While traveling out of the country I began to think about living in a small world. I had a tour guide hand me extra passes to the Pope’s Wednesday morning audience and say “You never know who you’ll meet. It’s a small world, especially in Rome.” In this instance, even with a million people there I didn’t meet anyone I knew. I must admit I have been very far from home when I’ve been stunned to meet someone from my local area. But, for the most part, I rarely meet an acquaintance when traveling. Mind you I meet a lot of new acquaintances, just not a lot of old ones. And, isn’t that one of the reasons to travel?
I traveled with Owen, my thirteen year old grandson to London to visit with my adult daughter Ellen and her fiancé, Adam. Then Ellen, Owen and I headed to Rome. Two years ago I took the same trip with my granddaughter, Isabelle. She too was thirteen at the time. After visiting London on that trip we then headed to Paris. Yes, I feel blessed to be able to share the world with them. I feel blessed that they want to come with me. As Isabelle and I deplaned in Raleigh and were heading towards customs, she asked me where we were going next. “We need to go through customs, Honey.” “Oh no, Grandma, that’s not what I meant.” And she smiled. Throughout this trip, Owen has suggested I adopt a “travel buddy.” He has suggested himself.
When Ellen, Owen and I were in Rome, the tour guide mentioned in passing that one corner shop had “the best gelato in Rome” and that “the line for the gelato is sometimes longer than the line to enter the Vatican.” When we finished our Vatican tour I was ready to find our way back to our hotel and rest for a while but that wasn’t Ellen’s plan. She whipped out her trusty iPhone and located that shop. We walked this way and that way and what did we find, the best gelato shop in Rome. So there we stood in line with a group of nuns from Albania who had also discovered the shop. When they told us where they were from, Ellen surprised them by announcing she’d been to Albania. The nun told her to come visit the next time she had a reason to go there. We would have missed out on that whole experience if it wasn’t for her desire to experience it all and to have the “the best gelato in Rome.”