My decision to adventure from Sydney to Italy occurred quite suddenly and un-expectedly. One moment I was studying for a test on German History, the next I was booking a flight to Rome and confirming a place in a Symposium on International Conflict Prevention, Resolution and Reconciliation to start in Bologna 12 days time. How could I say ‘no’ to such an education excursion?
The next 12 days was a crazy period. I organised my travel and accommodation arrangements for Rome and Bologna, submitted the final papers necessary to finish my degree, celebrated the completion of said degree (you’re welcome Sydney), enjoyed a Ladies Weekend in the Blue Mountains and mentioned to my parents that I had invested almost all of my meagre savings in an impromptu trip to Italia…
(oh and I had to try and communicate with James the Cat that I would be leaving for an extended period of time. She seemed quite nonchalant about this).
I suppose I should clarify at this stage that I have already been in Italy for two weeks. Yes, this is a retrospective post, and probably many will be. Yes, I am writing this during the Symposium’s conflict mediation seminar. No, this is not a negative reflection on the Symposium, just don’t count on me to be a comprehensive mediator in any future conflicts, be they cat related or not.
I can indeed say that my impromptu decision to come to Bologna for this Symposium was one of the best decisions I have made in a very long time. Nutella, warm weather, great shopping, Italian cats, Italian shoes, Italian leather, Italian beaches, as well as pizza, cheap beer and amazing gelato all make this (potentially) the best educational excursion ever!
…and yes even better than my previous excursions to the coal mines of Muswellbrook…shocking I know!