Dreaming

Europe Without Email? Just a Dream

The stacks of paperwork stared at me, but it didn’t matter because I was going to Europe for my honeymoon. Bleak cubicles boxed me in, but my emails reminded me Europe was waiting.

With both of us working fulltime at jobs that required 12-hour days, my fiancé and I could never have planned a honeymoon to Europe without email. The negotiations, the pricing, the bookings—email, email, email.

Before email became a common tool, it would’ve meant appointments, endless phone conversations, time away from work, and Europe probably would’ve been a pipe dream.

But, this was the year 2000.

Despite the incessant anxiety of planning a wedding and attempting to transport family from Venezuela to Miami, my emails set a reassuring hand on our shoulders, saying, “You’ll fly away soon.”

I remember thinking, “This isn’t gonna happen,” at one point as I was struggling to battle the seating arrangements for the wedding reception. Then, I turned to my desktop, seeking solace in what amounted to love letters from my fiancé. There, smiling, was an email titled, “Itinerary.” It was done. He had emailed me the agenda for our trip.

We would soon be sipping cappuccinos in cafés in Roma and Firenze. All momentary problems dissolved and those stacks of paper diminished to a simple task at hand.

Even our Eurorail tickets floated to us through email. So, I dreamt of the train that would take us to Vienna from Venezia.

Looking back now, I remember dragging our suitcases from the TRENI down the street to Hotel Alexandra in Roma and I wonder how we survived without our iphones. Facebook would’ve sounded crazy and WordPress would’ve been unimaginable.

The technology we have today would’ve not only made our trip more interesting, but it would’ve saved memories that often slip through my fingers. Most of the pictures I post pop up from my iphone. I can’t believe I lived without it.

But, that good old reliable email…that was just the beginning. Europe without email?

Just a dream.

Written by Lisa Chesser

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7 thoughts on “Europe Without Email? Just a Dream”

  1. Great post Lisa! Thanks for sharing your booking experience and your travels to Europe. My sisters and I are planning a trip to Italy next year and already the emails are flying! Between the three of us, (my youngest sister lives 1,500 miles away from me) and the online travel agency, my inbox will explode by the time we leave. But with email, it’s so easy to plan a trip , and what’s even better, you’re not on the phone ALL the time! I plan to take everything with me–iphone, iPad and any other gadget I can carry! Have a great weekend!

    Best,
    Nett

  2. When I went to Italy as a student for a year I recall having to walk to the phone company in the center of the city to call home. I’d give the lady the number, wait in line, and then called over when they placed the call. I’d chat, pay for the call, and then walk home at 2:00 AM, passing prostitutes on the Viale and seeing a different side of Bologna than during the day. I’ve been taking students to Italy for the past ten years, and have watched as internet cafes sprung up and then started disappearing as hotels and bars became Wifi. As late as 2001 students reckoned with only once or twice calling home in two weeks – now I get e-mails from parents if their (adult) child hasn’t checked in by day two. It’s amazing to watch – I wouldn’t give up the convenience (I’m just starting to scan my old photos – but you’re right, what’s on the Iphone is what matters!), but am glad I’ve been able to experience the changes.

  3. Loved it, as usual, well written, brought a smile to my face. It’ll remind everyone reading, of busy schedules and the dream of holidays, new countries, the welcomed disorientation and unfamiliarity which triggers interaction with different cultures.

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