Italy has been a dream trip for me since I first learned about Pompeii in grade school. I honestly didn’t think that I would ever be able to afford a trip there. Then, one of my aunts introduced me to this tour company, Go Ahead Tours. This tour company allows you to sign up for a tour and gives you up to two years to pay it off before you go on vacation. Jackpot!
I had planned to take this trip on my own. My rational was that, by joining a tour, I wouldn’t be really traveling alone. I initially sign up for an earlier tour to a different part of Italy, but a family emergency caused me to postpone my tour. In the long run, this was a fortuitous event. Due to my postponement, one of my friends was able to join me on this tour at the very last minute. I was ecstatic about this because I hate traveling alone, especially flying. Now, I had a travel buddy. Hooray!
So, on my inaugural trip to Italy, I sign up for the Puglia & Southern Italy tour with Go Ahead Tours.
My trip consisted of visiting many wonderful places near the ankle and heel of the boot in Italy.
Fast forward to the first day of the trip.
The trip got off to a rocky start. Due to an airline strike with Lufthansa, the tour company had to change our flights. It was the luck of the draw, I guess. Unfortunately because of this on the first leg of our trip, we had to travel on separate airlines departing and arriving in Madrid at different times. For the next leg of our trip, Madrid to Naples, we were scheduled on the same flight.
When I got to my gate my anxiety was rearing its ugly head. I haven’t flown by myself in years and I was experiencing a high level of irrational fear. Thank God for dark chocolate and a quick text to my mom, who told me to “stop freaking out; it will be all right.” She knows I’m a realists and that this simple advice would work. So, I put on my “big girl panties” and got on my flight.
Okay, let the adventure begin. Wait, not yet. Three seats on my plane needed maintenance, which delayed our flight even more Luckily all of the passengers were totally cool about it. Although I was alone on this part of the trip, I felt like I was witnessing one of those rare instances where people rose above a trying time to make the best of a situation.
Finally, after being delayed a few hours, my plane taxied to the runway for take off. As I looked out the window, it dawned on me, the airport looks a lot like an amusement park at night: bright lights in the distance, a few tall structures and many lights twinkling as if beckoning the plane to come on over; there’s fun to be had.
As the flight progressed overnight, you get to really appreciated the night time sky with the many stars on display. You can see so much majestic beauty. As dawn breaks over the clouds, you can see a pattern of color awaken as day dawns.
Soon, the first leg of my trip comes to an end and I arrive in Madrid to meet up with my friend who has already arrived in Madrid before me.
While at the airport, my friend and I grab a bite to tide us over until we leave for our flight to Naples.
After a long layover in Madrid we board our flight for a short trip to Naples.
Let the fun begin!