This week we hopped on a train and headed west to the beautiful (and notorious) coastal towns of Cinque Terre. Coming here has been a dream of mine since I first learned of the place. Now, let me clarify -- when I say dream I mean that literally. I've obsessed over coming here for years. When I looked into going a few years ago it seemed like a difficult trip to take on my own (which wasn't true at all). And, for some reason, I wrote it off as a trip I would take 'someday'.
Well, Monday was the day that my dreams came true. After a rocky morning start on the train (two and a half hours, a missed connection, and an annoyingly crowded train car later), we walked up the steep main road of Riomaggiore to our apartment. After settling in we headed straight out to explore our tiny town. In anticipation of our first sunset we made our way down to the marina - you've probably seen it a million times in pictures (though it's not as popular as the one in Vernazza). We climbed our way over the rocks of the jetty towards the perfect vantage point, with the sun setting to our left and the town basking in its glow to our right.
For the next ten minutes, I snapped incessantly, soaking up every angle of this beautiful town that I had been dying to see. By the end of the night, I had taken over 220 photos. In the final moments, before the sun disappeared, with my hand cramped from holding my camera so tightly, I laid it down, looked at Chas and started to cry.
All of the excitement, the anticipation, the pure emotion of being in a place I had dreamed of for so long, came rushing out. It was happiness in its purest form.
I remind myself how lucky I am to be here, in this moment. And how fortunate we are to be able to be on this adventure. I don't take for granted the fact that there are millions of people who will never get the chance to experience this place - and in my heart, I hold a piece of it for them.