The twenty-third post of the expedition – the final salute to the lifelong fans

As an epic mid-summer storm descends over this small Italian town, limiting my ability to go outside, it seems like the perfect time to write the last post of this expedition, before I go back to the UK in a couple of days.

Not that I was planning to go out anyway – if my au pair friends haven’t gone home or moved on to a different place, then it’s a normal working Monday for them. I’m only at a loose end as my boys have gone on their annual getaway to the coast. We said our goodbyes on Friday, and I’ve used the weekend to its fullest.

I think that’s the main difference between now and three months ago, when I was making the choice of whether to stay or leave. As I said at the time, I chose to stay on as I felt that I hadn’t squeezed everything out of this small pocket of Italy, and I was absolutely proven right. Now feels like a much more natural and organic time to go.

I have discovered some incredible friendships in the last three months, perhaps more so than the first three, that have really moulded my time here and turned an average experience into one I’ll cherish for a long time to come.

But alas, those friends are going or have gone, and a new breed are just starting to arrive and find their feet where others have gone before. In the last few days I’ve started to feel like a wise old owl, giving out advice and being generally omniscient about au pairing.

As for missing it, yes and no. I’ll miss all the fun and adventure with the various people I’ve met over the months, but like I said, if they haven’t left already they’re doing so soon, so even if I could, I wouldn’t want to stay here any longer.

After touching base in England for two months, I’ll be itching to be the newbie in Siena, exploring and learning, full of wonder, about a new area and a new routine.

Between then and now, though, it seems this rain will keep me indoors. Maybe this storm is nature’s way of helping me acclimatize to the British weather again. See you in England.

Jack out.

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About Jack
A small-time traveller in a big-time world

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