All the things she did for luck

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.

Lucky turtle and swallow mail slot at the Casa de l'Ardiaca (Archdeacon's House) in Barcelona, Spain (copyright Kathryn Watt)
“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.”

Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy (copyright Kathryn Watt)
“[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.”

Katie with her hand in La Bocca della Verità (The Mouth of Truth) in Rome, Italy (copyright Kathryn Watt)
“The Mouth of Truth [La Bocca della Verità]. You are supposed to put your hand in the mouth. If you are a liar you will lose your hand. I still have my hand.”

Katie spinning her heel in the lucky bull balls at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, Italy (copyright Kathryn Watt)
“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.”

Katie touching the lucky boob of the Juliet Statue at Casa di Giulietta in Verona, Italy (copyright Kathryn Watt)
“It is good luck to rub [Juliet’s] boob, so I did.”

Kilometer Zero marker at the center of France in Paris  (copyright Kathryn Watt)
“This is the center of the city. If you Google Paris this is where the point originates from. I touched it with my foot. It brings luck.”

Note: all photos above copyright Kathryn E. S. Watt.