12:33 p.m. and above me an overcast sky glows like a milky haze. $525 last-minute RT tickets to Roma? You bet. With a deal like that (thanks, Turkish Airlines) how could I not? I quit my job to travel the world, not to go to Charlotte/Portland/Hawaii as my previous itinerary laid out. I tossed a coin into the Trevi in September 2015, and just like that I’m back.
One of the reasons I connect with Rome is because my mother’s side is Italian. Most of my childhood memories involve grandma and her amazing cooking. She was tiny stubborn Italian firecracker of a woman, and I am very much her counterpart, a little Boliviana flame. She was a champion always in my corner, so when I’m in Rome, one of her favorite places, I am that much more inspired.
A slight breeze dries my freshly shampooed hair catching the lemongrass scent in the air. The 310 Vescovio Roma bus blazes by, headed north to a destination unknown to me. Mayonnaise, fruit juice, bread, and my Dracula book and sweater lie at my feet in a reusable bag. I sit on a park bench in Piazza Independence. North of Rome’s Termini Station I sit like I’m waiting for the bus, but I’m writing and enjoying the time roll by. I’ve got to invest time with my own written word, I’ve found the time to read material I’ve put off.
Most of all, I’ve lived among those that know no time – and it has been beautiful.
On the bench to my left a man hunches over his own Macbook, on the grass besides me another man is downing a Peroini beer. Pigeons waltz around with no purpose like the people that dot the street.
I’m waiting to check-in to my next hostel, make some lunch and do a money exchange. I’m just like another dot, stationary for now on the map. As countless locals board and disembark the buses I think of how Roma is a great base for European travel. With both Ciampino Airport (CIA) and Fiumicino Airport (FCO) easily accessible from the metropolitan area, Rome’s transit is one of the simplest to understand, their two metro lines form an “X.” To stretch my legs I head to St. Peter’s, for a run later to Circo Massimo, and I’ll have the best dinner at Trattoria De Enzo in Trastevere.
All leave me at peace, content, in a way that can only come from solo traveling. Table for one, un tavolo per uno, per favore, this explorer has found a home on the road.