I’m on the regional train going from Canzo at Lake Como to a train station in the northern part of Milan.
It’s already ten o’clock, but due to merry wedding celebrations the night before – involving friends from all over the world, salsa lessons in the early morning and a good amount of both red and white wine – it feels as though it’s 7 AM and the world is just about to wake up.
My phone rings and a picture of my older brother shows up on my phone. I smile and pick up.
Hey, I was just in the car and had a bit of time, so I thought I’d say ‘hi’.
I love it when he does that.
And the timing was perfect – I had a good 2-3 hours of train time ahead of me to get from Lake Como to Milan and from Milan to Florence.
Lucky for my brother, the connection isn’t great when travelling by train in Italy, so he does not actually have to endure that many stories about Florence.
Although I’m sure he’d tell you that they were still more than enough.
I ask about his recent trip to Norway with his girlfriend and their border collie, and he tells me how it was rainy but awesome, and how they had a great time, hiking away in the beautiful landscape.
He goes on to tell me about his van and his work, the kids and their mum, and a trip they made to our grandma’s, which from what I hear involved lots of laughs and excellent food.
He asks me about Florence and life in Tuscany and I tell him, bubbly and excited, about my current adventures and the places I see.
While I tell him all of that in way too many words, he laughs at the other end of the phone and I notice how much I miss him and the rest of my beautiful family.
It’s the good kind of missing, though. The one that doesn’t hurt, but somehow, though bittersweet, makes you feel even happier.
Because you realise how extremely lucky you are to have people in your life that you love that much.
By now, I have less than a month left in Florence and every now and then I try to imagine myself back home in Denmark, moving into a new apartment and going about my day the same way I always have.
I look out the window, the mountains around Lake Como behind me, my beautiful Tuscany only a few hours away, and I realise I don’t want to leave.
I really miss you, I tell him. But I love it too much here to come home just yet.
He laughs out loud. That’s good to hear, Kimmy.
I don’t really know how to explain it, I say. But I’m really happy here.
I admit, when I try to upload a video for work, I cannot conduct a google search at the same time, because the internet isn’t strong enough.
And when I try to boil water and heat the sugo at the same time, both takes forever.
Also, moving here from the calm, spacious country side in Denmark, I haven’t quite gotten used to the noise level of the city yet, and it is a little annoying that I can’t go anywhere by bike due to the massive amount of tourists in the streets.
But really, that’s all I can come up with. And I’ve really thought about it.
At home I have a strong wifi-connection, everything is calm and organised and generally, things just work.
But right now, in this moment, there is one particular thing that I do not have there and that I find everywhere around me here.
I don’t know if it’s the late summer light bouncing off the Tuscan terracotta houses or if it’s the kindness and spontaneity of the people around me.
But it’s here, and I don’t want to leave it.
After several interruptions by a flaky connection, my brother and I decide that we’ll see each other soon, say goodbye and hang up the phone.
And all the way back to Florence I sit there smiling to myself because I am the luckiest girl in the world to have such an amazing family.
It’s priceless to have their support in all the random decisions and sudden life changes that my restless soul keeps coming up with.
I really hope that you, too, feel loved and inspired wherever you are.
And that if this little read made you think of a person you’re missing in your life, you’ll call them up and say: I just wanted to say ‘hi’.
You might just make their day.
That’s it from me for now but more will follow soon.
PS: Have you read part I and part II of On the Streets of Florence? Part I is about how I actually got here and part II is a quirky little story about being kind to strangers. Read them here and tell me what you think. I love hearing from you.