Monday, July 19, 2010

Bread Crumbs, Mi Amigo

Alright, I've got a shiny €2 coin for the first person who can tell me what late 90's teen chick flick the title quote is from.  And NO GOOGLING!  (I'll give you a hint...they're glow in the dark.)  The movie rates right up there with She's All That for all time best teen chick flicks.

Enough with that, on to the blogging!  I went out for a bike ride today, and got so lost I needed bread crumbs to find my way back (hence, the title).  I like to mix it up on my runs/rides, because, well, let's face it, it's a heck of a lot more fun to have a change in scenery, and you never know what you're going to find around the next corner.  I started out on the road right across from our house, which is the same road that took me to the grocery store last ride, so I had get a bit crazy with my turns.  I ended up on a dead end at one point, and then on the autostrada for a period as well.  I can officially check that off my list of things I've done in my life that not many other people have.  The autostrada is like the Italian version of the autobahn, but it has speed limits, so it's really just like a highway or toll road.  Here, though, instead of just ending or merging into another highway, the road is still under construction, and it just tapers down into several roundabouts leading to different cities in the area.  Because of all the turns and winding roads, I'm not exactly sure how far I went, but I tried to map it out as best I could and it came out to about 8 miles.  I just kept using the big mining spot on the side of the mountain behind our house as my landmark, and I eventually ended up in Sacile and was able to find my way home from there.  I had planned on taking more pictures during my ride, but ended up only taking 2.

I passed by these sunflowers on a run before we left for Tuscany, and they weren't blooming yet.  There was one flower that was the size of a dinner plate!

When I first to Italy the corn was about a foot tall, and now it's well over my head.  I took a picture of 2 silos in a field on a run awhile back, and this is in the exact same field, the corn is just so high that you can't see the silos in the back.  

It was the perfect night for a bike ride.  The sun was beautiful, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.  I think I could see more of the mountains than I have ever been able to see before.  It has been a rough week, but today was a better day.  I got my mom's package, and I'd just like to take a moment to thank her for sending me 3 full size bags of 3 different kinds of M&Ms, and a full size bag of Twizzlers.  I have an olympic distance triathlon in exactly 33 days, so 3 pounds of candy staring me down is exactly the motivation I needed.  On a serious note though, she did send me a pretty sweet case for my camera, so I'm able to actually take it on potentially high-risk adventures, aka, my bike ride.  2 1/2 stories out the window just about had it done for, and then I dropped it on the concrete a week later, so this baby is pretty fragile.  Still works great, I just don't think she has another drop in her, which is why I needed the case.  So thanks're great!  :)

On a serious note though, I said it a few posts ago, but it has been very very hard being away from my family and friends, and my whole life in general.  Being in a foreign country for an extended period of time can do some pretty crazy things to you, and I am very close with my family so being away from them has been especially tough.  Adventure and travel and exploration is fantastic, and this has been a once in a lifetime adventure, but I really do miss my home.  I've learned and discovered so much about myself that even I am surprised, and I think being over here has changed me for the better.  When you're taken completely out of your element and put in a foreign area with a language barrier and no friends, you get an outside look at your life.  It's almost like your life is a movie that has been put on pause, and you have time to look at and evaluate every single little aspect.  This can be tough, especially when you've got large amounts of time to yourself to think about things.  I've questioned my purpose, my beliefs, my wants, pretty much every single aspect of my life, and my self-esteem has taken a hit too.  I think I've learned, though, that sometimes it's good to not be comfortable with who you are.  Being uncomfortable with you you are makes you realize what's really important in life, and what goals are most important to you.  Seeing things this way makes you so much more determined and ambitious to make for yourself the life that you want.  While this whole experience has been hard, I'm confident that I will come out of this a stronger, more sure person.  I know what I want out of my life now, and I know what's REALLY important to me.  Today was a turning page in seeing all of this.  Up until now, I was just miserable and sad, and today I flipped a new page to the new me.  No more la-di-da-ing through life.  It's time to make myself someone to be proud of.

Today my favorite thing about Italy is:  The crisp, clean air in the evening.  When the humidity goes down with the sun, you get some of the sweetest, freshest, most intoxicating air in the world.  It makes exercising a joy, until a bug flies in your eye and brings you back to the real world.

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