Ahhh, an aperitivo of vino rossa. Another day of train hopping and aimless wandering through new and busy streets has finally landed my famished body for dinner in a street side bar in Torino. I will explore this former site of the winter Olympics more tomorrow, but for now I feast on a variety of finger foods. This is not dinner actually, the earliest you might sit for dinner is seven at a pizzeria, but more likely after nine. Apertivo is a drink often accompanied with a spread of snacks (all you can eat) for one low price. It’s meant to carry you over until dinner. For me however it is dinner, at this point in my trip nine is sounding like a good time for bed, not food. The end of each day (and often the middle of it) finds me exhausted, my body is so worked from so many continuous days of wandering. I am developing a slight dependency on the once mocked petite cups of potent coffee. I have ditched a number of personal items along the way, yet still my pack seems to feel heavier and heavier. With the days counting down a bit of Christmas shopping will send me to the Paris airport bearing a Santa Claus sized bag burden, or so I imagine it will feel. The one thing I think about most back home is my bed. Friends, yoga, hot springs, and massage follow close behind.
I can count my days left in Europe on one hand and am feeling a sense of completion with my travels. I’m sure more than anything it relates directly to my readiness for rest. Touring another church or museum feels blasé and the adventures are starting to blend into “where was that again?” I am losing interest in attempting to discern local customs and menu items while on my own, and, though I have truly enjoyed almost everyone I’ve met, I am weary from socializing on such a temporary basis. I am ten years the elder of many hostellers and, though few can keep up with me on the dance floor, I find it difficult to keep up with their enthusiasm to see the sights. It’s time to come home and hope after resting my mind and body I am clear on what’s next. Of course, knowing how the cycle works, I may wake tomorrow after ten hours rest and be ready to tackle four more countries. But I doubt it.