Without judgment and certainly without malice, I consider Louise to be an obsessive traveler. Consider this quote from the blog: “I live in fear that somebody back home will ask: ‘You were in Barcelona? Didn’t you love La Sagrada Familia?’ No, we actually never got there. And it would be my fault, wouldn’t it?”
Yes, Louise must see everything a place has to offer: every museum, all the architecture, every restaurant, every shop (and every shoe…). In Venice, in blistering August heat, she drug me to la Plaza de San Marco where she insisted I properly appreciate St Mark’s Basilica, the Piazzetta dei Leoncini, the clock tower, the orchestra at the Florian, and Doge’s Palace. This was all to be accomplished without sitting (sitting is illegal—and fervently policed—in la Plaza de San Marco) and in the half hour allotted before we rushed off to the Danieli Hotel and beyond that, Elton John’s Venetian residence.
I, on the other hand, am a serene traveler. I’m happy to take a table on a piazza somewhere (not St Mark’s), order a tall birra, and sip it slowly while I admire the surrounding architecture, weather, people, and motos. Such an endeavor can require hours. When I start looking longingly at café tables, Louise starts looking for shops.
And yet we don’t fight. We rarely disagree. Harsh words of judgment are never exchanged. What’s the solution? We live in our locations rather than visit them. By staying in one place for a month or more, any desperation to frantically see it all is dispersed. Time becomes not only an ally, but a balm for disparate traveling strategies. The only exception to this plan was, indeed, Venice, where we stayed for exactly four days.