It is our last morning in Umbria, Italy. My 5-year old daughter is restless.
Instead of playing with her new friends, she’s upset about wearing shorts over a dress, she’s whining about having to eat breakfast and finding any excuse to complain.
She is naturally tired after a week packed with adventures.
And what an incredible time it has been.
Amazing food, tasty wines and wonderful company.
Our four families shared a special bond together, watching the kids explore our host’s organic garden, picking fresh vegetables and raspberries and learning to make the most delicious pasta from scratch; exploring the basilica in Assisi with a great guide that kept it fun and interesting for the kids; dancing to the Umbria Jazz festival tunes in Perugia; sinking in the stunning views from Monte Cucco and enjoying a fantastic picnic.
The week offered its share of thrills too. A heart-racing ride at Funivia, a bird cage-like cable car that took us up to the basilica of St. Ubaldo in Gubbio. And a super fun truffle hunt with a local expert and her incredibly sweet and well-trained dog.
From amazing farm-to-table meals and wine tasting for the adults to pottery making and painting for the kids, I think it is fair to say that a fun time was had by all.
The whole week has been all about the local culture, savoring slow food, visiting charming medieval towns and learning about a different way of life.
But back to my whining daughter, I know her well and I know there’s something more to her protests. I watch her tense up as the first family leaves. Our wonderful family photographer (can’t wait to see the photos, Stefanie!) and her husband and boys are headed back to Washington DC.
As the older boys Dylan and Oliver, from World Travel Family say their goodbyes she can’t hold it in any longer and bursts into tears.
I walk her outside so she can get some fresh air and waive goodbye to them. I kneel next to her, gently squeeze her shoulder, and tell her it’s alright, that we will keep in touch with them and we will always carry our friendships in our hearts.
She then gives me the tightest hug, smiles warmly through her tears and says “I love you, mama”.
And that is exactly why we travel: to learn about the world, its people and cultures, but also to LOVE and to CONNECT with others, no matter their background, reminding us that this is indeed a big and beautiful world and that we are all just a drop in the ocean.
**We are sharing some of our post links over at Walking On Travels. You can find plenty more travel inspiration (and great photos) in their weekly Friday Postcards posts.