Travelling & the Gypsy Heart.


I was 13 the first time I travelled internationally.  It was 1971, Alitalia still flew out of Sydney and smoking was still allowed on planes.  People would dress up to fly and it was still a big deal.  We winged our way to Rome via Bombay, as it was called then, in a smoke-filled metal tube with no personal entertainment — and it was fabulous.  It was my parents’ first visit back to the country of their birth in 14 years and my first encounter with my Italian extended family.  I was hooked.


Travel has been one of the great joys of my life and if I’m not re-incarnated as a Travel Writer, I shall be bitterly disappointed.  Could there be any greater bliss than being paid to visit the far-flung corners of this glorious, diverse planet?  People dream about becoming wealthy so they can afford prestige cars, luxury homes, jewellery and clothes whereas I wistfully think I could live in a shack if only I could jet off to some new location whenever I wanted…. (School term permitting of course. Your daydreams have to be somewhat modified when there are other people to consider.)

This nostalgia springs from my girlfriend’s daughter having upped stakes for 12 months of travelling, as I did at 24. And for those 12 months I roamed the world like a true gypsy.  For 12 months I answered to no-one but myself.  No restraints, no responsibilities – just complete freedom to come, go, stay, eat, drink, take risks, learn, marvel, do whatever I wanted to do and be whoever I wanted to be.  I wouldn’t exchange the life I have now but if a time machine were ever invented, I know where I’d be going.  Plus, I was skinny.

Me on ship

Mirror, Mirror…

Reflections of a face that is sometimes not your own…

I watch your eyes like twin chameleons    change with shades of other lives.

The aquamarine of Grecian seas    when indolence was all there was

     and farmers wearing hats of straw     worked the beaches selling fruit

     to bodies baked to nutmeg brown.

The cloudy grey of Paris skies     when baguettes and brie went hand in hand

     with lazy walks along the Seine     and an angry young man

     whose Irish blood     could not disguise the poet’s heart.

You turn your head to catch the time

     and curse the need

     to run your life to dull routines

     when neon digits take the place

     of sunlight through a shuttered door.

(C) Daniela Scalcon

 “I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”   ― Mary Anne Radmacher

About Daniela S.

I am, what is quaintly referred to, as "over the hill" - but just! Married to an American, I lived in Atlanta for 8 years then was very surprised by my son's creation and arrival one month before my 42nd birthday. We moved back to my beloved Sydney 12 years ago and it is now my absolute joy to be sharing both my deep and shallow thoughts with the known universe.

Posted on March 6, 2015, in Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. They have a new term for it these days Daniella, its called Gap year. I’ll be sending our lot on it at a moments notice.

  2. Oh Daniela your memories are mine as I recall Rome and meeting up with you and Melissa! and yes travel is my vice and always will be…..

    • I saw the photos of us when I was looking for the ones I used for the blog. Would you like me to put a couple on your timeline or in a message? Remember that restaurant we went to a couple of times with those guys we met? How can that be so long ago??!!

  3. Great read Daniela. The memories of travelling in our youth and the freedom we enjoyed are priceless! We are so lucky to have so much to reminisce about! And good friends to do it with! Lis xxx

  4. What a gorgeous post! I’ve just discovered you through blog chicks and loving your blog. I up and moved to the other side of the world as a teenager it was AMAZING and Im still hooked. Thanks for posting- Amy

    • Well Amy, thanks for making my day! It’s all we can ask really, isn’t it – that our words and experiences connect with others. Will have a wander over to you later when I put my feet up!

  5. Loved this post! How lucky you were to be able to travel overseas back then! I hope you get back there one day. x

    • Hi Fleur. So pleased you liked it. Wouldn’t mind going back to Italy to show our son his grandparents’ home but our next big trip is Galapagos and Machu Pichu – next year, fingers crossed. That ought to keep me happy for a while!

  6. Get out of town–Galapagos & Machu Pichu are high on our list for 2016. Maybe we can meet you at one of those destinations????

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