The Insensible Travelers

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
An anecdote of my first international travel.

Submitted: March 10, 2019

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Submitted: March 10, 2019



It was a regular day when I and my father were watching TV together at home when I was full of anxiety as I used to be afraid of my father's furious behaviour most of the time. I was about to ask him to grant me permission for a holiday in EUROPE.

I gathered guts and in one go I popped “I and Sam are going to Italy". There was an awkward pause thereafter when the obvious reaction from him came to me "No you're not, you are too young to go to Europe for a vacation and that too, alone" "No way!” This was disappointing though but I was so optimistic that in a few days I was able to convince my father to let me go for a vacation with one of my friends. It was a dream that was going to come true soon. 

Both of us (I and my friend Sam) were working for an airline and the best part of our job was those concessional tickets used to get to travel across the globe. We wanted to use this opportunity the best way we could. We had so many countries in our mind but we finalized Italy, Spain, and Amsterdam. Some of our colleagues helped us to book the accommodations, some gave us travel tips, and some arranged currencies for us. I was so thrilled that I turned an insomniac just a few days back before my trip. I spent the whole day planning the trips, concluding the packing and deciding the poses for the photos. I was the first person from my family to visit Europe. 

Finally, the day arrived when we had our Air India flight to Fiumicino Airport (Rome). My best friend came to drop me at the airport and he looked more excited than we were. He suggested me to take the window seat in the plane so that I could experience the beautiful sight of the Tyrrhenian Sea. I was a little fretful too as the kind of flight tickets we used to get were subject to flight load (as we were airline staff). We had heard experiences from our colleagues who were bumped off the flight due to non-availability of seats inside the plane. 

We were fortunate to get our boarding passes without much hassle. Still, my heart was constantly palpitating until I encountered the splendid view which my best friend told me about, "the Tyrrhenian Sea twisting in the River Tiber" and the ferries parked on the shore. I couldn't wait to DE board the flight at that point. After a few minutes, we were there. I am still out of words to explicate my emotions. We cleared all the airport formalities and ran towards the exit. It was around 7:30 in the evening when we got a text message from our host "Mr. Simon Salvatori" who was a musician and was immensely kind to us. He was even waiting for us at the train station near his apartment. It was difficult for us to spot him as none of us had seen each other before. We just had an exchange of a few emails and messages over the Airbnb app. It looked like it was not difficult for him to find us as we were the only Indian girls who appeared "Tourists" at the point where he asked us to wait for him. He took both of us to the apartment which was commodious and cosy. A king sized bed for both of us in a well-illuminated room, a bathroom and a private kitchen. He gave us local tips and maps, advised us to be very careful of the gypsies around the home and keys to all the doors. We wished him "Buonanotte" and he left. 

The next day we decided to start our journey by visiting the nearby church “Basilica Papale San Paolo". We decided to visit the church first as the bells of this church sounded very tranquilizing to us. The place where we were residing was serene enough to pacify all the anxieties I had. We decided to join a walking tour inside the church though we were unable to decipher the language as the group leader was a Chinese. We got inside the church, sat there inside for some time and came out. I was getting impatient as all I had in my mind was the icon of Rome "The Colosseum". I was just 23 at that time and just like any other girl at that age; I was hardly interested in the history, museums, churches, domes or anything that had antiquity associated. Any person who is 23 is more into getting fancy pictures clicked at the main attractions of a city than getting into memoirs and finding out what has been made by whom, why and when!. The matter of the fact was this trip was more to please others and to look "Cool" amongst my friends, relatives and on social media. Till date, this mystery is unsolved if my travel companion also used to think the same way. I was 23 but she was 26, 3 years elder to me. I never confided to her my real motives because in that case, I would have made an image of myself as an “insensible traveller" which I never wanted to happen. I decided to keep things inside and behave tactfully. 

We decided to visit the Colosseum now hence; we bought the metro tickets to the station. I already had a picture in my mind depicting the long queues outside the Colosseum and a long path to walk towards it from the station. Exploding my fantasies, the Colosseum came out to be much more humongous than I imagined. A massive monument with tourists all around and vendors selling Selfie sticks (as there were many "insensible travellers" like me). Some sightseeing companies tried to sell their walking tours, discounted tickets and city tours to us but we decided to play smart. My mind was constantly pulling me away from these discounts as I was any way there for photos. This would be considered a sin to some serious travellers that we spent over 3 hours outside one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We peeked inside though through the windows and the ruins did not attract me. Moreover, I was convinced that my travel partner was also an "Insensible traveller" like I was.

We stayed in Italy for 4 more nights and visited the Vatican City, Naples, and Ana Capri as the photos from one city were not enough to appear "Cool" on social media. 

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