Happy April. Today I moved out of my apartment, packed all of my belongings into a 7′ x 10′ storage space, and I’m leaving the country . . . again . . . no foolin’.

After generally being home in Atlanta for the past three years (with various shorter trips – but zero inclination to write about anything), I am once again leaving for a longer adventure around Europe. I’ll be on the road for the next ten weeks or so, visiting some familiar places and exploring some new ones, while practicing my Italian (which I’ve been studying for the past few years), and sharing a bit along the way.

Right now, I’m flying from Atlanta, Georgia to Rome, Italy. Rome will be my gateway. I’ll be there a few times over these coming weeks, but each stay will be just a few days.

Visiting Rome toward the end of my Vagabonding 2012-2013 experience, had a tremendous influence on my lifestyle since then. While sitting in a restaurant in Piazza Navona, I observed my waiter easily transitioning from English to Spanish to French to Greek, and I felt a little sub-par with my “barely know a few phrases in any language other than English” situation. This was particularly shameful for me because I had always told myself that I wanted to be fluent in Spanish, Italian, and Greek by the time I was 30. I must not have wanted it too badly, because I was a 40-year-old sitting in the piazza realizing that I hadn’t done very much to turn that desire into a reality. Grazie, cameriere. Consider me motivated.

I decided Italian would be first and upon arriving home I enrolled in a weekly Italian class and began studying on my own at home. I wouldn’t even slightly call myself fluent, but I have been to Italy (to practice and take classes) four other times since then and can get by pretty well. I still have a long way to go, but I am happy to be moving in the right direction and taking consistent action toward my goal.

I’ll be in Italy most of April, so let’s get this Italian party started!