By Cal Orey
EARTHSHAKING UPDATE: Mission accomplished. Passport renewal is now in progress. Lots of papers filled out, signed, stairs to climb (whew!), family history to recall, paid. Done! We wait for the mail. Italy or Ireland or? Having a Libra (The Scales) month ... less quakes in Dublin, more amazing food in Rome!
I am excited and doing the film "Flashdance" moves in my head. I have finally begun to spread my wings and feel that wanderlust spirit like I did in my freewheeling twenties. This week (due to a gift from a sponsor linked to my work) I am planning a late summer journey to the Mediterranean. This trip has been postponed too many times, too many years. I've lost count but I'm setting out all alone to once again find my "groove"...
I do recall reading one of those books entitled, "Traveling through Europe on a $5 per Day" and my pages were dog-eared. Sadly, my ex significant other said, "If you go, I will not be here when you come back." I stayed and enrolled in grad school. He left later, anyhow. And then, I was the starving wannabe magazine journalist, living from paycheck to paycheck. Not to forget the days of one too many companion animals to pick up and leave to Europe. And so I made due with my love of European cuisine--at restaurants, frozen foods, and now home-cooked!
In each one of my Healing Powers series books (it began with Vinegar and that paved the way to Olive Oil (and allowed me to meet Italian Gemma Sciabica, one of my mentors), Chocolate, Honey, even Coffee) published by Kensington Publishing Corp., I whine, "Everyone has gone abroad" and that includes my mother whom went by herself to Italy, Spain, and France. And now, it's my turn. It's time...
Tomorrow after my much anticipated morning swim and hot tub, I'm renewing my passport at a place nearby! The last time I left the country was in 1996: British Columbia. What's more, this time it's not Quebec (I did do that at 22 via hitchhiking with a pooch), it's Italy and I can see it, feel it, and almost taste it. It's going to really happen. Finally, my dream is going to come to fruition!
My last big goal happened 15 years ago. I relocated from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Sierras. It was my vision to make the transition from magazine journalist to book author. One Healing Powers series later (with an underlying Mediterranean diet and lifestyle theme) my idea to go abroad is in the works!
Yesterday, in my rustic Old Tahoe cabin, I learned that it's cheaper to go pre-fall versus the summer. No shots needed because it's before flu season. No queasies because the skies should be calm unlike winter. No anxiety (despite all the spooky films I've watched from "Snakes on a Plane" to "Red Eye" because I feel like it's meant to be for me to get off the hill, go to Reno and fly away solo to the place I've been fantasizing about since I was a kid.
The worst part? I must leave my fur kids behind: one beloved Aussie, 1 1/2 years; one senior Brittany, 11 years; and one Siamese kitty, 5 years. But today I made the decision to board them at my vet's kennel. This will give me peace of mind. I will have my boys awaiting my arrival when I get home; a clean house full of love and new experiences and memories; and we'll all live happily ever after. So, it's my pre-birthday gift and before the 2nd edition to my Revised and Updated book release of The Healing Powers of Olive Oil. It's meant to be. But now is it possible to learn Italian this summer?