Day 18 was fairly uneventful. We packed up, headed to the airport, then flew to Rome, my amazing home away from home. As I say almost every time I return – this place makes me happy like no other place on earth can.
We arrived in the early evening and hung out for a bit with our hostesses – we’re crashing with two women from Chris’ program who were gracious enough to let us stay for a few days. After that, we went out for drinks, then out for dinner, each with a separate group of people. It turned out that we were overlapping with some friends for that night only, so in a bit of a social blitz, we got to spend time with both!
That is certainly one thing I come to miss during these long journeys. While Chris and I do travel very well together, he is pretty introverted whereas I am…not. Anyone who knows me knows that I am an extraordinarily social person – I love hanging out with friends over a bottle of wine, and I also love meeting and talking to new people as well. Sometimes, we happen to fall into conversations with fellow travelers (John and Sally, our Australian buddies we met in Morocco last year come to mind), but mostly, we keep to ourselves while on the road. Chris is perfectly happy to only talk to me, and I also enjoy using our travel time as a way for us to reconnect and bond.
At the end of almost three weeks, however, I start to really crave interactions with humans other than my husband, bonus points if they are English speakers. So while it was hot and we were a bit tired from the flight, I immensely enjoyed our dinner with a woman from my high school whom I had not seen since we had graduated. We just happened to be in Rome at the same time for this one evening so I asked if she wanted to meet up. It turned out to be such a nice time, getting to know her again as an adult. As we walked back to our apartment later that night, I could tell that Chris was exhausted, but I was strangely energized by the evening.
That is one thing I love about Rome so much. So many people from the field end up here over the summer that we get to see people we might not see otherwise during the school year. It’s a way to catch up and hang out in one of the best cities on earth.