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Updated: Aug 16, 2023

In September 2016 my friend was celebrating her 40th Birthday at a BEAUTIFUL villa in Tuscany. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it because I had a long sabbatical in 2016 and I really didn’t need to be planning an international vacation with no job.

This was another vacation that came with a lesson. I learned that I should always go with my gut and my new found desire to travel solo was confirmed. I had mentioned to my friend that she should not include me in the count for the villa. I was uneasy about spending a lot of time with 14 people that I don’t know. I have a very quirky personality and I know I don’t mix well with everybody. Some of my friends know this about me but this particular friend didn’t so she was adamant about wanting me to stay with the group. This is one time I really wish I would have been firm with my no.

I also learned the lesson of last minute booking, not having flexibility in my dates, and lack of research for flying into other areas. I was so focused on getting to Florence that I didn’t even consider the idea of booking a flight to Rome and taking the train to Florence. It’s a strong possibility that I would have paid much less for my flight that way. I like to get out and explore and the location of the villa made it hard to do so. My taxi ride from Florence airport to the villa was $105usd. That was quite the sticker shock and told me immediately that I wouldn’t be able to taxi to town on a regular basis. I was already feeling the anxiety of restrictions on day one.

I was able to see some things in Florence but not as much as I could have seen if I had the option of exploring on my own. Florence seemed like a really cool place to take your time and explore. I will definitely be booking a solo trip back to Italy so I can take my time and explore Florence, Rome, Venice, Milan and the Amalfi coast.


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