Wednesday, 24 October 2012

A Tangled Web of Options

It’s 4 a.m. in Torino and I cannot sleep. This sleeplessness has been afflicting me more and more recently. My future is wrought with uncertainties and anxieties that are all spinning in my sleep vision, threatening my normally peaceful slumber. The road I have travelled for 3 months has been long so far but linear, predictable. But, as a spider’s strand of silk meets its web, my options are now branching out in all directions, and it is both scary and exciting.

Since my last blog I have visited Nice in France, Florence and Venice in Italy, Munich for Oktoberfest, the charming coast of Croatia, historic Rome, and northern Italy again, first Cinque Terre and now Torino. Cinque Terre was a real oasis during my travels. I met some amazing people and we shared two relaxing days enjoying blissful beaches, stunning landscapes, lovely wine and good conversations.

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
It was also my first solo destination after Amy flew home from Rome and signaled a new phase of my travels. Never since have I felt more disconnected from home, having loosed the shackles of the constraining Eurail pass and a travelling partner. No offense is meant to my sister by this statement. After a rough start, Amy soon adapted to the backpacking lifestyle, we slowly overcame early conflicts and in the end I was happy she came, especially to see her growing and maturing before my eyes. I think travelling with her has helped me mature as well. We got to know eachother more in those three months than in our entire lives previous and in that time solidified our sibling bond and provided me with satisfaction at fulfilling my role as big brother. However, now that she has left, I am completely free to fulfill my dreams and to let no decisions become hindered.

Since her departure I have wandered Italy’s countryside, a carefree soul, yet also yearning for some refuge from the constant moving around and unpredictability that comes with travelling without a plan… another problem looms: I am approaching my time limit in the Schengen Area, an administrative region of Europe in which Canadians can travel without Visa for up to 90 days. I need to get out! But what should I do? Work on a farm? A hostel? Or should I continue travelling outside the Schengen Area? I hope I can find these answers soon and silence the voices of anxiety in my mind.

Meanwhile I attempt to fix my gaze on the present. I am in Torino for Salone del Gusto, the ultimate gastronomic event in the city anointed the capital of the Slow Food Movement. In the next two days I will be visiting the event marketplace, which will be filled to the brim with organic, sustainable and ethical farmers and food producers from Italy and around the world selling the best and purest food the world has to offer! As well there will be educational workshops providing food information and cooking tips. My thirst for food knowledge shall be quenched and my hunger sated with just about every kind of food imaginable grown under the sun! And who knows, maybe I can find a job on a farm in Italy? Time will tell.

Bon appetite!

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