The anticipation of finally arriving at your vacation spot seems to grow as the month, week, day, hour, minute & second near. I won't forget the way the way I felt and the excitement that seemed to be racing through my body on our final train ride to our destination. Vernazza, Italy. I didn't really know what to expect because my mom is the big researcher & planner of the family vacations, so it only made it all the more fun for me. It was the world unknown that lies ahead for me. The only thing I knew for sure was the city was on the Mediterranean Sea, a body of water I had not seen in my lifetime.
As I counted down the stops left to go until we reached Vernazza, our train was zipping through a cliff/hillside in a tunnel. Occasionally we would quickly pass window-like hole in the tunnel and I would get a glimpse of the sea. But before I could even tell what I was actually seeing I could smell the strong scent of salt water wafting through the train and cutting right through the people as only strong smells can do. "We're getting close! I can see the Mediterranean!” I shouted to my family who did not believe me at the time for they were lost in their own worlds, looking out different windows.
When the train finally did stop, we exited in the tunnel, so we did not see the full view of the city yet. But as we walked and reached the main part of the station it gradually came into view. It was easily the most charming and picturesque sight I had ever seen. Colorful buildings; that ranged from the tourist shops to bed & breakfasts to the houses. They lined the street that led you around a bend to where you could see the Mediterranean Sea. It was gorgeous and we spent our days relaxing by the shore, even taking a boat ride out in the sea one of the days. My family had a fabulous time.
What really fascinated me about this city though, was not the beauty or sea or the shops or the food. It was the people. Their way of life simply fascinated me; it was like they knew what they had and were completely content with it. There was seemingly no competition between the shop, hotel, or restaurant owners. In fact the restaurants alternated days and mealtimes they were open with the neighboring restaurants to avoid stealing each other’s business. Everything was just so casual, some locals could even be found during the day spending their time on the beach, just hanging out.
This is completely different from how cut throat the business/job world is in the United States. Everyone’s worried about their next move, their next product, who they can call that knows this person, and the places they need to be to be on top. It’s a fast pace life that we live here on this side of the pond and I guess that’s why we Americans feel the need to escape to getaways such as Vernazza to relax.
But, it leads to the question, who really has it figured out? Should one be content living the way their father and father’s father lived? Or should one always be looking for ways to get ahead in life even if it means working extremely hard every day for the rest of their life?
It’s definitely a personal preference; but the question is still posed. Who REALLY has it figured out? Us or them?
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