commit.
…because I realized that’s pretty much exactly my approach these days to dating.
I’m at point in my life when I really want to see what’s out there. I’m interested in exploring new places and knowing what might be available to occupy my time, without necessarily buying a ticket in advance. Remaining open to opportunity works for me, whether it’s when I vacation or when I date. At least until I see something that compels me to commit.
*Pandemic years are somewhere between human years and dog years, I believe.