Word Count: 500
Just Take a Pill
By Peg Scarano
I am not a good traveler. I traveled frequently up and down the east coast over the years because
that is how I managed to spend time with my family. I never liked to fly, and, as much as I have
flown, I still don’t like it. I’m not a good navigator in the car. Nor do I enjoy driving myself. I
find it terrifying if I am unfamiliar with the route which is anywhere outside a twenty mile radius
of Little Falls!
We traveled to Italy four years ago purely by coincidence. Emily’s company was based in
Europe and they had booked her to travel to Austria, Switzerland and Sweden on business in
October. She suggested we meet her in Italy after her scheduled trip and the three of us explore
her father’s homeland together. It was August. I figured there was no way we could plan a trip
like this in less than two months. I was wrong. I hate being wrong.
My husband booked the flights, scheduled tours with a reputable company, researched hotels and
pulled a 10-day trip together in a matter of a few hours. Shortly after I determined this was
really going to happen, my stomach began rolling in nausea. I have to take happy pills to fly to
Virginia or Jacksonville. This flight was not taking me to my beloved ocean, but rather over it.
With a stop in Paris, it was to take over eleven hours. It was most definitely a two-happy pill trip
as I needed to do my damnedest to keep my anxiety to myself.
Once we arrived in Naples and connected with Emily, who was obviously more worldly than her
mom, I felt calmer. I followed the two of them around through the Amalfi Coast to Mount
Vesuvius, Pompeii, Capri and on to Rome (via the dreaded train), with a smile on my face but an
irrational heaviness in my heart.
Reflecting back, I had a great time and saw stunning things amid the ancient ruins. However, I
was out of my comfort zone, few people spoke my language and after ten days, I was ready for
the terrifying plane ride home.
The moment those huge tires slammed to the ground in Newark, I was probably one of the
happiest people on the planet. The “WHEW” I sighed lifted the weights from my heart as well
as my spirits. I did it! I had made my husband happy. I spent quality time with my youngest
daughter. I actually had a good time. And, most importantly, I was home safe and sound.
The airplane trips to Virginia and Jacksonville seem like a piece of cake now. I still take a happy
pill, but it’s all OK. For four wonderful years all was well. Then it happened again. Rock
announced he wanted to return to his homeland. I thought about trying to talk him out of it, but
the prospect of that was slim. He had the plane tickets in hand.