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To wonder or to wander? (the traveling thought)

I’m sitting in Tirana’s central square, on the staircase leading up to the Opera House. The only carousel in town slowly twirls away, bewitching bundled up little kids. The rays of the setting sun hit the Mosque full front – and I hear the call to prayer. It’s 5 p.m. As I soak in the unpredictable beauty of it all, for a very long moment I forget that I yet have nowhere to spend the night. I also forget my phone’s SIM card is already dead. Also, not one of the colleagues that has offered to pick me up has actually shown up. I don’t even pay attention to the fact that, while typing these totally inexperienced words, my fingers can hardly bend from the cold.

And yet, I feel alive. I feel like the whole world is where it needs to be. Like I am where I need to be.

As I have done so many times in my wandering life, I continue to wonder. Why, even when traveling in unwelcoming circumstances, does everything seem beautiful? What is it about being in a new place that constantly excites the spirit? Are we made to settle in just one dot on the map or are we made to roam? And if it’s the latter, as I suspect, do the true nomads of this world – the Romani, the Bedouin, the Ghorbati – have the secret to it all? How to combine this life – work, parenting, school, home – in one suitcase?

I take my questions with me on yet another adventure, knowing the answers will come at the right time. Stay tuned!

Michelle Calcatelli

Michelle Calcatelli

Hi there! My name is Michelle. I'm an American living in Italy, mom of two girls, a lover of travel, music and good food shared with loved ones. I am a freelance grant writer and a former agricultural development practitioner, having worked mostly in rural Africa for 18 years. I look forward to creating a space here - with your help - where we can exchange dreams, ideas and kindness to start shaping a better tomorrow.

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