Existing Member?

The adventures of the Mel

Mwah, ah, ah!!!

ITALY | Tuesday, 9 December 2008 | Views [1200] | Comments [1]

BAHAHAHAHA!!! I am an evil wench.....I have tricked you all and I am home!!! Glorious, glorious Australia!!! Part of my last post was a complete ruse - I never headed to Maratea or the stiletto....I just went to Rome and caught a plane (or three) home. It feels a little strange (and tiring - though my jet lag could be a lot worse). It’s been lovely surprising everybody, and I’m so pleased that nobody had any idea I was coming home early.

The first thing I noticed when I got home was the smell. Australia has such a distinctive, warm and inviting smell to it. After half an hour you don’t notice it anymore, but it just made me smile and I knew that I was home (even though I was technically in Sydney). It was also fantastic that within 20 minutes of having landed in Sydney I had already been bagged out by 3 separate people. God I love Australia.

There are so many things I’m going to miss about the trip, but I will reflect on those perhaps at a later stage. For now, I will leave you with my final post, written on my last night in Roma….

I’m sitting in my hostel room in beautiful Roma, my last night, and I’m feeling strangely apathetic. At this stage I thought I’d feel excited, sad, anxious, fidgety and a whole other range of conflicting emotions, but I just feel….meh, in the words of Shan. I’m not sure if this is my brain’s way of avoiding the potentially lethal cocktail of emotions I was anticipating, but I don’t feel like I’m going home tomorrow. Certainly I know that you’re not expecting me home – I’m really looking forward to surprising you all. I just hope you haven’t figured it out!

I was planning on going for a walk today but it has rained all day and prevented me from doing so. Hopefully tomorrow morning – I want one last breath of the Pantheon, and perhaps to see the Trevi Fountain in the wee hours of the morning to intake its beauty in solitude.

I have been thinking on how to sum up the trip, because I anticipate the inevitable ‘What was your favourite part of the trip?’ How do you condense a year long trip down into a concise statement? How do you pick a single experience out of so many amazing experiences, so many different experiences that beg heresy to compare? To formulate my crude summaries onto the entire trip seems boorish and deficient. That’s not to say I haven’t tried. I sat there for quiet some time trying to squish 11 months of awe into 20 dot points. The positive thing is that I couldn’t really think of many things poor enough to put into the ‘bottom 10’.

On the other hand, it’s hard to characterise the trip in sweeping statements – the scenery, the culture, the nature, the people, the experiences – all deserve more than ‘amazing’, ‘stunning’, ‘unforgettable’, ‘life-changing’ and whatever cliché that comes to mind. So I sit here, staring at the blinking cursor as it begs the questions. I just don’t think I have the answers.

I was talking to Anna earlier about society’s need for instant gratification and the consequences it has on us as a society (and a whole other tonne of implications I won’t go into); and it really got me thinking about (amongst many other things) what people have gained from reading my journal. Do you like my stories? Do you like my summaries? What have you enjoyed? Has it increased your desire to see the world? Has it bored you to tears? I’d ask if you think I’m funny, but considering that you’re human we all know the answer to that question.

I mulled over the summaries for a while, not knowing whether to actually include them or not. I decided that I would. Sure, it defies the entire point of my post, but I actually don’t think that this is important. I think for me it will be interesting to look at these lists in the future, 10, 20 years down the track and compare it to what I have remembered. What will TRULY be the experiences that I keep with me, for better or worse? Will I look back at this and think ‘Wow, I’d forgotten about that’, or will I remember them ‘like it was yesterday?’

Plus, extra benefits for all those in need of instant gratification out there.

So, to begin with Italy.

Bottom 3 (yep, I struggled!)

3. Missing out on seeing Da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’

2. Leaving.

1. Trenitalia strikes

Top 8.

8. Revisiting Rome time and time again.

7. Learning the beautiful language.

6. The food – the pizza, the pasta, the pesto, the cheese, i arancini…

5. The crazy lovable Italians.

4. The very hazy night in Venice

3. Living the Italian life in Catania and making a good friend.

2. Hiking across Le Cinque Terre

1. Seeing the family for the first time in 8 months or something ridiculous.


This was hard to summarise…I have spent so long in Italy I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like outside!

Bottom 5.

5. The Aussie dollar crashing

4. Having to stay in dorms because of #5

3. Not seeing the Last Supper!

2. Europe’s inability to provide decent pillows or actual double beds (twins pushed together apparently = double)

1. When their hand-held shower heads have no ‘stand’

Top 10.

10. The efficiency of transport in Switzerland

9. The amazingly good vanilla yoghurt they had everywhere

8. The wax museum in Berlin and the Escher museum in Den Haag.

7. Visiting CERN!

6. The beautiful architecture

5. Hiking around Interlaken

4. Hiking Le Cinque Terre

3. Cesky Krumlov

2. Living in Italy and learning the language and way of life

1. Spending time with friends and family

Overall Trip.

Rather than my conventional rankings I’m just sticking with an ‘in no particular order’ list…


* Encountering so many different cultures

* Seeing the family in Italy

* Living in Italy

* Galapagos Islands

* The Inca Trail

* Iguazu Falls

* Easter at Copper Canyon

* Palenque

* Bolivian Salt Flat tour

* Learning pieces of so many different languages

* Northern lights in Churchill

* Food markets in Marrakesh

* Hiking in Switzerland

* Visiting various museums including CERN, Escher and the wax museum.

* Being treated like family in Chile

* Making friends and having the occasional wild night

* Seeing Cam and Sare in Edinburgh (and having Sare with me in Canada!)

* Although not exactly a pleasant experience – holding that freaking tarantula is something I will never forget!!

* The butterflies in Mexico

* Drinking cocktails on the beach in Mexico

Things that sucked

* Getting Andrew’s backpack stolen in Chile

* Wanker from hell in Canada

* Missing out on the boys’ 21st

* Having my credit card eaten in Mexico and all the dramas that went with it

* Being in really different time zones to everyone so frequently

* Not seeing everyone I love for 11 months (bar my Snuffy Pig [yeah, yeah, and Italy…]}

* Copping Giardia and piles in Morocco and Mexico

* Missing the train to Churchill

* The bitter, bitter cold wind in Canada

And that, is all folks.



You sneaky child!


looking forward to actually catching up in person

I'll bet your folks are just over the moon

  Sally Dec 9, 2008 11:19 AM

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.



Travel Answers about Italy

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.