You know those fine dining restaurants that you save for special occasions? You go there maybe 2-4 times a year for birthdays or anniversaries and really look forward to them. Imagine going 3-4 times a week. Would you continue to look forward to them? Would you savor them as much as you do when you only go 2-4 times a year? That's a little bit how we are feeling at the moment - maybe a little too much fine dining! (Not literally) When you have a 2 week vacation that you have been looking forward to for a long time and you arrive in a beautiful city, you relish the site. When you arrive in a beautiful city after 3 months of one beautiful city after another, it feels a little bit like "Just another beautiful city." Activities that were once exciting like checking out the open air market to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables is now just a weekly food shopping activity and the ambiance plays second fiddle to functionality. Even now as we look out the windows of our incredible apartment in Montepulciano and see the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside, we comment on the beauty but the moment does not take our breath away has it might have just 2 months ago. It's an interesting thought that maybe the number of moments that take your breath away are inversely proportional to the number of those special moments that you have exposure to in any given period of time.
At this point we are all also feeling a little travel weary. It's not a homesickness as I don't feel homesick in the least. It's more of a tiredness which breeds a laziness. A feeling that sometimes seeing this sight or that sight requires more energy than I have at the moment and may just not be worth the effort. A feeling of been there/done that/let's move on. A friend asked in an email "Are you tired of being a tourist?" Maybe that's a good way of putting it. Somedays we are just tired of being tourists.
Now understand, even though you read lots of blogs of our adventures, there are lots of days with no adventures. We call those down days or in days. Days where we do laundry (which takes much longer here since the wash cycles go for about 2 hours), read, journal, blog, catch up on emails, edit pictures, tend to personal business and tend to present and future trip business. We even watch videos if we can find a video rental shop in town (we are card carrying members of a video rental shop ("The Music Box")in Ljubljana, Slovenia). We actually enjoy these days just as much as our "tourist" days and they give our life some sense of place. They also enable us to "renew" ourselves. At times we almost feel guilty when we take those days as we feel "Here we are in _______________ (fill in the blank), we should go out and do or see something." But we quickly move on from those thought as we know that everyday can not be used for that purpose. It's much easier to move on from that guilty feeling when we are in a given location for a longer period of time.
So with 3 months down and 9 months to go, where do we go from here? Literally, to Rome. Emotionally, well, we're not sure. We're hoping that when we leave Europe in a little less than 2 weeks that there will be a renewed excitment as we hit the continent of Africa and experience something totally different than what we have had over the last 3 months. That difference will continue as we wind our way through India, Thailand, Laos and China. By the time we hit Australia and New Zealand, the "sameness" that we might experience might be a welcome relief.