In 2022 we went to Naples for five days. Just relaxing with the family. I really needed it. That’s something that I am not quick to say out loud. I don’t like the sentiment, because I feel everybody deserves this, so what makes me so special that I am more deserving or more in need. Don’t we all feel like that? And yet, we gifted ourselves this city trip and I am so grateful.

I have been in love with Italy my whole life and I don’t think that will ever change. Besides, I reached my 41st journey around the sun so there was reason to celebrate. It didn’t takelong to decide on the trip and off to Naples we went!

Naples isn’t the most beautiful city I have ever seen. It’s an old, mostly grubby city covered in graffiti and trash in the corners. Many alleyways are used by homeless people to create a little place of their own. A mattress, some flowers or photos and more often than not a beloved pet who keeps them company. But when you look beyond all of that, you will see something rather remarkable.

A city filled with history, charm, sparkle and a 24/7 sense of life, freedom and coziness. But there is also a lot of suffering in it’s past. You only have to walk around Pompei or the Herculaneum. It’s hard to comprehend what those people in 79 AD had to go through.

The culprit of that suffering, the Vesuvius, looming in the background telling its side of the story. When you look at it, you know that this tragedy can easily be repeated and all the beauty that surrounds you will be destroyed, again. Why would anyone want to live here? Why would you chose this place?

Those are the questions that occupy my mind. But eventually I realise that it’s because this is where these people are from. This is where they grew up, where their loved ones are and where they are happy. So, why would they leave?

Letting go out of fear for something that you just don’t know if or when it will happen, without knowing if the suffering will ever even happen? If I would react to such fears I would never again get on a place, and I would definitely never get in a car in Naples again.

If you’ve ever been to Naples you know what I am talking about. Traffic is absolute chaos! Rules do not really exist and every time you arrive at your destination you wonder how on earth you survived the ride again!

As soon as I figured out my lingering questions about facing our fears we meet some amazing people. Today, our taxi driver is Pépé who navigates the roads with perfection. Our fellow passengers turn out to be from the Netherlands and Americe and we start chatting away immediately. “No such thing as a coincidence,” we say to each other, “what are the odds that we would be in the same taxi together?”
Pépé not only drives us around Naples, but also entertains us with passionate stories about life in Italy, shows us the most stunning villages in the area and also has an amazing singing voice. When I compliment him on all of it, he shares this wise lesson:

“The scenary around us is created for us, but the story of our lives is for us to craft, We are the artists who come together (like we did in the taxi today) to create a story and to write the script.

So long as you are aware that you are the author of your life, it will be full of colour and even the greatest challenges become worth a shot!”

I am commiting to holding on to that realisation more consciously. But I also realise it doesn’t always come easy. It moved me that on the last day of this beautiful trip a group of random stangers reminded me of that. This is something I believe in… this is my mantra.

What you give, you receive. That was certainly the case today.

We all say goodbye (I get a super lovely gift as a reminder), say thank you and we swear we will never forget this day, this moment. We will cherish it in our hearts and we will look for all the beautiful treasures in our lives.

Time will tell that we will meet again, but that is another story. This was our story, our script for this day.

What is the script of your story? Are you happy with the way the narrative is unfolding or do you need some help to edit your life’s story?