Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Farewell from Rome - 25.10.11

One dream, Six Months, Twelve Countries………..
What is there left to say, but thanks for joining me for the adventure of a lifetime.  Has it changed me??  Hmm, apart from a slight expansion of the waistline…..maybe just a little. 
I feel like I am overflowing with gratitude for how amazing this holiday has been.  I couldn’t have written a better script for my holiday!!  I have truly been living the dream………..
For my last day today, I signed up for an Italian Cooking Class!! I couldn’t have ended my stay in Bella Italia any better.  It was sensational!! This morning started with a wander around the streets of Rome purchasing the ingredients at the local food markets.  Certainly nothing like a trip to Rusty’s Markets!!!  As we wandered around, we walked past the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and another set of ruins…all the while getting a brief historical run-down on the famous sites.  Then we stopped into the Chef’s personal restaurant, “That’s Amore”, for a few minutes before heading to his own private home (which used to be owned by a real Princess!!!!)  A most appropriate final setting for Princess Joy!!!.
There were 10 of us and everyone was just lovely.  We helped prepare the following menu – Puttanesca Pici pasta, Tortellini Carbonara, lasagna with pumpkin & sausages, stuffed mushrooms, Pork fillet with two types of sauces, and tiramisu for dessert!!!!  And hello, yes, we got to eat all of it...washed down with a glass of wine!!!!!!!  We all rolled out of there about 3.30pm.  Oh, the best part was the Chef’s name….Fabio!!!!!!

The rest of my time here in Rome has been filled with early morning photo shoots to get those last few hundred memorable photos; last minute shopping for gifts (not just for me this time??); a final look at my favourite ‘famous’ sites; and a wander around the biggest markets I have ever seen.
Oh, and I could have even had a final date this week!! I was sitting on some steps near one of the famous sites and a ‘Rome local’ man started talking to me.  After about 15 minutes he offered to give me his phone number in case I wanted to catch up with him later for dinner.  Unfortunately, the only thing in his favour was his age.  Finally, he was only 43!!!!!!!!  He seemed surprised that I didn’t want his phone number.  Especially as he said that girls had told him that he only looked 33!!  HHmm, I think they might have said that to him 10 years ago???  He had a strong resemblance to Danny DeVito!!!
The last 4 nights at the B&B have also been great.  There has been another Australian, Madeline (from Melbourne) staying here and each night we have sat down together with a cup of tea and chatted about how we spent our day. 
And yes, it is hard for me to believe that I have one night left in Rome and then it’s time to come back home.  I saw this written on a T-Shirt in a shop this week “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”  Very appropriate for how I felt this afternoon.  I felt an overwhelming sadness to think that it was all over. But when I remembered the people I had met along the way and the places that I had visited, I couldn’t wipe away the smile. 
I left home 6 months ago, not knowing what the future held in store for me.  I went through stages of panic before I left as I had only made a few definite plans and the rest was at the mercy of the Gods (so to speak).  With the support and encouragement of my family and dearest friends, I left Australia hoping to have a ‘good’ time overseas.  I could never have imagined that these six months could have been as ‘great’ as they have been.  I feel stronger, wiser, more confident, more compassionate, and happier than I have ever been.  My wish now is that you have been inspired to have a dream and ‘live, love and believe that you can achieve it’.  Anything is possible.  I have certainly proven that to myself.
And to finish this email/blog entry, I would like to share some photos of the amazing people that have made this holiday so great.  If you have been with me since the start, you will hopefully remember the names.

The Plane Trip over:

                                                        Kehinde Ayobami Temitope - Nigeria

                                   Andrea & Angie - Italy (who I almost house sat for)

My family in Sicily:

                                                                              Maria & Pipa

Mum's best friend in Sicily & Maria

Maria's Family and our many dinners

My cousin Rosaria

Filippo & Danielle who took me sightseeing

Siena Language School:

                                              Flatmate Magdelena & photographer John

Flatmate Hilda





                                                               My tour group

My Monza Relations:

                                         Luigi & Imelda and their wonderful family

My wonderful travelling partners - Melinda & Ros

PRAGUE:                                           Adriana & daughter Linda

ROME:                                                       Photographer Carlo


LUCCA:                                                    Noreen
SALZBURG:                                                Virginia & her family


There are so many more that I wish I could have added photos of - Kerry (met in Rome); Matt (met in Kotor); Dianne (met on plane from Cairns to Brisbane); Salvatore (met on train to Sicily); Martina (met on train); Bob (met in Krakow); Rafaelo (met on train from Sicily to Rome); Dora (met on train to Venice); Mirko (met in Siena) and so many more that I will remember always.  Yes, for the final time...I have been blessed!!!

See most of you very soon.
Love Joyous xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Have the courage to dream big!!!