My last week in Italy, before returning stateside was somewhat routine after two weeks, essentially on the road, first to the UK and then for a conference in Tuscany and my time with Rosa, where we had a wonderful weekend together. I worked on future trips and prepared for clients just arriving and to be arriving in Italy. While it used to be that June, July and August were considered high season travel, that window is now considered April to October, depending on the country, so in Italy, while the travel season is winding down, I still had several sets of clients who will experience country including Rosa guiding them in Rome, while there. For me, it was really a matter of deciding what to bring back, as I would be returning the Europe in about 3 weeks’ time. So, I packed my medium bag and my mobile office, ie. backpack and flew across the pond, not to Boston, but to Minneapolis. Why, because my vehicle was there, and I was cleaning up the last of my worldly possessions stored in the state.
I arrived back on Saturday night, after enduring a coach flight from Rome to Amsterdam and the Delta Select on the flight from Amsterdam to Minneapolis. I am a little spoiled with flying Delta One across the pond but could not justify the cost. It was alright, but the food on the plane, as most foods were nothing special. Also, seats were not that comfortable, but I broke up the long flight, about 8 hours, with about 4 movies of varying lengths at around 1 ½ to 1 ¾ hours long. After I arrived, I was graciously picked up by my admin, gathered my car and headed to my hotel, in preparation for the weekend’s event, or actually Sunday’s event, which was to have a trailer hitched to my SUV and then go to the storage unit to gather the last of my things, mostly my puffin artwork, my stamp collection, old slides and pictures and the miscellaneous stuff, which had been packed into my SUV when I first came to Minnesota.
This was back in May, the first time in 2 + years. As before, it was a very strange experience to be back and when I will return, who knows. But since my business and I are very much digital, from where I do my work and how, it really does not matter where my base is, but where I want to be is where I had just flown from. This time it was 2 nights and 3 days, and with the help of two people, I was able to get my vehicle and the trailer loaded in about 3 hours. With U-Haul, the balance has to be just right with heavier stuff, being towards the front of the trailer and the lighter stuff to the back. We achieved the balance for the most part, and later chilled out with an afternoon, especially just down for the night. This left today where I left early, 6:30 am to be on the road, as I could not go the speed limit, but in the end, the drive time and only making gas and stretching stops today, I was on the road for about 8 ½ hours, arriving to a suburb of Chicago earlier today. Driving 55 mph is not a good thing, but it prescribed as the legal speed limit by vehicle. Also, while the average amount of travel on a full tank of gas is about 400 miles, but because of the extra weight, towing the trailer, I am getting approximately 300 miles on a tank of gas. In the end, I will have to fill up more time, but that simply means more for fill ups along the way.
It still amazes me about how much stuff I used to have and what I have now and as I did not have time to go once again through what was left, I simply grabbed everything, I know once everything is bright back to New Hampshire, I will once again reduce down even more as most of what is left, also is not coming to Rome with me, as Rosa and I will start fresh again next year, but I will be seeing here in a month’s time, so I very much look forward to that. Today’s drive was about 425 miles, and tomorrow the same when I expect to arrive near Cleveland, so about the same distance, but I will arrive later, most likely as I will be leaving central time zone and entering eastern time zone. My goal is simply to cut the trip into 4 travel days with three nights on the road, bring the trailer to my new local temporary storage unit, load it, disconnect the trailer, return it to U-Haul and return it to my winter rental all in one piece. I have my music and my connections to the world and continue the process to return to Italy, on a more permanent basis. I know where home is, even though the immigration officer at MSP said welcome home. I know where my home is and it is not in Minnesota, nor New Hampshire. It is in Rome with Rosa.
Perhaps as my drive east continues, I will do a Facebook Live here or there, but with the added weight an responsibility, I have to keep my eyes on the road and as I finish this blog, the jetlag is hitting me hard, so ciao for now and as always, I want to thank you as always for your support of my crazy little world and my small business. As always, I look forward to your comments, questions, concerns and continuing the discourse through whichever means you read my posts!!!
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Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin