My happy place

Everybody has a happy place.

When I’m having a bad day — or a stressful day, or a weird day — I think back to visiting Lake Garda, Italy, in 2007. Fresh from college and vacationing with my family, our excursion abroad was awesome in so many ways. Over two weeks, we traveled to London and all around Italy, making stops in Venice, Rome, Tuscany and Florence.

But it was here — Lake Garda — that has stayed with me more than anywhere, that has inspired blog posts and recollections and daydreams. Our hotel there was at the top of a cliff and the view above was what I saw standing on our balcony. We were there just one night and it was chilly and cold, but nothing could have dampened the way my spirit soared looking at that view. I remember trying to read on a tiny chair just outside our hotel room, but I was too distracted by the mountains and sunset. I just stared — maybe for hours. I looked and watched and waited.

I’ve been to some amazing places. I’ve fallen in love with England, with California, with my own hometown — but Lake Garda? Well, Lake Garda is in a league of its own. It was a total surprise on a trip full of surprises. A beautiful place that challenged my preconceived ideas of what I would experience abroad.

I have to get back there someday. Preferably when it’s warmer.

Where is your happy place?