Inspiration · Travel

Struck By Wanderlust

So it is official and the countdown has begun to my very first international holiday.


I am still pinching myself. For the longest time, my deepest desire was to go on a trip around the world. I lapped up travel shows, movies, articles, books (Travels by Michael Crichton tops the list). I would dream, plan, postpone, dream again; my usual pattern.

I was Walter Mitty from the movie The Secret life of Walter Mitty.

Then a few months back a comment on my Mami’s (aunt) Facebook travel photo changed it all. We ended playing spin the globe and hypothetically travelled from Italy to Austria, Italy to Greece, Italy to Sweden.

I suppose Italy was always meant to be.

Blame it on The Agony and The Ecstasy, Angels and Demons. Inferno, perhaps? To be Under the Tuscan Sun, I’d Eat, Love and Pray.

A few weeks later I was at VFS Global in New Delhi, queued for a Shengen Visa. Contrary to my fears, the process was smooth. I had my companion, the brains of the whole operation, my Mami by my side.

Now, I can hardly wait to say, “Buongiorno Italia!”

The Gondolas, gladiators, the cathedrals, Michelangelo,

pizza, gelato, Milano, Il Duomo,

Trevi, Da Vinci, Medici, cappuccino,

Pompeii, Pope, tiramisu, Lake Como.

As you can gauge from my list, my excitement is all over the place.

From there we fly across the continent to the land of Ikea and ABBA, Sweden.

I still remember my Class 8 Geography lessons. My imagination soared when I learned of the Scandinavian peninsula that called out to me like The Song of Fire and Ice. Those were the countries where the sun never set for six whole months and aurora borealis lit the skies. This surreal world inspired a wanderlust that only grew stronger.

I wanted to be Walter Mitty aka Ben Stiller, cycling and longboarding across the most gorgeous landscape ever.

Yes! I’m over the moon to say, “Hej Sweden”!

This summer can’t get any better and I have my Swedish short list ready

Archipelagos by the sea and sleeping in the light of the midnight sun,

Vasa, the Vikings, Skansen, EDM,

Nobel, fish, Gamla stan and lingonberry jam.

So now with the clock ticking, I’m on pins and needles.

My Sunshine Teen had her bit of advice to share.

“Make a playlist, movie list, book list, food list. Immerse mind and soul into your travel destination, body will follow soon enough. You have to make this trip spectacular, a trip to remember.”

It sounded good so I took it.

* Racing through Dan Brown’s unofficial guide to Florence and Vatican- Inferno, Angel and Demons again.

* Binging on movies and series set in these countries. Today watched Eat, love and pray and I couldn’t wait for the eat part to get going.

*My taste buds are getting a crash course in risotto, lasagne, tiramisu. Unfortunately Swedish cuisine is relatively a mystery in India so will have to do the feasting in Sweden itself.

*I am beefing my song list- ‘Habits’ with Tove Lo, ‘Wake me up‘ Avicii, Andrea Bocelli (his collaboration with Ed Sheeran is currently my favourite) and then there is the ABBA classic, ‘Mama Mia, here I go again‘.

* Inspired by Josh Bernstein’s stories, I finally opened an Instagram account. Like him, I intend to file amazing stories of my adventures too. For time being, going into raptures looking at the gorgeous photographs floating in the cyberspace.

* Needless to say, my research frenzy that includes Google pages, Facebook, Wikipedia and blogs, is at an all time high.

Therefore a special shot out to all the people who are reading this post. Do you have any advice, any must see, must haves, must dos, must eats to share, in Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan and Stockholm? Please let me know in the comments below. I look forward to reading them and making notes.

Ps : This particular post was inspired by an Anticipation and Preparation invitation by Cathy at The wander essence. She did one such post on her forthcoming trip to Central Italy.

Check it out. No one does it better than her.

Gifs via Giphy


17 thoughts on “Struck By Wanderlust

  1. Absolutely well written n all the best for your maiden foreign visit, hope to see u covering more places in near future… 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your enthusiasm about your first-ever international trip! I’m so excited for you. And you’re so sweet to link to mine. I’ll be thrilled to link this post to my next Anticipation and Preparation post which is this Friday, May 24. I just got back from Italy. Make sure to get skip-the-line tickets for the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum (that is, if you’re dead set on seeing them). If I had Rome to do over, I would just wander the streets and eat and drink wine. I found everyplace packed, and never made it into the Colosseum at all because I didn’t plan ahead properly ( I just wandered around the outside because the lines were too long and slow-moving). Also, the Vatican Museums are something i would have skipped altogether because of the crowds and the way you’re herded through the museums. Florence: The Uffizi and the Academia (get tickets online ahead). It was so much more pleasant than my Rome experience.

    It sounds like you have quite a list in Italy. We focused on Cinque Terre (packed!!) and Tuscany (Florence, Siena, and the hill towns) but we had a car. I don’t know if you’ll have that. We loved Tuscany and Siena, San Gimignano, and Assisi (Umbria) as well as many other smaller hill towns.

    I have never been to Sweden myself, so I’m looking forward to reading about your experience there! So exciting. Bon Voyage, Sheetal. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was really helpful Cathy. We have booked the tickets to Vatican Museum and the Academia so I’m hopeful it will be a pleasant experience. I have been reading a great deal about the crowds and queues and now you’ve said the same. Anyway I’m counting on my resilience as an Indian hailing from a country with humongous population to withstand it all. Fingers crossed! Your glowing review of Tuscany is making me eager to get to that part of the journey. We will be either walking or using public transport in both countries. Thank you for sharing your experience in such detail. Can’t wait to get started.


  3. Eat gelato EVERY. Single. Day. We enjoyed a biking tour by I bike Tuscany. If you are active you will love it. This specific ride started at a gelato factory. I did a blog post on it.

    Also, we are kind of free spirited travelers, but in Italy we wanted to use our time wisely. Tours by Locals was an outstanding choice as we told our guide we like to be off the beaten path. So if there is any place you feel uncertain, check it out. Look forward to your posts about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Not sure exactly when you intend to go but I have a lifelong love affair with Italy and have been many times. I lost my heart to Florence and almost had to be dragged away. My eyes were on stalks the whole time. I hope you love it too. 🙂 🙂 If you put Florence in the search at mine you should find a variety of posts. Good luck and have a fantastic time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jo, your Florence write ups were like falling down the rabbit hole , contrary to my expectations , I couldn’t stop clicking on your posts. I knew about the art and the architecture but the gardens were a revelation. They were on my list as an afterthought but after seeing the pictures, I’m determined to see it all and more. Your blog is a real find . Thank you for your wishes. I can’t wait to get started.


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