- How do you say [blank] in Italian?
- Come si diche ‘pun’ en l’italiano? ‘Gioco de parole,’ apparently.
- Table for one please (pause) Yes, for one.
- Tavolo per uno per favore (pause) Si, per uno.
- No thank you, I don’t want a selfie stick.
- No grazie, non voglio un selfie stick.
- Can I have another glass of wine please?
- Posso avere un altro bicchiere di vino per favore?
- fuck boy.
- ragazzo cazzo.
I guess let’s start from the top. Just a little over two months ago I was sitting at my then bosses going away lunch when a dear coworker leaned over and asked me when I was “getting out of here.” I brushed his question off, whispering jokingly that I would start looking for a new job soon. “No. Like, you should get out of New York.” A second nervous laugh later and my eyes opened up like they did when I realized Santa’s handwriting looked an awful lot like my mom’s.
That following Sunday (the aformentioned was a Tuesday) I sat at a bar in Brooklyn with Angie, two weak cocktails in. “That’s it. I’m doing it!” In that moment I decided that I would pack-up and head abroad. By the third cocktail I had asked the bartender for a pen and paper where I scribbled cities, activities, bucket-list items and the things I needed to get done before leaving.
I spent the following week running the idea by my family, seeking approval and assurance that I wasn’t crazy. I told work little-by-little and then friends. Some people asked “why?” and I just shrugged and smiled knowing my answer was lenghty, maybe a little self-indulgent and probably boring. Then there were the people who didn’t have any follow-up questions (read: my favorite people).
Now I suppose this decision seems v radical and maybe even ill-thought-out (HOW DARE YOU?) but nothing has ever felt more right. I mean, timing was perfect, my lease was to be up at the end of May and instead of renewing a lease or going through another apartment headache, why not just travel? There was and is no particular reason for this decision, just justifications. That’s the thing about these kind of decisions, some people can be quick to assume you are escaping something. For Liz in Eat, Pray, Love it was her failed marriage and James Franco; Francis in Under the Tuscan Sun: her cheating husband; and Lizzie McGuire: her embarrasing high-school graduation. I however have nothing to escape. I left a rainy New York ugly-crying in a cab but knowing I would be back soon. New York will be there when I get back, and as one friend told me: so will the people that matter.
*wandermusting /wɒndəmʌst/ noun: a strong need to travel, “a woman consumed by wandermust”