I don’t get to see my family very often, so the time we do get to spend together is very precious to me. Thing is, I am so used to traveling on my own, that adjusting to travel with others always comes at some cost. As a traveler, I am used to knowing exactly where I’m going, what I’m doing, and doing things my own way with spur-of-the-moment lets-just-go-and-see-what-happens mindset. But ofcourse that doesn’t work well when traveling with few others. Group dynamics are especially tricky, since in travel things are bound to go wrong at some point, and so if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my long years of roaming around the world it’s patience. In this last trip to Sicily I had little time to contribute much to the family effort in terms of planning, and this trip was following two very hectic months of me basically spending each week in a different country moving between hotels and waking up not really sure what part of the world I’m at. So, it came as a relief to just be able to sit back and let others take over and let myself follow as if I’ve joined a guided tour group.
What really helped, was that the trip was to Sicily. Language challenges aside, easily overcome with my now semi-Italian sister, Sicily is gorgeous. You can’t really go wrong with active volcano mountains, clear water coastline, and beautiful beaches. Some consider Italians, and especially Sicilians, to be a bit messy, loud, and outgoing, compared to my Dutch and northern European base. To me, that was great. What I’ve realized in the past year is that living in Europe has definitely pushed up my cultural-historical travel but that came at the expense of not feeling any sense of adventure. Everything in north-western Europe is just too well organized and easy. Travel is about having experiences, it’s about tackling language and cultural differences, it’s about going out of your comfort zone. And Sicily, gorgeous Sicily, definitely offered us some challenges, both as individuals, and as a family traveling together. It wasn’t as adventurous as, say, Burma, but in European terms it offered some special surprises every once in a while that forced us to rethink what we’re doing, and, often, adjust to local traditions.
To kick things off, here is a photo roadtrip ride through some of the highlights we experienced on that trip.
More on all of these to follow soon…