- Me: Basically, what happened was... "Basically" — ha, listen to me. I sound like Pop Pop.
- Mom: You know you say that all the time, right?
A walk with a view. Prague, August 2010.
Last year around this time, I started dreaming about a trip abroad. I knew I had the month of August off work and no real commitments in New York. What could be better than traveling?
So I did it. Budapest, Ljubljana, Salzburg, Vienna, Prague, and some small towns in between. I started out with my mom, but then I did the last few stops alone. It was quieter than I imagined, being by myself, navigating neighborhoods and buses and broken-English on my own. I say quiet because it wasn’t lonely. I wasn’t sad. I was just very aware of being my own company. I stopped to admire cobblestone streets and lamp posts and window boxes because I wanted to. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all my decisions. On a whim, I bought a pair of heels in Vienna, near my hostel, and as I walked along the Vltava in Prague one night, I remember hearing my steps — the unrushed click, click — that were me, there. The word liberating seems so unfortunately Eat-Pray-Love, but it was. And that was exactly what I needed last summer.
This year, I will stay with Pop Pop. Yep, I’ve decided to spend the month of August with him in Pennsylvania. I could travel again and I considered it, but new cities, tours, heels-hitting-the-pavement moments, they’ll be around next year and the years after. Will Pop Pop? Will he still be at home? Will he still be able to hold my hand across the table and tell me about the dinner parties my Dibi hosted there, in that same room?
I have no way of knowing, which is exactly why I know it is where I need to be.