OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Venice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm in love! I've never felt love like this before. I got off the train, feeling somewhat nervous and scared... I'm back to being on my own. I'm on my own from here on out actually. Ashleigh is back in Kiel getting ready for her dance auditions. And I have until Sunday to enjoy my free time. Anyways, got off the train feeling nervous about navigating and a bunch of other stuff ( if you can't tell already, I get anxiety all the time over most things). Got to the main part of the station, glimpsed outside and realized I didn't have a map to even find my way to the hostel with. Nothing. And I've heard that streets in Venice are not labeled and wind every which way, making it not very easy to find a specific hostel, especially if you're me. Ok ok ok, so grab a map and kind of freak out for because I can't figure out where I am on the map or where I want to be. I feel myself get all hot and sweaty and my breaths get shorter. I know those are my initial symptoms before I lose my shit. So I sit down, take a deep breath and tell myself "freak out. Go ahead. Do it. Get it overwith and when you're done, find yourself on the map. Let's go." I kicked myself in the butt. From there, I was able to skip the freaking out and I just focused on the map. Found my current location, kinda found my destination, got up and walked outside.
OH MY GOD. I wanted to fall to my knees and kiss the ground. Holy hell!! VENICE! The way you imagine it would look...yeah, it looks just like that. So after talking myself out of freaking out earlier, I totally lose my shit anyways and tears stream down my face. But at least I lost it for a different reason. Instead of being nervous/scared/lost, I was instantly in my element. Instantly!
A little man outside the train station makes eye contact with me, walks over and mumbles something i cant understand and then picks up my bag and starts walking. Shocked, I chase after him and it turns out he just wanted to carry my bag over the bridge for me, since the bridge is all stairs. Hahaha, so random!! I then followed my map, winding between narrow alley ways, up and down stairs, over bridges and find myself walking along the Canal Grande. I think " no way is my hostel here...its too nice". I'm walking, while looking at everything around me and not paying attention. I look up and see a street sign. The only street sign I've seen yet. And its my street sign!! The hostel is right on the corner. I open the door to what looks like an apartment and the owner, an Asian guy, greets me and carries my bags up the stairs and checks me in. I notice first that its actually warm in here, a good change from the last place. The owner shows me around and talks with me like we've been friends for years. He then tells me he is off to go to the supermarket and he'll see me later. Soooo welcoming!! My room has a beautiful view of the Canal Grande and this hostel already feels like home. It's more of a bed and breakfast but with hostel prices. It's incredible! I'm in love.
I've been in my room since I got here, almost afraid to step outside because I know the waterworks will kick in again. Jesus. This is what I've been waiting for.
By the way, my last day in Rome was awesome! I woke up feeling down still and skyped my friend Rebecca who has lived in Italy before. She told me I was ok, I was normal, and completely related to me on every level. It was the perfect kick to my last day spent with ash, who is still fighting a cold but doing better. We walked around with more ease since it stopped snowing and the streets weren't as slippery. The sun was out and we were soaking up the Rome we came to see! We ended the night by eating at the restaurant we first dined at, cheesy 80s music and all, and then went to another hostel to watch the Super Bowl with out Brazilian roommates. So much fun and a great end to an interesting experience. :)
But now I'm here. In Venice! Ahhhhh!!! I must go wander now and get lost the fun way!! I can hear the water taxis outside and I have to go see it!