Part of being a seasoned traveler is acquiring a certain flexibility that allows you to easily adapt to wherever you’re lucky enough to find yourself!
I know, it seems obvious, but believe it or not Taormina is not like Rome or Milan or Florence where you can be a tourist yet still operate on the same level of “effeciency” or mentality that so many of us are used to back home.
If you’re not just passing through for the day, then for some people coming here can be a mixture of emotions that range from utter awe to total frustration, and the reason for this is simply the difference in pace.
So let’s talk bout time… I’ve been back and forth between the States and Sicily for two years now and every trip I take I become more aware of the difference in pace between the Taorminese and, for me, Miamians (but I’ve noticed this also with many other zones in the US). One of my constant criticisms of big city life is how incredibly frantic everybody is all the time. Time is the enemy and yet it’s the thing so many of us obsess over!
In Taormina time is approached from an entirely different angle. It’s not seen as the enemy, but as an asset, and while everything takes more time and feels slower, which can be frustrating to a “big city” person, I quickly learned how important taking (not taking advantage of) your time really is. Cooking, eating, walking, talking, even shopping is treated as a the luxury it should be, and not just by people on vacation but by the locals themselves. The first time I went back to Miami and back to the bustling, eating and drinking in transit, racing around a mall culture that is America, I quickly began to miss the SST, Sicilian Standard Time.
So my humble words of wisdom for travelers coming to Taormina or anywhere in the world is to remember that no matter how far you go, how often you come home, or how different the cultures are, there will always be adjusting to the lifestyle changes that a new or a familiar place requires. Be open-minded, be ready for change, be aware of your surroundings, and be patient… Here’s the ultimate geeky mantra for every travel buff: Once you embrace the pace everything else will fall into place!