One more vacation story. We had anchored off the picturesque Amalfi Coast in Italy, and had decided to avoid the crowded, winding, cliff-top road that marks the coastline. Instead, we’d see this part of Italy from a boat. I wasn’t sure if we’d really enjoy all day on a small boat. But we did.
Our “guide” took us from Amalfi to Positano and then up the coast and across the channel to said completely around the island of Capri. It was a Chamber of Commerce day. We were between storms and the skies were blue and the waters calm. It was stunning, actually. We got off the boat in Positano for some window shopping (our wallets were heavy with Euros, you know). And then headed to the isle of Capri.
We sailed counter-clockwise around Capri, and with the crowds skipped the famous Blue Grotto. But we saw many other grottos – blue and green – and they are just lovely. It was now time for lunch (like we can’t skip a meal while on a cruise?). But we did enjoy the local flavors and interaction. Our guide pulled in a small port, Da Gioia. There was no dock, so we transferred to a very small boat, almost a rowboat, but it had a motor. That was an interesting transition, to say the least. The “captain” of that small boat spoke no English and didn’t really seem enthused to ferry us ashore.
On shore, we ate lunch (they weren’t all that thrilled to see us either, they had a large group coming any moment). But we were given a table and an umbrella (that’s how gorgeous of day it was and we eventually ate. In talking with our guide over lunch we found out all about him and his family and his life. It was interesting; he was such a nice man, with grown children. He had never been to the States, but would like to make the trip.
Then he told us about a local expression. If you encounter a series of very fortunate events, like if you get the job you really wanted or buy your dream house and settle down, you say, “I found my America.” When a dream becomes a reality, he says he — “found his America.” To find that sweet spot in life is to find America. Wow.
We take for granted the privileges of our citizenship. On this Veteran’s Day weekend, we honor the sacrifice of many to allow us to experience “America.” Thank you to those who have served.
After lunch, we got back into that dingy (interesting experience #2) and headed to our boat. Robert Medawar tipped the dingy “captain,” a bit of a strange fellow and not used to receiving a tip. Our guide said to him, “I bet now you like Americans.” He smiled slightly. I bet he did. Some have positive experiences with Americans, others not so much. But for most in the world, they long to “find America.” Even without getting on an airplane.
We live the dream. Use our freedom in a way that matters for eternity, not just on yourself.