Italy.

I flipped through ideas and countries and threw a few up on the wall, taping them up, waiting to see what would stick. I used to think this was fickle, always wanting to go everywhere and coming up with harebrained plans to somehow do them all. 

But I've slowly detected that it's my way to winnow what is in my gut and what is simply in my daydreams.

After a few months, every one of them fell down with a pronounced, loud thud or a soft, leaf-like drop, nearly unnoticeable. But I could feel it when they did. 

The one that was left was the one that stayed with me, that waited out all the other plans as they've each dropped out one by one. The one that wouldn't hear no.

Italy.

Here's the thing.
Sometimes you travel to blitz through, to whiplash in and out of landmarks and museums and famous, historical monuments.
Sometimes you travel to visit, to re-connect, to stay in homes and eat home cooked dinners with those you love and haven't seen in ages.
Sometimes you travel for remoteness, for lostness.
Sometimes you travel because it's cheap.
Sometimes you travel to simply not be where you are, to not be in your own Monday-Friday brain.

And sometimes you travel because your soul is thirsty.

Will I find peace, will I find rest?  Will my heart completely balloon being surrounded in beauty? Will I be able to sloth around, to be agitated with wonder, to sit and stay and know that's exactly what the experience calls for?

In Italy? 
Yes.
For how long?
"For the month of September," He said.

See when I speak of my gut, it's all Him, Jesus Christ. He knows what I need and where I need to go and His roadmaps are always way better than mine.  I don't go without Him and He doesn't go without me. 

So to imagine packing my Bible and heading to the airport to go and be with Him somewhere else, somewhere on my own...to stand in front of art and architecture and to feel all that wonder rise and pool in my eyes...to walk crooked streets, pause for espresso, sit to write, take film and film and more film, and to just be with Him, away...my heart balloons.

Song of Songs 2:10, "Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me."

So we're going.

And I can't help but imagine while the morning light pooled into the day that I booked my ticket, that He walked up to that wall and pulled the Scottish Highlands, handsome Stockholm and that good ol' U.S. Route 66 roadmap down. He left that boot shape up then nudged me out of my sleep, whispering, "Let's go eat some pizza" as He tossed a flight itinerary at my feet.

And grinned.