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I don’t know where my intense desire to visit Italy came from. Maybe it was inconspicuously born over time, after seeing it repeatedly in history books and romanticized in movies. Maybe it was after the first time I read Eat Pray Love, or built up slowly after I reread the memoir repeatedly one summer to get me through one of life’s infamous rough patches. Maybe it was planted there by destiny. Truly, it doesn’t matter what cheesy or commercial instance bred this passionate dream; this post is more about the successful pursuit of it.


Life is what you make it. We’ve all heard this and by now, labeled it as nothing more than cliche. I am challenging that label. To me this has become one of life’s most basic truths over the course of just this year. Recently, I wrote a post about how someone asked me if I am ever afraid I won’t get everything I want out of life. (Need a refresher?) My response? There is no reason to be. What I truly want, I will go after and if it is meant to be mine I will have it.


I now have yet another example of how wonderfully this can work: this summer, I am returning to Europe. Yup, ITALY.


To many, this is not much more than an exciting trip. Truthfully I am beyond thrilled! We have plans to spend most of our time in Rome, while also spending a couple nights in Naples. We have plans to hit up Pompeii, Sorrento and Positano. I cannot wait to get many tips and pieces of advice from my sister, who just went there for a couple weeks as part of her study abroad trip to France. At the same time, I love exploring new places on my own and am thrilled for the opportunity to get lost in the history and beauty that will surround me in just a little over a month!!!


However, this trip signifies more to me than just a long-awaited vacation. It is, and always will be, a reminder to me that very few things in life are out of my reach. I am so fortunate, and thank God everyday, for everything from my daily comforts to all the opportunities I have been granted in life. Truly it comes down to how badly I want something and how willing I am to make it happen. Although I talked big about going to Italy and spending time there, there was doubt in my mind about how soon the trip would occur (if ever) up until the moment we actually booked it.


There have been people in my life who I’ve come across who didn’t always dream as big as me, or who were much more practical. There is of course, nothing wrong with this – to each their own. What I realize is not okay though, is that I allowed myself to succumb to their beliefs.


I am grateful that I now have even more wonderful people in my life, who are more than just talk. It is easy to bat around ideas and wishes, but to actually follow through on a desire? That is what I want my life to be. I want to fulfill my wishes. If it’s worth dreaming about and wishing for, it’s worth going after right? I am so thankful that all it took to start bringing this dream to fruition was for me to say, ‘I really want to go to Italy,’ and an ambitious friend who said, “Let’s.”


So there you have it, Italy 2012: an incredible vacation and undeniable source of inspiration all wrapped up in one.

A 4x4 segment panorama of the Coliseum at dusk...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)