There are moments in travel that give me such pangs of happiness and contentment that it almost hurts.
This morning was one of those times.
A treasured snippet of tranquility found in a sun-dappled Italian country garden where I lingered long over breakfast with a dear friend.
I met Maddalena online one day when she found my blog and sent me an email telling her story. Our friendship has grown ever since, fostered by a shared love for a travel and a shared YIPES as we attempt to forge paths for ourselves in this topsy-turvy world.
I was so excited to finally meet her in person this month, and a long, companionable breakfast in the unseasonably warm sunshine was the best way to get all caught up.
We talked of grand adventures and hilarious mishaps as we munched on crispy toast slathered with butter and lingonberry jam.
We discussed books, history, and the best way to grow tomatoes and cabbages as we nibbled sugar-topped pastries and sipped cup after cup of strong Italian coffee.
We spoke of family histories and personal heartaches, cheering each other on as we shared fears and hopes for the years to come.
Then we left our comfy perch in the garden and went for a stroll around the property, delighting in the ground carpeted in tiny purple cyclamen, the sun turning the grape vines a rich gold, and the cozy nest of brown crunchy leaves the pet turtles had made for hibernation.
Although I love exploring the enchanting alleyways of Italian cities, craning my neck to look up at medieval towers, there is something infinitely more precious about a morning in the country and a heart-to-heart talk with a good friend.
What is your favorite way to get caught up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while?