Time zones are a funny thing and they have not always been there. In fact, back in the 1800’s is when they first arrived on the scene in 1883 and in the US alone, there were over 144 local time zones in North America. When train travel was the thing sand it took days to travel from place to place, it was no big deal. Sir Sanford Fleming, a Canadian engineer, was the first person to propose the use of worldwide time zones back in 1878. His idea was to divide the world into 24 time zones that were each 15 degrees of longitude apart. The reason for this is that the earth rotates 15 degrees every hour, or 360 degrees in 24 hours. Thank you, Google!!! I was thinking about this when writing today’s post, as in the past 2 weeks, I was returning from Italy which is in central European time and then back to the east coast of the United States which is in eastern time zone and now in the United Kingdom, which is in Greenwich Mean time, or essentially the basis of the 24 time zones and yes, there are 24 hours in a day, right?
Really though, it was about the massive jetlag I was feeling especially after a week back in the states and finally feeling like I had gotten over it, and now across the pond again. However, as I had spent over 2 months in Italy, it would have taken more time to fully get over jetlag and I knew this as it wasn’t until days 5 and 6 back, that it really hit me, but not fully and when I went to bed last night, having stayed up all day, I slept through the night and it was only my mobile phone alarm which went off at 6:00 am local time, here in England, that is.
Anyway, on my flight over to jolly ol’ England, with my connection in Amsterdam, asked the flight attendants how they do it dealing with the time zones and if there was training, they received in terms of sleep management and they said no, so I guess each of us must figure out a way. For me, regardless of how long I am going to be in a place, and how many time zones, I cross, I simply try to stay up if possible, so it is easier to get on the new time zone. I also suggest this my clients, but to each his or her own.
My time clock is and will be out of whack for some time as the next few months, I will be on and off the road, something I was very used to doing before Covid hit but was certainly tempered by its intrusion in all our lives. It is still here, but we are, for those who want to, better able to handle it and I plan on handling it so I can travel and of course, in the end, be back with Rosa, and that, if all goes well, will be in November, for about 2 weeks. In any case, I will be working on getting a more permanent solution, so that I don’t have to pack and unpack constantly to be with her and jump through all the hoops necessary to that end. Bureaucracy is a bitch, whether here in America or internationally. All I want is to be with her and this is simply another bump in the road, something to challenge me and overcome, so I can be with her again.
I am spending this week, unpacking, packing, running errands, working on amazing adventures for people and even working a few days at the Christmas Tree Shop, but not being with her in person is an empty feeling. She says we are together, and I truly believe that, but it is not the same as waking up with her every day, having breakfast together most every day, even if it is simply Muesli and a yogurt. Putting together a hodgepodge of meals that are both Italian and American or really creating something from the ingredients we had at the time. That is something, although only just last week, I miss, a lifestyle and routine we got into. We learned a great deal about each other and from my point of view, our relationship became stronger. I believe she thinks the same, but I will leave that to her. She has always said, in our 2 ½ plus years together, “How’s possible that you understand me? I have this uncanny ability to understand her, but she will also say, don’t try to figure out what I am thinking.
The other thing that is strange is not hearing Italian constantly and being in that flow, the metro, the busses, going to the outdoor markets and speaking with the locals, even the chaos of the historical center. I am not saying that I speak Italian, far from it, but I tried to use it whenever I could and my vocabulary increased, but my grammar needs lots of work still. Of course, my focus for this summer was my relationship and getting my certification to teach English, so the practicum, except for the write up is done, which I will submit this week before I hit the road again. Having my certification hopefully, very soon, will provide me another in to be across the pond and have all the legalities in place, one step at a time. I am excited about, but when I leave the US again in November for the month, I will be even more excited. I feel very comfortable in Europe in general and even more so in Italy after living there for 2 ½ months.
At least in less that a week, I will be only an hour time zone away from her and not 6 hours. I feel comfortable on the road, it is in my make up. I guess that is why I call myself the Wandering Puffin, but I am now running towards something, not from something, running towards something very precious and want to throw away my bags forever, to quote a line from a popular song. Don’t get me wrong!!! I will continue to travel, but I want to do it with her and come home to her and she to me when she travels. They say home is where the heart is and my heart is with her, not in Minnesota, New Hampshire, England or anywhere else, it is with Rosa, wherever she may be, and that sentiment and feeling has not changed. I never believed in love at first sight and yes, I am a hopeless romantic, but I knew she was the one when I met her for the first time, February 19, 2020, and through all the trials and tribulations, we are still together, but the last week there was strange, packing up the apartment, eating out more, so we did not have do a lot of shopping and spending more time with momma, which was very nice. As Douglas MacArthur once said, I shall return!!!
As always, I am interested in your thoughts, comments, questions and adding to the discourse is always appreciated be in on the site itself or on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you read this. Thank you for your support of my crazy little world and of my small business.
Traveling outside of Rome was also part of my time here and the several trips Rosa and I took were different and special in their own way. We traveled on a whirlwind overnight to Verona and Venice, both places I had been before, but with Rosa, it was different, seeing thing through her eyes. We traveled to Milan and the Cinque Terre and, for me, the best meal we had was in Manarola, at Trattoria Billy’s with a spectacular sunset and of course, being with Rosa. Seeing the Cinque Terre over 2 days gave me a better perspective on how to explore them. Of course, you can always spend more time, but for us, it was enough, and we definitely pounded the pavement and walked up and down many steps, but the views and the experiences were worth it. For Milan, and my only prior experience was transiting on a train, back in 1985 and it was not good as I shared in a previous post, but this time with Rosa and the day we had there was enough to get a nice feeling. We did not accomplish everything and that is fine as we can return there again in the future, but as with the Cinque Terre, I have a better idea and how to arrange the experience for clients. I am very glad we did this.
This past week at the apartment was nothing special really, more tying up loose ends. As I said, I am in my last 10 days and it seems like yesterday that I arrived. Of coy, the emotions are churning and I don’t want to leave. It is a necessary evil, but I will be even more prepared next time, perhaps even a certificate to teach English and perhaps a job offer, but this weekend so far has been amazing.
We took the train from Rome on Saturday, about an hour and forty minutes to Florence, greeted by rain, not harsh, but enough to be annoying. It is funny driving again as I have driven in 2 months and getting behind the wheel, getting out of Florence was a bit stressful, but we stayed out of the restricted zone and on our way. While, I can drive a stick shift, I opted for an automatic for one less thing to think about. Driving in Italy, as many of you know, is not like driving in the states, but again, this was not my first rodeo. We met some colleagues with who I work in Empoli, but had to stop for coffee a bit into the drive, but through the rains we made it to the Tuscan countryside and the views are magnificent, especially from our villa. After a nice pasta lunch, we headed to the medieval walled city of Volterra which is aboyan hour from where we are staying, but the experience, including hiking to the top of the tower, a stone spiral staircase, was worth it. The drive back was good, but getting back, in the dark, the first time, was a bit nerve wracking, especially when the villa is high in the hills and the road becomes gravel. The experience, was for certain, excellent.
Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin