The longer we live in NYC, the more I realize I long for quiet days away from the bustling crowds and societal pressure. So when we stepped onto the streets of Venice with hundreds of tourists coming at us from every direction and barely any Italians within earshot I found myself terribly disappointed. The lack of sunshine for the first two days didn’t help much either. Had we just traveled 7 hours by airplane to end up somewhere I could have just taken a 20-minute train ride to? I’m looking at you Little Italy.
After a bit of research driven by pure astonishment at the lack of Venetians, turns out there are only 265,000 Ventains in all of Venice compared to the estimated 20 million tourists that visit annually. I know what you’re thinking, I’m a tourist, to be fair, I was not aware of the numbers before going. All I knew was that traveling to Venice was one of those places you’re told you have to see. We also picked a time of year when tourist numbers were supposed to drop off, let me tell you if they did drop off I’m a bit disgusted. We fell into the societal pressure trap, where you feel like you’re supposed to do something or enjoy something and we just weren’t!
All of this led to us skipping a lot of the tourist hot spots and switching up our game plan a bit. When I write my travel tips and I mention a place or a restaurant I’m writing about it because I genuinely loved it, not because it’s a thing to do to check off some list someone out in the universe wrote years ago and it stuck. You’re not going to find the Rialto Bridge on any list of mine.
I’m in search of beautiful, authentic experiences. I want to be a bit uncomfortable, I didn’t come to Italy to order a classic English breakfast, which we saw a lot of places offering by the way. I’ve decided to give up on the notion that I have to see or do something because it’s a thing. Overpopulation has ruined these things. If I see a line, this girl is moving on, I don’t do lines, I hate being pushed by rude people or the random stopping in the middle of the walkway. By the end of the day, you realize you’ve been so busy trying to be polite to the hundreds of people surrounding you that you barely saw or enjoyed a thing and I do believe in politeness.
We even chose to skip a gondola ride and rode the water taxi around everywhere. At 20 euro for an unlimited ride day pass it certainly beat out an 80 euro, 30-minute gondola ride and B and I realized we would only be doing it for the gram. Is that any way to live? Walking through life having your actions be controlled by how your trip looks online. It’s honestly hard to get away from the thought in my mind that I’m going to be judged for sitting in my gorgeous room in Manarola staring out at the sea from my window, relaxing and enjoying the stillness instead of out exploring. Even B said he felt like he should be out, not that he wanted to, he just felt like he should. I’m so over societal pressure, I’m living my life for me.
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