Where the Wanderlust Began | Rome

Where the Wanderlust Began | Rome


Rome :

 It’s hard to explain just how life changing the moment pictured above really was but I will do my best.

When we first got to Roma we were EXHAUSTED but I was NOT going to sleep. I had been awake for over 24 hours and I am sure I was delirious but I didn’t care. We only had one day so I hit the ground of this museum of a city literally running…. in heels. We put our bags in the hotel, I pinned my hair up in an Audrey-ish style (because Roman Holiday) and pushed my sweet adoring and sleep deprived husband out the door. “Lets go, lets go! Rome is awake, so I’m awake!!!” We could have taken a cab directly to the Colosseum but I am a sucker for the dramatic, romantic, and authentic. True Romans don’t take Ubers. (They probably do but that’s not the point) So we walked. And on the way we got gelato.

love at first bite.

Now here’s the thing about gelato…. people talk a big game. And people try to sell you “gelato” in the states. I honestly had very low expectations for how this treat was going to taste. But, I also had done my research. I knew what legit gelato was supposed to look like and how to avoid the “Tourist” gelato. I was on a mission to find some real shit. I was so wrong to have low expectations. I think my eyes probably got as big a 50 cent pieces after my first bite of mojito mint gelato. “This is insane. How can anything taste THIS intense!?” I was in love with a food. Real food. Food made with real ingredients in a place where food is respected. I had 3 cones before we left. My mouth is watering right now. We walked the streets of Roma and enjoyed our cones of divinity with the goal of eventually arriving at the Colosseum. The thing is, we had no idea where we were going. I didn’t care. No wrong turn would be a wrong turn for me because it would only lead me down a path I had never been. We walked down ancient stairs, people watched, philosophized and enjoyed the gorgeous blue skies and perfect weather.


“Rome is not like any other city. It’s a big museum, a living room that shall be crossed on ones tiptoes”- Alberto Sordi

We got lost and stumbled onto beautiful things. We stopped and took our time at every piece of ancient history that sprouted out of the dirt. I believe every city has a vibration, an energy that it lends it’s visitors to make sure you truly take in what it has to offer. It embraces you and makes you feel as though you belong. The energy I felt in Rome was one of pure contentment. Like I didn’t need to rush, she would wait for me, just like she had been waiting for me for centuries Rome would continue to wait for me now. So every second I had in Rome felt full. Even now as I remember the details I don’t feel like I was deprived of time even though I only had one day in this dream of a city.


I’m sure we walked for hours. I only know that because my feet were starting to hurt and the shoes I had worn were one of my most comfortable pair. We finally decided maybe we needed to ask for directions. Now….  if you know me you know I am a bit dramatic. BUT, what I am about to tell you is in no way dramatized. This really happened exactly like this.

5 feet before an intersection…..

Ken : ” Ok I guess we can’t read signs because we should have been there by now. I’m going to go ask someone.” Upon arriving at intersection he goes right, headed to a group of people.

Me: I am making sure I am soaking it all in… so I turn left to see the view before I follow him. I kid you not it was like the Colosseum just rose out of the ground and appeared because the thing is huge and I have no idea how we hadn’t already caught a glimpse of it. I just stared. I can’t describe how it felt to see something I had only dreamed about and seen in movies. I stood there Literally dumbfounded because I was NOT expecting it to be RIGHT there. So I was blessed with the pureness of seeing something the way it is supposed to be seen for the first time. I think I cried….not sure. So hear I am, trying to chase Ken and catch him without looking away from the most breathtaking thing I have ever seen because I swear to you I think I thought it might disappear if I looked away. Finally I scream “KEN!!” – he looks at me like I’m nuts because I am sure I was screaming like a 2 year old screams when she sees Cinderella at Disney. “What!?”, he says.

I just pointed. I couldn’t even talk. Just pointed…. like a mute.

I pinched myself about 10 times while we sat at this overpriced tourist cafe and drank overpriced tourist beer. Best beer ever by the way. We had a meat and cheese platter whilst we waited for our tour. The sky was so blue. The air was so sweet. Priceless. I mean look at that view!!!!!


The tour was horrible… we should have broke off from it immediately and honestly I don’t know why we didn’t. It’s worth the price so you don’t have to wait in line but once you get in just go do your thing


It’s a true wonder. Something that has stood the literal test of time, wars, and humans. To touch walls that someone else touched almost 2000 years ago. Walk exactly where those people walked. It’s insane.

The Pantheon.

This looks photoshopped. Every single picture I took looked like someone had put a computer program on the ceiling. How the crap did a human do this? A HUMAN! Many humans I supposed, carved each individual part of this ceiling exactly the same multiple times and didn’t screw it up. It is still in perfect condition. It’s breathtaking and basically a miracle to still have it’s structure intact.

The legend is if your throw a coin from your right hand over the left shoulder, it will ensure that you will return to Rome in the future. Yes I made a wish too….but I honestly don’t remember what it was for. I am pretty sure it was just to come back to Rome. What else would I wish for?


That night we ate some amazing fresh seafood and drank wine under the same stars that have shined for thousands of years in a city that has shined for thousands of year. After dinner we took a car back to the Colosseum. A soccer game had just let out and there were people everywhere. Once we got there Ken told the car to wait. I looked at him like he was crazy. “Wait? We can walk to our hotel. It’s ROME!” He laughed and sent the guy on his way. The moon was full. The air was light and the sounds of the city were intoxicating.


I went to bed that early morning with a happiness I had never felt. I had seen something most people only dream about. When we awoke the next morning, our phones were lit up with text messages making sure we were ok. There had been an earthquake near Rome. We had slept through the whole thing. I think most people would have probably worried if the building we were in was stable, or if we were safe. I however am not most people. The first thing that shot into my mind and out of my mouth was, “Is the Colosseum ok?”. It was.


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Vero – Neisha Salas-Berry


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