May 29, 2012

Italian Crush

Italy

What’s not to love about Italy? It’s on my bucket list, and I’m saving my coin to go next summer with the entire Hyatt Riot clan. So, how exciting to find out that I can follow my friend Gia and her family on her Super Love tour in Italy! Gia took some time to answer my questions, and let us in on how to get a daily dose of Italy!

Gia, thanks for stopping by. Tell me everything. Everythang. How did you decide to add Italy to your Super Love tour?

The culture. The people. The food. Our roots!  We’re both part Italian – my family is from the North and my husband’s family is from the South – go figure!  I’ve been with my guy for 18 years and we’ve ALWAYS talked about going to Europe together – especially Italy. I lived in Germany for two years in third and fourth grade (while my parents were teaching) and in the late 90’s, I traveled through Europe with a girlfriend.  My husband and I wanted to wait until Tobin was old enough (he’s 9 now) to appreciate all the sights, culture, and history.

We’ll be going for a month. We’ll be in Frankfurt, Germany for a few days and then we’re off to Italy to explore and experience as much as we can!

Ok, WTF? With your kid in a VW van, say more? So cute, but tell me how you settled on the van tour idea.

I’m a road trip kinda girl. I love vans! I grew up with them. My parents were both teachers and my brother and I spent most of our summers camping and drivin’ around in a VW. Since Justin and I have been married, we’ve had four of VW vans and it’s just how we like to roll. There’s something about having everything you want in one place and your home with you at all times. You can drive and adventure to your heart’s content and then pullover, pop the top, and sleep whenever you desire.

Traveling in a van with kids is really the only way to go. And it’s all Tobin really knows, he’s been traveling and cruzin’ in a van since he was in diapers. He’s got his set up: board games, joke books, snacks, fun conversations, and taking turns picking the tunes.

Can you share your itinerary? And, what’s the purpose of the trip?

HA! We don’t really have one!  However, we do each have a mini bucket list. Honestly, we’re just really excited about goin’ with the flow. We want to be open to adventures along the way. Our number one goal is to see as much of the country as we can without rushing.

I’d like to see my Italian relatives who I haven’t seen since I was 8 and Justin wants to knock on some doors in Sicily to find his. Maybe someone there knows them?  Tobin is super excited about history, so he’d like to see Rome’s Colosseum and Pantheon and we’re hoping to swing by and see his buddy who lives in Austria. I’m excited about the people, the culture, the vibe, and the interactions and stories to be made and shared. And Italy is so picturesque! I mean, who doesn’t want to go to Italy?!

We both want to expose Tobin to our roots, the culture, and the people. We want Tobin to grow up not just reading about things in history books, we want him to have his own stories and bring his passion for learning to life.

What’s the #1 thing you want to experience there?

Have experiences and stories to share when we get home – just make memories! We’re not particularly interested in going from tourist attraction to tourist attraction, we’re interested in the journey.

What do you hope people virtually tagging along will experience?

Adventure! Fun! Spontaneity! Freedom! Beauty! There’s something special {and sexy} about Italy. I mean, people smile just saying the word! I also know that most people don’t choose to travel by VW van.

My intention is to share our stories, experiences, and travels with all of my virtual friends so they can feel like they’re along for the ride. I hope to inspire people to start creating and checkin’ off their own bucket lists. I also hope to share some tips from the road on how to incorporate a sense of adventure and the Italian lifestyle into their own. I also know that not everyone can travel, so I wanted to make a way for people to feel and experience all of those things along our journey.

My other intention is to carry on my vision of spreading more love and kindness and creating connections via The Super Love Revolution. There will definitely be some pay-it-forward moments and Italian hugs happening that you won’t want to miss!

I want to do this! What the expense of something like this?

Plane tickets ~$3,000
Van rental {lodging} for one month ~ $3,500
Camping + fuel ~ $90 per night
Food + seeing the sites ~ ?

It’s definitely not the cheapest place to go right now. But, if it’s something you really want to make happen, you can. We’ve dreamed and talked about this trip for a long time; we always knew we’d go to Italy together but never really knew when or how. A few years ago, we decided to move it higher on our bucket list.

We almost went last year but our dog had cancer and we didn’t want to leave him for that long. So we said “Let’s do it next year.”  And here we are!  Do we have all of the money up front? No. Did we have to make some sacrifices to save? Yes. Did Justin have to work extra hours to take off time from work? Yes. Am I figuring out how to bring my work on the road? Heck YES!

We decided we’d rather spend our money and time living and playing than having more “stuff”. Life is all about choices. Is it worth it? We sure think so.

Want to follow along? Join her on Facebook for your Daily Italian Crush. I’ll be there.

***

About Gia: I’m a Heart-ist. Entrepreneur. Coach. Philanthropist. Creator of Revolution Super Love. ♥ Spreading sunshine + a lot more LOVE in the world and I’m cheerin’ you on! ♥ I dig road trips + disco balls + advocacy for foster children

XOXO,
Susan

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