I have always been excited before a trip. It seems the butterflies in my tummy are indifferent as to whether I’m going to a place or heading back home. This normally drives my husband crazy – I start packing too early, toss and turn the night before, reach for my phone at odd hours on the side table to make a note of the charger I must remember, set two alarms (just in case) – and inevitably wake up 3 hours ahead of the alarm cos I can’t sleep anyways. Well 20 years on – I’m still that 😊

When we just got married and could barely afford the road trip from Johannesburg to Durban – on an intern and article clerk salary. I remember we would put our old grey Honda Ballad in neutral rolling down the hills on the last stretch from Pietermaritzburg to Durban -Just to save a couple of liters of fuel.

My husband used to believe these pre travel jitters To go to Durban (just like the night before the first day of school each year) was due to me being really excited to go back ‘home’ – and would take it personally.

So I find myself sitting here in Casa del Neri at 4am – eyes wide shut – surrounded by packed bags, 3 hours ahead of my first alarm. I think it quite fitting that I arrived at Campersevoli ahead of the other residents and greeted it alone and with some fear and dread – and now after two life changing weeks, I get to say bueno Noto – alone and filled with fear and dread.

My flight departs today at 3pm and brings to a close my sacred, Italian pilgrimage. I look back at my first post when I was departing – i was open to whatever the journey would bring. And as I sit here I can safely say it has brought me more than I could have ever imagined. I am altered. Renovated. Parts of me have been demolished and yet others more finely polished. Just yesterday I noticed that my posture has improved, my heart space is more open and my smile more easy. I was afraid and excited at the thought of four weeks alone and faced my fears. So glad I was courageous as I find myself now, so in tune with my spirit – feeling lighter and younger. So comfortable and amazed by who I am, prepared to slay dragons (my own negative thoughts about myself included), for me.

So similarly, I will trust and leap today. I will take flight and head home to face my fears. Fear of leaving this utopia and all my discoveries with it. Fears of integrating all that I have become into my daily life. I will fight the dread that I’m going to resort to old limiting beliefs and habits that no longer serve me. I will honour who I am and cull toxic relationships and build better boundaries. I will spend my day doing mostly that which I love and feeds my soul. I can! And I will!

I will build in timelessness, be awed by the beauty of this planet, eat well and spend lots of time with my favorite person – ME! (Starting to sound narcissistic yet?) I will be sure to turn inwards and take moments to feel touched. I will live lightly!

Most of all I will remember – I am an immortal soul – taking this interlude in a body. And I vow to love, honour, protect and serve this mind, body and soul till death do US part – cos I finally know how….

So blessed and grateful.