To kick off the adventure, of course there has to be a travel day involved. Let’s rewind it back and relive the initial journey that kicked off nomad life – flying to Rome, Italy!
Like I mentioned in my previous post Your Questions about Nomad Life – ANSWERED! my boyfriend, Steven, and I took the leap to begin living a nomad lifestyle just a few short months ago. I have been writing journals of our adventures every day, so instead of just keeping them for myself, I wanted to share them with you!
I am hoping these posts are educational, inspirational, or at the very least, help provide a little joy and entertainment no matter where you are in the world. Let’s get started!
HERE WE GO!
Steven and I both woke up around 6 am, too excited to sleep. In moments like these, of course, we turn to Spotify so we could match a soundtrack to our lives. Steven played “Volare” and Spotify generated the perfect mix of songs after – “More” by Bobby Darin, songs from the Parent Trap, “Beyond the Sea,” etc. That genre of music is my absolute favorite (and really gives me that ‘main character energy’) so it was a perfect way to kick off the day ahead.
It was time to get up! I straightened my hair, did some final touches on packing, and wrote my parents a card thanking them for the past year+ since we’ve spent the majority of the pandemic together.
All of the Emotions.
The hardest part about taking on this new venture is, of course, being far from the people we love. My sweet Dad was crying so hard when I got up and my Mom’s tears flowed more and more the closer we got to the airport. My parents are the most supportive and loving people in the world. I know they are happy for us that we are chasing our dreams but that doesn’t make it any less hard. Especially after seeing each other almost every day for the past year!
There is a lot to be said for when your heart calls you to go explore the world in any capacity, and how that often takes you on a journey that is physically far from family/those you love. I have always had a deep inner knowing that staying in my hometown forever was not my path, and it has caused many conflicting emotions over the years. It’s a very complex part of life that I haven’t quite figured out yet… and maybe I never will.
But I am grateful to have so many people to love at home and also so much of the world to discover when I am out living wherever my heart is calling me. And honestly, thank God for FaceTime, texting photos/videos, and social media. I genuinely still feel so connected to people that way and it makes the emotions a little bit easier to manage.
We said goodbye to my dog Penny, which was also SO hard. Cue the waterworks once again. The hardest part about leaving her is that 1. We became literal best friends with her over the past year (especially Steven!) and 2. We are going to be gone for so long and there’s no way to explain it to her. OH, MY HEART!
It was so gray and rainy outside, it rained the whole way to the airport. I find it so funny when the weather matches your mood, it doesn’t even feel coincidental at that point. I literally felt like I was living a movie.
Then it was time for our “see ya real soons.” We CRIED at the airport and hugged a ton. I love my parents so, so much.
I felt like it was really important to include these moments in this post because they are real. They’re so real. And you can see photos of happy smiles all over the internet but raw moments like these went into making happy moments like those. It’s an all-inclusive story with a full range of emotions.
I LOVE YOU, MOM AND DAD! Thank you for everything. We’ll see you soon!
We’re Going to Rome!
We finally made it inside the airport. Steven had us take 3 big breaths and said “Hey… we’re going to ROME!” and from that point on, I snapped right into travel mode and was READY TO GO!
We checked our bags with no issues. My suitcase hit 50 lbs and Steven’s hit 48. Not too bad for traveling for an undetermined amount of time! (thanks Mom for sitting on my bedroom floor with me the night before while I literally shed 11 pounds of stuff from my suitcase. It was necessary!)
I went through TSA precheck and then got a bottle of water and a few snacks at the store.
Then we got to our gate! We sat there, purchased our travel insurance from WorldTrips.com, got little breakfast sandwiches, and then all of the sudden it was time to board!
Our whole flight was full of Buffalo Bills fans going to a game in Nashville, but all of our connecting flights were in Atlanta. The plane was full of Bills fans chanting and cheering – it was like tailgating in the sky! The people next to me were definitely pre-gaming this whole morning so it was an amped-up flight, that’s for sure!
Our seats on our way to Atlanta were unfortunately split up but that’s okay. I worked on journals and Steven actually made friends with a guy whose son owns a brewery in Buffalo! We will be excited to try it next time we’re back in town. Steven truly makes friends everywhere he goes!
Layover in Atlanta, GA
When we arrived in Atlanta, we grabbed some food at the food court, went back to the gate, and checked in. Since we were at an international gate there was a bit of a different setup than domestic.
At that point, we had to show our passport, vaccine cards, and a negative COVID test – which was a PCR test we got from Walgreens within the past 72 hours. They said we would have to show it again in Rome. We also had to line up to get our temperatures taken.
Whenever you travel anywhere nowadays, it is an absolute necessity to check ahead of time to make sure you have the proper documentation. Whether it be just your vaccine card or a test taken within a certain amount of time, make sure you are prepared and check the official government websites for requirements!
Once all of the logistics were taken care of, we sat at our gate by the window and looked at our plane! This was it!! Our mode of transportation to our brand-new chapter of life was waiting right in front of our very eyes.
(Masks by Gingerbread Couture – use code JESS15 for a discount!)
Ready for Take-off!
Then it was time to board!! Our flight left at 5:55… which is the angel number for letting go of the old and embracing new life changes. Again, not a coincidence! HERE WE GO!
We were in Row 31 which was on the side of the aircraft and, conveniently, a two-person row. That was really nice. I had the window and Steven had the aisle.
We got settled and took off!
(Masks by Gingerbread Couture – use code JESS15 for a discount!)
I edited The ReDIScover Guide to DISNEY RESTAURANTS podcast episode, which made the time fly by nice and fast!
Steven watched Fast and the Furious, Horrible Bosses, took a nap, and then Begin Again. He is a movie master. Delta provides an awesome selection of movies and we are highly appreciative of that!
We got dinner and it was this DELICIOUS ravioli! And the cookie they gave us was pretty good too! I was extremely impressed with this being airline food. Thanks, Delta!
The #1 Must-Do on a Flight to Rome
This is a Public Service Announcement: The Lizzie McGuire Movie is an ABSOLUTE must-watch for anyone flying to Rome. So that is exactly what I did next. I feel like I’ve been manifesting this moment since 2003!
However, this is one movie that Delta does not provide on their flights… I can not imagine why. I truly believe this should be a permanent film on all aircrafts traveling to Rome. A petition needs to be created.
But, anyway, I digress!
I watched the movie on Steven’s tablet since we were able to download it from Disney+. However, I couldn’t figure out how to hook it up to my Bluetooth headphones and Steven was sleeping! Can you believe?
So, I just watched the whole thing with subtitles and no sound. Thankfully, I’ve seen the movie enough times to know exactly what it sounds like. And you know what? It was STILL MAGICAL!
After that iconic masterpiece of a film, I went in and out of sleep for the rest of the flight.
On A Morning in Roma…
Steven woke me up to see the sunrise, the whole sky was lit up. It was this BEAUTIFUL pink color that truly isn’t even captured in this photo below whatsoever. It was the tail end of a long international red-eye flight, and in my state of pure exhaustion, getting awoken by that sunrise felt like something straight out of a movie. Again. (You’ll see that this whole “feeling like I’m in a movie” thing tends to be a theme throughout this journey)
At the end of the flight, we started flying over different little islands and mountains and before we knew it, we could see EUROPE! IN REAL-TIME!
After 9 long (but easy!) hours, we finally arrived. I was soooo excited and happy!! THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!
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