Stories from the trip of a lifetime…
Hello! It’s me, from Italy again (well, I’m not there at the moment, but that’s besides the point). I have another romantic tale to share, this time from the Amalfi Coast with a bit more action. Shoutout to our crew from the Bus2Alps tour, I hope to run into you again somewhere in the world!
Be warned, group tours specifically for students studying abroad are apparently filled with freshman! The thought of my freshman self being in Europe and of legal drinking age makes me cringe, so I truly feel for these kids who are most likely tainting their social media pages with everything but museum and history pics, but not enough to be undisturbed by their antics.
So we’re all flip-flopping along this long winding road towards the beach, because apparently our bus is too large to make it any further. I’m fine with this, because the day before, Nic and I were in a small van going up to Anacapri when the driver decided to live dangerously and grind along the stone wall separating us from imminent death. Homeboy had literally no reaction, leaving us to believe this is a common occurrence – that is until he got out to survey the damage when we reached our destination and looked pretty upset with himself. Forget the damage to the vehicle and give me back the faith I had in you people (there should be a documentary on Italian bus drivers). Anyways, we make it to the beach, where the sand is black like volcanic ash – or maybe it is volcanic ash – and situate ourselves. I lay out our blanket and Nic pulls out the 40 ounce Peroni’s we strategically purchased at a cheaper store in town. Our hostel mates, plus their extended crew, claim their territory and Nic and I give each other a look of disapproval as two (Freshman) girls pull out a handle of vodka. Although deep down I know I would have made the same day-drinking faux pas had they brought tequila, but that’s an adult beverage so I will reiterate that they had vodka and wasted no time to enjoy cup sized shots. Our crew settled in for the six hour shit show. Girls, if you’re reading this; I just want to let you know that y’all are sweet and your ability to seek approval and not give a damn at the same time is quite impressive. A few years from now, when you return to Europe for a scholarly purpose, I’m sure you’ll look back on this day fondly. You’ll remember the first time you both paddle-boarded rather than the day you could have drowned because being drunk in the ocean is truly a bad idea. You’ll maybe remember that one yanked the other’s top down for laughs and realize it was the moment that caused your friendship to begin to unravel. Only time will tell!
Nic and I managed to sneak off on our own paddle boards. He wobbled to & fro and took a couple spills, while I remained upright and unshakeable. There were no boundaries or rules, besides to return the boards in an hour. We dodged the incoming boats and spotted a private cove. We let the waves wash us ashore and let out a lot of “wows.” Nic found a rock to jump off of, but I thought it looked perfect to fall on. I was holding a stone and managed to slam it into the rock when falling, which made Nic think I had cracked my head open. Thankfully, I had not and was able to laugh it off while cautiously sliding myself to safety. We opted for a less risky activity and began digging up sea glass hidden in the sand. We lost track of time, but by then we were paddle pros and to be honest, I don’t think anyone was actually keeping time.
I have the mason jar of sea glass and black sand sitting on shelves in our apartment. It is better than any souvenir I could have bought. I look at it and recall reminding myself to remember this moment. God knows I tried to soak in every detail of the entire month. But in reality, I’m glad it all seems like a blur because if I were able to relive it as often as I pleased…there’d be no reason to make new memories.
I write these stories mainly to get a kick out of when I’m old. I’m not under the impression that these tales can’t be topped. I just know that they’re important to me and I want to chase this feeling of simultaneous wonder and contentment.