As I went for a final walk around this beautiful medieval city tonight, I remember the first night I was here... It seems like a lifetime ago and all just a dream, but also in a way it seems like it was only yesterday. I was so certain that my time here would be positive and fruitful, and I was certain I would have my book written. While my book remains in my head, this experience, this adventure, has lead me down a path I never thought I would have gone down. It calmed me, made me live in the moment, made me immensely and completely happy - but has wrecked me forever.
I sat in the campo one last time tonight, eating a slice of delicious pizza, wondering how anyone goes back from this place. How do I go back to my life - and the mess I've made of it - and continue on? How do I go back to working and stressing and being a part of a society that doesn't take a break in the day to go for a walk and have a cafe and sit in the sunshine? How do I go back to the shambles and decisions and vacancy that is at home? I guess the answer is you can't go back. It's like with anything, you put your chin up, and move forward one little step at a time.
I guess this experience showed me that life isn't always about the job, the house the car... And I know I knew that... But here, in this special place, I felt it. It doesn't matter who or what you are, it matters that you have family and friends around you and a good glass of wine and a belly full of delicious food. Life matters, not what you do for a living. It is a lesson I will forever cherish.
This adventure has also taught me that I want to see the world. I want to be the person that has a story about every country in the world. I want to soak in every moment of happiness I can because I've discovered that happiness is fleeting... It doesn't always stick around. It matters that you keep an open mind and a positive mindset and happiness comes. You've got to be open to everyday experiences, celebrate everything, and find joy in even the smallest of things.
Italy will always be in my heart and although this trip didn't meet some of my expectations, it exceeded everything I dreamt it would be.
So... Siena, my beautiful city, I refuse to say good bye, as I will return!