In my honest attempt to get back into a workout routine, I found myself at the gym at 6pm on a Saturday. Filling in my need for cardio, I stuck myself on an elliptical in the cardio cinema room in front of The Italian Job. I love Venice.
In October 2010, we took a trip to Venice to see my dad’s exhibition and to support him at his conference. We stayed in this gorgeous, super Venetian apartment, went grocery shopping on the Grand Canal, walked the streets like we owned the place and luncheoned at a palace outdoors by the Accademia bridge daily. Life was grand.
Being that my father had practically become a local, there really wasn’t an opportunity to get lost in the city. Granted, it’s the most difficult city in the world to navigate and maps do not help one bit. However, the first thing he did when we arrived was to walk us to each important destination- and then ask us to show him how to get back to the apartment. Our last night in Venice, the sense of adventure had finally worn completely on Alex and I. Google “Top 10 Things To Do in Venice” and you always see “Get lost”. We wanted to get lost.
So we set off. Our plan? Turn the opposite way than we typically did on each street (or alleyway) we encountered until we were officially lost. How fantastic. We didn’t have a map and we didn’t have a phone or even a watch. It was just the two of us, lost in the City of Love. We passed through the university neighborhood, the Jewish ghetto, and this unbelievable midnight market that must’ve stretched on for kilometers… We found ourselves in places that were out of a dream, tiny little crevaces of the city that were 2 people wide but surrounded by gelato on one side and live music on the other.
We continued to walk. Every once in awhile we’d try and follow the obligatory signs for Rialto or San Marco on the side of a building. They only disoriented us even more. Three hours later we literally stumbled upon the Grand Canal in front of a row of gondolas bobbing back in forth in the water under the moonlight. We knew, with only a few hundred feet to our right, we’d come across San Marco Piazza, from which we could easily make our way back to the apartment. The best part about the situation was that we were convinced we’d be closer to the Rialto bridge (on the other side of the city) that to San Marco!
This is my point: Where else in the entire world can you wander around deliberately getting lost in the middle of the night without a care in the world? Venice is a romantic city- no arguments there. But it’s more than gondoliers singing love songs as lovers float the canals. It’s more than the 410 bridges and the 150 canals. I know why Venice is the City of Love. I spent 3 hours lost in it’s romance with nothing but my purse and my fiance.
The romance of Venice is the humming of the street vendors and the drunken slurs of the tourists as they pull their maps out (go ahead and laugh) in desperation. The romance is in the smell of the lagoon and the way it floods during high tide, reminding us where we are in the grand scheme of the universe… and forcing us onto elevated walkways. The romance is in the security of being only accessible by foot or boat- virtually eliminating the crime. This is what is romantic- taking a 3 hour walk around the City of Love in the middle of the night with your best friend without worrying once about your safety or your ability to (somehow, sometime) make it back home.
To navigate through life with the same sense of faith and trust… wouldn’t that be something? My spiritual views are underdeveloped and vaguely identifiable. However, I know this is what we all should strive towards. Just have faith. With the guidance of a little bit of street smarts and your loved ones by your side, you should be able to conquer every new corner and turn. No maps required. No phoning friends. Just your intuition and a little bit of patience. We get where we need to… eventually. It might not be where we expected to end up- in fact, it could be on the other side of the city like us. You can’t be picky- you are one of 7 billion humans that are trying to find their way as well. Our patience and faith took us to exactly where we needed to be to get back home. I’m starting to realize that those virtues should get us exactly where we’ll need to be the rest of our lives. So I’m going to start sitting back and enjoying life- regardless of how lost I might sometimes feel.
*Filed under Wanderlust Life*