A Travellerspoint blog

A plane to Spain

ciao mio Bari, heeellloo spain

Another airplane, another new place, another adventure beckons me and draws me in. The world whispers my name and I fully run to it. I kiss my best friends goodbye we head down different paths, but only to be reunited again in autumn. We cry, we drink, we laugh and sing. This is the nature of my job, my career path. It is an amazing journey and amazing life and I would never want to trade places with anyone. But when summer comes and contracts come to a close, we must say goodbye or fare well. Through tears we hug, and I am never the one to stay strong during this time. In fact I hate it, I dread it with all my heart and soul. A good man friend tells me “Krysta you are an amazing women, strong and one smart cookie. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you, I know you are beautiful and have this girly persona but I know you are incredible. You never let people staring at you, and chasing after you stop you from doing anything you want to do, you are one courageous girl” I cry even harder, as he packs the rest of his things in a bag. I do not want anything to change, but this is the faith and path I have chosen.
I have fallen in love; I am falling in love because I am not finished. Each day my bond with this man that I never planned on loving, surprises me in the best possible ways. But, I never was the girl to plan anything. Saying goodbye until September to him was heart breaking, we sat on my balcony looking at the stars and moon that decorate and kiss the night sky. He hands me his official military/police pin and hat and with tears in his eyes whispers “Ti amo” I never wanted this but it is better than anything, he tries in English and says “you change my world.” I cry on his shoulder as he stands at my door with his things packed in a bag, his uniform that is usually freshly pressed is wrinkled in the humid night air, tears on my cheeks his kisses me and I watch him walk away from me. Towards something else, something new. Who knows where we will end up, who knows what the future has for us.
What I do know is I am about to have my last lunch with my girlfriends and then board a plane to Spain. I have two nights in Seville in a hostel and then head off to my new job. I will be working at a summer camp for about 4 weeks, and then head to "volunteer" on a farm in Southern Spain. Where I will spend time with a new family and help them garden and pick fruit. They have a pool and horses where I can ride barefoot and free. A change from dripping in designer Italian clothes an making black the new pink. Standing at the corner with huge sunglasses kisses my boys goodbye this morning (I live in the "bronx" of Bari and my neighborhood protects me and feeds me) , I think I can not wait for the change. Adventure and a new life scream for me know, butterflies tickle my tummy as the unknown is fresh and unsettling. Here goes nothing, here goes everything.

Posted by goldenomad 03:05 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Is it true what they say?

an end of an era, and bad seven

sunny

Is it true what they say?
Is it true what they say “That all good things must come to an end”? In my heart of hearts I am hoping that this is a rumor. I want the good things that I have made into my life to stay with me for just a little longer. I have amazing friends and people around me; I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, the best food in the world and a boyfriend that I am falling for. I love falling in love, especially when you are in southern Italy with your hand out the window of the car, breeze whipping your salted hair around and the smell of fresh fruit growing in the orchards.
We hold hands and sing to the song on the radio, mountains, greenery and vineyards fly by as I fly on new love. We are going to a new place, a new beach. Each weekend is our new adventure. My heart sores above all and I look over hoping that all good things will never end.
I look at my friends that have turned into family laying and chatting on the beach, my boyfriend plays with a lock of my hair I feel that everything in my life is perfect just for a second that everything is in it’s place and that I couldn’t ask for anything more. But, I have said goodbye to many friends that are not returning to Bari next year and I am leaving next Saturday (exactly one week) I must say goodbye to my boyfriend and friends. Luckily most of them are coming back for more Bari action, but this bubble that we have created will never be the same. It is the end of an era; the best year of my life comes to a close. I will be on another plane when I have been in Italy for one year. I have learnt many things about my past, myself and my future. I have met amazing people, kissed boys in the rain, healed my broken heart, ate a ton of pasta and pizza with those I love and exactly one year later I am falling in love yet again. This year I have lived in Sicily with a dodgy, amazing, silly, fortunate family where I learned how to eat and love again. I cooked pasta and homemade pizza, picked fruit and vegetables out of their garden, peeled lemons for homemade lemoncello and spent time being part of another family. A grandmother picked me up each time she saw me making sure I was gaining weight. I learnt how to gain and enjoy a little bit of indulgence. I hadn’t eaten ice cream, pizza, oil, white bread or anything “unhealthy” for that matter for over a year, I lived. I jumped a private gate at 3:00 a.m, rode on the back of motorcycles, went on a date to Palermo, watched a famous concert, learned some Italian words, sailed on a yacht and had a crush on the skipper.
I went to Rome to try to make a life with another man and the city chewed me up and spit me out… as I stayed in a bed and breakfast with a man that dried my tears and brought me breakfast in bed. Perhaps I loved him, a little. He showed me the historic parts of his city; we drank wine, had our first kiss in a garden over looking the entire city, laughed and fell for one another. We flew back and forth from Rome to Southern Italy for a few months, skyped every week until we both called it quits because I wasn’t in Rome. He told me he loved me outside of the Vatican on Easter but we can not move forward, everything would be different if I would make the move.
I moved on to Bari, a town that has charm, character and confusion all in one place. I can never pinpoint my exact feelings about this city, but one thing is certain; I have made a family here. We created a Bari bubble and enjoyed Southern Italian living.
One Friday night at the end of March the weather was changing into spring and a warm breeze blew from the sea side, I walked out of work hand in hand with my two girlfriends doing my routine “Friday dance” to Beyonce single ladies down the street to the bars. The streets were empty because it was dinner time in Italy, so I decided to really shake it. Feeling high on life and happiness we were chatting about men, I said I want a MAN and NOW, a sexy man to wine and dine me. Three seconds later a handsome man in smart clothes came to my side and started a conversation. Speaking in Italian he was trying to guess where I was from, where we were going and asked me out for pizza. At first I told him no, but he kept up with me and said stay still for a minute. I stopped and looked up at him for the first time, he will do I said to the girls. We changed numbers and have spent every weekend together since. I made him wait, he made me crazy. I am falling in love with him, just in time that I fly away. Going on a new adventure, a new place. It’s the end of the best year of my life, which isn’t bad nor good, just life changes, people move on and we grow up. Each one of the places and people have changed my heart, I dare to ever be the same.

Posted by goldenomad 03:00 Archived in Israel Comments (0)

And the green grass grows all around all around...

Dear Doctor, I have a condition...it's called "the grass is greener syndrome" I am going to need a CAT scan and a head check...what can you give me?

snow

Wednesday, January 5, 2011And the green grass grows all around all around
My mind is racing from chasing you in my dreams at night; I don’t know how to slow it down. Slowly packing my belongings in a beaten up suitcase that has been more places than most people I know have dreamed of traveling. Again. Leaving behind a lover, friends and family. Waiting for him to scream wait, don’t leave at my door steep; with a boom box blaring some cheesy 80’s song. But, this is reality and he is Russian who is unaware of 1980’s music or boom boxes. What is it that I want from him? Do I want him to ask me to stay? But, if he did like others in the past I would do just the opposite, I would kiss him intensly and say goodbye my love. Maybe shed a tear or two and hop on the next plane and pray a cutie is assigned the seat next to mine. If he did this I would not have the overwhelming feelings I have for him. Perhaps that is the real reason I like/love/adore him, because he is not all over me, crying and pledging “ohhh bella don’t leave me, don’t leave me”. He never was the romantic one, very matter of fact, very South Russian.
I have thought about a head scan, maybe just maybe there is a disease called “the grass is greener on the other side” or “I want what I can’t have”. I am looking at the grass in my backyard, it looks pretty thirsty and brown to me, I think about the grass in Bari, when I think of it there is not much grass in that city. I am holding my cell phone contemplating my physicians number and if they can prescribe anything for “greener syndrome” I have always wanted something that I couldn’t have, and in the end quite truthfully I have received it. When whatever I sought out was in my hands or in my heart it was never as good as expected. If a man is courting me, calling constantly, to available, to telling or emothional I am completely uninterested, but if he is distant I am all over that challenge like “white on pasta binanco” (white pasta in Italia).
I sat in my childhood room wondering and dreaming about Korea, and what I would experience, who I would meet, what I would learn. I sat in my small apartment in Korea, wondering about Southeast Asia, where I would go, who I would meet and what I would keep in my heart. Secrets only for my soul. I sat on an airport floor in Indonesia wondering about America, what would happen, if I would be happy and my future marriage. I sat in my apartment I shared with my ex fiancé dreaming and crying of being free, sun kissed Mediterranean beaches and of Europe. Travel and wonder lust ran through my veins. I sat on a plane to Sicily thinking of what the next year of my life would come to, why my relationship didnt work, and how this family I was going to be living with would change my life forever. In Sicily I wanted Roma (rome) I wanted to live there with everything I ever breathed. In Bari I sat talking to my girlfriends over coffee on a warm November day wanting to live in Spain, Turkey, Dubai and South America. It hit me hard like a smack in the face, like a shot of something strong; Am I searching for something? And if I am what the heck is it? Will I ever want to “stop” to settle?
I sat at the table in my best friend’s house in admiration of her perfect kitchen and beautiful new home, her husband texting her cell, her children tugging at her heels and puppy asleep on his soft pillow. My heart was swelling with pride, love and happiness for her. Perhaps it was the oyxtocin that is excreting it self through my body like wild fire when a woman is around children she loves. I going to blame it on the hormones, but for a second I wanted that too. Wanted a husband and children with their sticky fingers pulling at my pant legs and their soft voices echoing down the halls of my own home. When I searched deep into my own soul I knew that it wasn’t my time for these things, for me I am not “ready”. Perhaps my best friends who have these things look at me with enormous hearts and want to experience what it is like in my patent leather Italian boots.
Are we ever really satisfied? With whom we are, where we live and our lives? How is it measurable? When exactly is that “ahhh haaa” moment in life where you have everything; your ideal figure, house, job, car and spouse. Whatever it is you are searching for or looking for in life, it is all there. Even if we reach goals do we ever stop pushing and wanting more? I feel especially Americans are this way, we always want more, more things, more material objects, more than our neighbors or friends. Once we have “many things” what do we do with it all? And is it only me who is suffering from grass is greener on the other side?
Expecting life as it comes and living in the moment is perhaps the best cure. I am going to make a cup of tea, plug in 80’s music and appreciate everything and everyone in my life…just enjoy my last sleep in American and truly “be” where ever I am in the world.

Posted by goldenomad 05:20 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Full of love for my America

Nothing better in the world then a happy girl

snow

Monday, January 3, 2011Full of love
A quick visit to America leaves me with feelings of contentment, pleasure, love and confusion. Three weeks fly by while I catch up with family and friends. I go out every night, enjoy small pleasures in Maryland, laugh, cry, sing, dance and fall in love. I teach my family how to make homemade pizza as we gather in the kitchen kneading the fresh dough and laughing. My grandmother shares travel and love stories with us. She is Swiss and left her country at age 19 to marry my grandfather. She said she loved him at first sight and knew she was going to marry him, she told me that you will just “know”. I feel so surrounded with love. A woman has secrets deeper than the ocean, as she talks about her first love, the man grandpa never knew about. A slow smile brought to her face that resembles my own remembering the French nuns at her boarding school and how they would seek out and run through the garden, past the male guards that they batted eyelashes towards and to the boy’s quarters on the other side. I laughed and said “now I know where it comes from”.
I cheers my girlfriends at multiple bars and restaurants. We talk and share stories around the table, our deepest secrets of the year spill from our wine soaked lips. Giggles and wine we never skipped a beat. I drink to much sambuca and shots with my childhood bestest, as I pretend to not speak English in a downtown bar. Meet a man from Bari, and speak broken Italian together. I dance all night with my other best friends on New Years Eve as I teach them the word for “cheers” in Italian. We sing, dance and full belly laugh at Miss T dancing like MC hammer.
As I leave my girlfriends when I am finished dinner and parties I venture out into the Maryland cold to my car and into a Russians arms.
“Damn it, damn it, I yell into the receiver of my to go phone!! I love a 21 year old Russian” my best friend on the other end laughs. “More than the Roman?” she asks A Roman and/or a Russian huumm
"What to do? What to do?"

Maybe we are not made to have one or two great loves. Perhaps we are made to have many great loves. I am not full blown marry me tomorrow in love, but I love him. I love two men at the same time for different reasons. I love easily, giving everything I have in that moment or that day we spend together. Anywhere in the world I think that you could have many great loves in a given country…maybe the fairy tale ending is exactly that. A story, a fable with no valiantly. So I will love as much as I can this year, if it is a man, a item, friends, colors, places or countries this year all I will do is love. Love everything that comes into my life, give it love and I will get love. Full blown, full heart love…for everything and anything. Especially me.

Posted by goldenomad 05:07 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Police accompany

Police officer 1 "just keep walking barbie, we are right behind you" Police officer 2 " I love my job and the view"

storm

Monday, December 13, 2010 Police accompany
I head towards my house which is a 25 minute walk when I am not wearing high heels My house is quite far from the city center where I work. I live in a beautiful flat with marble floors and a wrap around balcony, but my neighborhood is like the “bronxs” of Bari. Many of the foreigners live in the area and it is not the nicest part of town, but I like it here. My street is filled with rubbish, stray cats and tons of motorcycles. Men of all ages hang out fixing their motorcycles, talking, joking and drinking coffee. At first they would blow kisses at me, yell out “bambla” “bambilina” (which is a small doll, or Barbie) “bella” among other things in dialect and try to talk to me, I ignore them all. I am use to the attention I receive here, and do not pay much attention. After time and the “boys” realizing that I live and work here and word of mouth travels fast in Southern Italy, they start giving me a proper salutation such as “buongiorno insesgnentante” (good morning teacher) They start protecting me, and talking to me always asking where I am going and what I am doing. I have fell in love with my creepisemo neighborhood. (creepesiamo is a word my girlfriend and I invented for a real creep. In the Italian language when something is extra or very much you add an iamo on the end such as bellisimo, very beautiful)

I walk out of school on a Monday night at 10:00 p.m. I teach an individual student who owns a boutique and the only time he can come to English lessons are late at night. It does not bother me and many of the other teachers finish late. Usually the teachers and some students go out to an amazingly delicious pasta restaurant after a day of classes; we talk, laugh, eat and drink wine. This night was different; I walked out alone because my student and I were talking for a half an hour after class. It was dark, it gets dark in the winter around 4 p.m. and every store and restaurant closes at 8:00 p.m. There are a few restaurants open late, but few and far between and they are in the “old city”. I notice a man behind me and did not think much of it, but I was aware and was paying attention. I had a gut feeling to walk faster and cross the street. The man turned right down another street and I felt relived. I stayed on the same street and two minutes later he was in front of me. He had gone around a building to cut me off. I almost ran across the street, he followed. Then I cut across and was walking in the middle of the dimly lit street that is usually bustling with people during normal hours. My heart was beating in my chest, and my instincts kicked in full gear. I stopped near a group of people and pretended to be waiting for someone while I phoned another teacher. He stopped and was staring at me. I saw a young man and asked him if he spoke English. I grabbed his hand and explained what was happening, he held my hand and walked me home.
The next Monday was my birthday, and the teachers, some of our students and the man I am dating went out to dinner. It was a beautiful celebration filled with pasta, pizza and lots of vino. We laughed and talked about our day and about “us” become a large Italian family who screams and talks at each other all at the same time. Dinner was filled with love and laughs. I have been sharing every moment with the other teachers and know that the reason I am in Bari is to be with all of them. I have never been so close to a group of people so fast. I am in love with all of them equally. I have a family I never expected to have; it has been the best surprise. By this time I had forgotten about my “follower” and was consumed with Cello’s visit, my friends, vino and my new man.
The following Monday the teachers decided to go home after work, and the miss independent woman I am declined the offer my “big brother” made to walk me home. My day was filled with love and gratitude and I thought of all the things I loved while singing “Santa baby and jingle bell rock” out loud as I skipped home. “Santa baby I have been an awful good girl Santa cutie”….I wave and a man that owns a shop and another that owns the coffee bar I go to every day. I was just about to belt “think of all the fellas I haven’t kissed” when a funny feeling tickled my tummy and stretched into my heart. This wasn’t just the ordinary feeling when I am thinking of the boys I haven’t kissed yet…but someone behind me, watching my every off beat dance move. I turned around and the drum in my chest intensified, as I came face to face with the man who was following me two weeks ago. In a quick lightning speed panic I raced into a pizza shop on my street. Yes, he followed me all the way to my house and we were face to face where I live. There was no one in the small pizza shop but I heard the sound of a woman in the kitchen pots and pans clinging together, the shop is a take out place with a solo table and a cashier stand. The man peeked his head into the shop and was staring at me. I took my chances and headed toward the kitchen in a panic of adrenaline and tears. The woman knew who I was and I explained what was happening in Italian. Who is following you? She asked as she poked her head around the corner, which man the one who is smoking? Yes, si si. She told me to stay with her and have a seat. She closed and locked the restaurant and made me a coffee. We sat chatting in Italian as she stroked my shaking hand; I instantly fell in love with her. She has the softness of a mother but fiery temper that would scare any stalking man. She told me to wait here for a bit and her husband would walk me home when he returned from delivering a pizza. When he arrived he took my arm and walked me back to my house, I thanked him and thanked him. I got to my house and he made sure I was safe inside before leaving. I turned the key to my dark house and everyone was sleeping. I went into my room and was thinking what had happened. I could not sleep that night and was afraid of the dark, I kept my blinds half opened and locked the door to my room. I could not help but wonder in the dim light of dawn if I had attracted this stalker into my life. He is on the same frequency as me, and I have been thinking about men that follow me and call out to me in the streets. It is tiring and it happens daily. It is not the first time I have been followed but the first where it is the same man. What can I do about this? How can I be safe and not attract attention. As I contemplate shaving my head, I make coffee with my flat mates and explain what happened the night before.
I sat in the office at my school waiting to talk to my boss, John. This is a lovely, caring man from Canada who has lived in Italy for 45 years. I start explaining what has been happening and my other boss who does not speak much English asked to join the conversation. They comforted me with hugs and kind words. John got on the phone with the chief of police, and within minutes he was sitting across from me. They devised a plan where this Monday the police would follow me from a distance and hopefully scare this stalker man. I am trying to bring positive energy into my life, and not worry about what is going to happen today and tonight. Cello told me to stay tranquil because it will be over tonight (direct translation from Italian) I know he is right and thankful I am loved by all the people that surround me.

Posted by goldenomad 04:46 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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