On Sunday I think my husband and I simultaneously fell in love with the Sicilian people and culture. Of course this is easy to do when you are presented with the incredible surroundings that we got to witness and when you stuff your face with the unbelievable food we were fed (read my last three posts if you are at all curious about what I am referring to).
Still, throughout the week we had been surrounded with Sicilian locals that had made us feel unbelievably welcomed in our new home. Everyone we have met has been helpful, friendly, loving, accepting, caring, and interested in whom we are. As we struggle with the language and navigating through our new surroundings, locals are patient with us and eager to help us. Many go above and beyond giving us tips on language pronunciation and places to visit and eat while we are here.
From the first day on the island we have felt this overwhelming relaxation take over. The pace is much slower on the island. There are no freeway billboards blocking the stunning views. On this island it is even more rare to find TVs in more restaurants. Instead, an emphases is put on conversation, relationships, and not rushing through life. Slowing down and enjoying life and where you are living is something that is often forgotten in the US. Instead we are constantly being bombarded with ads, politics, and rushing though our days. Of course I live out in the country so I know these things exist here as well but it is much less prominent.
If I am completely honest, the factor that truly sold me on Sicily was our tour guide this weekend. He was an older gentlemen name Giovanni whose favorite hobby seemed to be pinching my face. He joked around with us, giggled at his own jokes, educated us on the island, and took an interest in each person on the tour. He took a particular interest in a family with some young children and my husband and me. He loved to play with the kids and was excited to show them about the plants growing around each area that we went. He seemed to be very young at heart. Giovanni quickly learned that we had just moved here. He made sure to tell us about restaurants to try, cities to visit, and he even bought us a souvenir that we had been eyeing.
I could not believe how friendly this stranger was! He was so wonderful I am thinking about taking more tours that he leads just so that we can hang out with him some more.