Do a simple search, and you’ll see entire compilations and descriptions of places people would like to see… one day. I used to be that kid who knew that one day I would live in the U.S. – one empathizes, because it took me long enough to make my dream come true.
But that was then. Today, it’s much easier to find a way to turn wishful thinking into pragmatic doing. More connections online, more information, more alternative arrangements you can make than even a short ten years ago are at your disposal.
So why not turn that one day into reality? Let’s look at some of the common excuses I hear, right after a big sigh.
”Non Parlo”… I don’t speak the language
Did you know that Italian is the world’s fourth most studied language? It’s also the 19th most spoken language in the world – about 85 million speak it. Why the appeal, you might ask? I’m intrigued myself, given that Italian is spoken mostly/only in Italy.
But that is exactly why – it’s an extraordinary place. According to the General Assembly of the Italian Language in the World in the 2015/16 academic year, the number of foreigners studying Italian was 2,233,373, up from 1,700,000 the previous year.
“Non parli Italiano?” You don’t speak Italian? That’s not a problem. There are apps for that. Five minutes a day. There are Italians who are hospitable and gracious, even when they don’t speak English.
No money, “non ci sono i soldi”
It’s understandable, sometimes we just have different priorities. It’s a long trip from the U.S., especially the west coast, and airlines… well, they’ve become expensive. Which is why there are so many travel hacking sites and guides. Indigenous people helping others at your fingertips.
Budgeting is not so daunting when you have a goal. There are apps for that, too. Save a fixed amount every day or week – better when frequent – and you’re closer to your trip. Search for budgeting apps, and you will find a treasure trove of choices.
Along with creating a realistic budget, you can start planning your trip – this will make it easier to see the tradeoffs on costs and savings you need. I do the same thing when I plan my trips. What do I want to see? How long can I stay? And I have a starting point.
I don’t have a travel companion, “sono da sola”
Italy is the perfect destination for people traveling alone. There is so much life, culture, and passion everywhere. Many are curious about their ancestry – more than 4 million immigrated to the U.S. in waves between 1880’s and 1920.
Others have married into Italian family. Because you do marry the whole family, make no mistake. That may be an incentive, but I promise once you set foot on Italian ground, sit for any meal, watch the people and take in the art, beauty, diversity of the landscape… you fall in love.
With yourself. You’ll love yourself for taking the initiative and experiencing the real deal up close. If you’re into music, art, fashion, history, archeology, cinema, food, literature, engineering, science, architecture… we’ve got it. And we’re practically family. So come on in. You’ll meet people in no time.
No passport, “non ho il passaporto”
“E perche’ no?” Why not? You’re going to need it for all kinds of travel with neighboring countries anyway – Caribbean islands and Bermuda alone should be a nice incentive. Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto are lovely destinations in Canada. You get the idea.
Pick up a form at a U.S. post office today, get your birth certificate or citizenship evidence and ID together, photo, fee, and submit. The point of travel is to get to see, touch, taste, and be in different places yourself. Rather that reading about the stories of others, as lovely as they are.
It’s not a necessity, it’s an experience
So stop whining and start packing. Learning the language will likely not be a super career move. It might help you in some businesses. But it is a joyful experience. Say one word in Italian, and we build you a monument. Now wouldn’t that be fun?
Just like travel. It expands your horizons, invites new thinking, and if nothing else, gives you access to consistently amazing meals. Everywhere. Yes, even the little trattoria, or the hole in the wall with a line snaking out.
Chances are your perfect trip is just a few months away. So stop procrastinating, and start planning.