I caught the end of a tele-film on the Rai cable channel last night. The storyline shuttled between Rome and Assisi and the final scene had the family gathered around an old wooden table with wooden chairs outside an old stone farmhouse with the Umbrian hills tumbling into the distance. Smiles of resolution all round. The son was pouring the wine, the nonna (played by Virna Lisi for any of you Italian film and TV buffs out there) had of course taken charge in the kitchen. But it was no big deal. Lunch was simply the resumption of life as it should be. The inevitable happy ending. A cliché and a cop-out perhaps. But it got to me. If it comes with an internet connection, that’s the life I want.
I had a taste of the rural idyll in Umbria. On my first trip. But there was too much to take in. I was young and ambitious and dutiful and didn’t know myself well enough to recognise what I might have had if I’d played my cards right. As it turned out, I spent the next twenty years reshuffling the deck.
What about you? I’d love to hear your story about the one that got away maybe, or the one travel moment that changed everything. Just leave me a comment.