One of my favorite quotes is “Once you’ve climbed to the top of the mountain, you only then realize there are higher mountains to climb” – or something similar to that.
And some people have told me that they think its depressing and a “balloon popping” statement – but I find it to be very motivating and inspiring. We all have obstacles or experiences in life we either push ourselves to achieve or reward ourselves with. And to me, I relate to the quote in terms of my personal goals – always reaching for my goals and then reaching higher for the next ones. But also in terms of travel – once you experience worldly travel or get out of your element, you realize that there will always be so much more to see and experience!
This quote really spoke to me recently while traveling through Europe with friends. My last post shared my journey from the West Coast of California to the Amalfi Coast of Italy in a fast forward mashup of video clips from my GoPro. While the 5 minute video gave you a sneak peak to what it takes to get to the other side of the world, the reality of the situation is that it takes an entire day of travel to get where you’re going in cases like mine. The sacrifice of time for the benefit of new and exciting experiences. While I have been to Italy before, this trip took me to an entirely new experience.
I have traveled the canals of Venice on a gondola, walked the tight streets, shopped the many shops stacked one after another and appreciated each building lining the Grand Canal with unique architecture, beautiful colors and personality all their own.
In Florence I have walked across the Ponte Vecchio, toured the castles and history rich structures that have stood strong since the 14th century and indulged in authentic Italian cuisine – especially wine.
And I have stood where gladiators have fought, walked along the very same corridors walked by Pope St. Francis himself and fell in love with “The Eternal City” known as Rome.
Venice, Florence and Rome were absolutely stunning and unique in their own ways – but I left a piece of my heart along the Amalfi Coast on my favorite and most recent trip to Italy.
Upon arriving into Naples (the closest airport to Positano where we would be staying), we took a private car to our destination – a journey not for anyone with motion sickness or fear of heights. The roads feeding into Positano are narrow – often only big enough for 1 lane – and wind in and out for what feels like day bordering cliffs or hovering over smaller towns on the route. While my description isn’t exactly flattering – the views of the coast and the cities (especially Sorrento) are breathtaking and make you feel as if you have time traveled to a slower and more romantic date in time.
Our residence sat above the main street in Positano just a few minutes walk to downtown. And the view (above) speaks for itself…
Positano was beautiful – especially if you are into that Italian Vernacular style, hypnotic blue water and lush greenery (just describing it makes me smile remembering my first impression of the city).
If the cities aesthetic wasn’t captivating enough, our Villa (which the Birthday Boy arranged – Way to go, Kevin) was immaculately landscaped and cared for by its groundskeeper who spent 12 hours a day caring for the property (9am to 9pm, as he would be sure to remind us).
This place had multiple levels, intimate bedrooms, beautiful shared common spaces, terraces and patios on each of the five levels and its own private pool for us to enjoy.
We spent more time than we can recall watching the boats come in and out of the cove into Positano and even more time trying to identify which boat Jennifer Lopez, Leonardo DiCaprio, Oprah and other celebrities were on – it was all over the news that we weren’t the most popular tourists in town that week.
Just steps from our Villa was a staircase down to a “private” beach popular with the locals and tourists looking for more of a low-key Positano experience. Stairs were a reoccurring theme in Positano… being nestled among the cliffs, stairs provided the most popular (and exhaustingly repetitive) way of getting around.
The small beach was cut in half – half reserved for the Beach Club with tangerine and white swirled umbrellas and the other half al-naturale flooded with locals with their mismatched beach towels and families picnicking and playing games.
While my adventurous side swam with the youngsters to the cliffs for a little cliff jumping, the tourist in me definitely enjoyed the peach mojitos at the beach club!
This “private” beach had at least 1,000 less people than the main beach in the heart of Positano. The smaller crowd made it feel intimate and shared between the tourists and locals. And the water was so clear than you could see the rocks and fish beneath you for as far as I could swim.
Another luxury afforded us by this “private” little beach was water taxi service into downtown. If taking a water taxi with friends to a delicious Italian dinner is a crime – please lock me up and throw away the key.
Metaphorically, Italy was a mountain that I wanted to climb. And once I got a taste I discovered that there was so much more to see. This trip to Positano was the higher peak to climb – and I’m excited to share that experience with you all!