Friday, June 23, 2017

Of wandering and writing, the wandering writer tells herself

This is the story of a woman who started to wander around the world and also became a writer. That's right, it's my story along with all the factors that worked together to turn me into a wandering writer.
For obvious reasons, and not to get you bored, I will divide this story into three or four posts, because I would also love to tell you about all those places I have been visited even just as a small transition in my life. Those, which I didn't consider as real wanderings because they were dictated more than by my desire, by the necessity.
Nevertheless, they need to be included, particularly now that I am going to tell you about myself and my inner journey to Wandering Writer.
I have to say that the traveling thing wasn't truly always in my thoughts. Sure I wanted to know always something new, having new experiences and of course writing. My wanderings started as a matter of fact, when first I had to move away from my home, and from the center of Italy, I moved to Verona.
Now, most of you know about the tale of Romeo and Juliet and their impossible love. Was it fact or fiction, we will probably never know. What I know as a writer is that, in every fiction, there is some foundation of truth. We get inspired by facts that happened around us or that we heard about, then we elaborate the information, we add some interesting twist, and voila we have a fiction novel. Now far from telling about how a novel is born, I would like to stop by telling a bit about Verona (this time it will be just a short description, but I promise that I will stop by telling you in more details about it).
The city indeed lives in harmony with its Medieval-Renaissance-Modern identity and walking around is made very easy by the well-developed pedestrian network of roads.
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 I had the pleasure to stay there only for two months, before moving to Germany to study but I am really considering to visit it one more time. Of course don't forget to pay a visit to the House of Juliet, where to dream about an impossible, heartbreaking love. Now, as I told in the beginning, this is just a legend, it is not said that it really happened, but it is feasible to think that at least the two families Montecchi and Capuleti, really existed.
Image result for verona romeo and juliet
And if it is Opera season, nothing beats to go and visit the Arena, a Roman theater for which the Aida, the opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi was written. And don't miss the chance to buy a ticket to see the opera in that wonderful theater. 
Knowing that I was supposed to move further north beyond the national boundaries was something that started to excite me. At that time, there wasn't any European Union, so crossing the border required more time, particularly if you, like me opted for a train/bus transportation, instead of flying directly from Milano to Stuttgart, my next destination. Therefore, I greeted for the last time Verona, its history, people and of course the river, that gave me a lot of inspiration, and I left.
In that journey, I've met a lot of interesting people, all different from each other, regardless whether they were all from my same country. That started to give me some hints of the possibilities behind a traveling experience, and I looked forward to discovering and meet all the people I would have met and become friend with. I knew I was going to attend an international master course, and I knew that my classmates came from all over the world, USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia... I was thrilled.
It was September when I traveled from Verona to Bolzano (at the border with Switzerland) with the bus; from there with the train to Stuttgart and from Stuttgart with the train to Tübingen. 
Nevertheless, when you travel, you have to expect all sorts of adventures, and here is my tragicomic one. Someone was supposed to pick me up from the train station of Tübingen, the University city in Germany where I was going to study for at least three years.
I arrived at the train station at about 17:30, but no one was there waiting for me. Now, I am not the person who can panic easily, and I just waited at the station. I tried to call the contact person but she didn't reply my call, so I had absolutely no one I could contact, no address, nothing. Of course, I didn't have either enough money with me, as my family would have sent me some money through Western Union, but this would have happened only in 24 hours.
Now, imagine this situation, you have never been out of your country before, and you find yourself with no place to go, the contact person doesn't reply the phone and whoever was supposed to pick you up from the train station wasn't there.
The sun started to set and my hopes to have a meal, and sleeping in a bed started to fade away. I felt hopeless.
Suddenly a voice took me out from my misery, "Do you need any help?"
I looked up, and a young man smiled kindly at me.
"I don't know even what to ask for," I replied.
Shortly I explained him the situation, and he tried to find the faculty where I was enrolled. Anyway, this wasn't an easy task as all the documentation was in my email and at those times there weren't yet any smartphone to help to retrieve all the information. I just needed to get in touch with that person who decided not to pick up her goddamned phone.
We talked for at least a couple of hours, and I was really desperate, so much that I wanted to go back to Italy and forget about the study possibility and everything.
He looked at me concerned, "you have come this far, don't let the first difficulty put you down. In fact, don't let any difficulty put you down. Promise you won't give up," he said.
I don't know, but those words opened up a new world in front of me, giving back very big hopes.
He has been the kindest person I've ever known and offered me a meal and paid for me a night in the nearest hostel. We greeted, and he promised to be there the morning after to help me find the Faculty, my contact person and retrieve all the data from my email.
That night, things couldn't go worse, as suddenly the worst toothache recorded by every tooth fairy stroke me like thunder.
I wanted to cry, but I was afraid also to do that. I felt really lost.
Nevertheless, the morning after, before I could meet my savior, I tried to call once again my contact person, and guess what? She replied. We agreed that she would have come to pick me up at about 12:00 and everything would have solved.
I met my savior (Cornelius was his name), right after and told him the great news, we had breakfast, and he waited for this girl to come to pick me up.
I wanted to meet him again, but like an angel, a demon or a Keyser Söze, he walked away and with a whiff he was gone.


  1. I love that story,the adventure of travel can quickly turn scary when a problem arises. What a wonderful stranger. Verona sounds a beautiful city.

    1. Hello Janet,
      So glad you liked the story, indeed Verona is a lovely city, but I have to say that the whole world is full of great places, all to be discovered. Of course, there is always the risk that something unpleasant is going to happen, but this is also part of the fun.
      I will continue to post regularly and I really hope you will enjoy all the other stories I am going to tell.
      Have a great day,


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