While Stephanie and I were in Thailand last year preparing to go to India, my sister Katie was preparing to quit her job and travel across Europe for 3 months by herself. Though it would have been very cool if our paths had crossed—we arrived in France a few days before she flew out of London—in some ways I’m glad we didn’t because it made her journey wholly hers.
While traveling, she quickly realized the futility of keeping her blog up to date, which was smart, because instead she focused her attention on the experience itself—as well as capturing it with enough photos and keepsakes to fill several 3-inch binders. And yet, incredibly, she continued updating her blog with tales from her trip in the months since she’d returned home. There was a lull at the end of last year, but then in January the posts resumed with a vengeance, motivated, I think, by the approaching one-year anniversary of her trip.
Her accomplishment is a triumph in and of itself, but the stamina required to continue blogging about it for a year afterward boggles the mind. As a proud and doting brother, I wanted to celebrate Katie reaching the finish line of her blogging journey. One of the things in her posts that tickled me time and time again were all the things she did for luck, things I’d never heard of before, and probably wouldn’t have done myself. And yet there she was, dutifully following in the footsteps of countless others, performing these secret rites of European passage. She is very lucky indeed.
“Finally, we saw an interesting mailbox that led into [the Casa de l’Ardiaca]. I was not paying attention at this point so I don’t know why things are on it, but you have to touch the turtle for luck. I did.”
“[The Trevi Fountain] was also nice, but not my favorite place. It is said that one should throw in 3 coins, which I did. Then I watched as men took money out of the fountain and put it in their personal pockets.”
“The Galleria [Vittorio Emanuele II] has lots of shops and one other thing: the bull with a cup over his balls area. What do you do? Well… You put your heel in and spin around 3 times for good luck. Yep I did it. I am going to have the best luck of my life on this trip.”
Note: all photos above copyright Kathryn E. S. Watt.