This is the story of my European adventure. In the fall of 1994, I grew unhappy with my life in Silicon Valley and decided to chase a few dreams. For a few years, Id been thinking about spending time in Italy and learning to speak Italian. Further, my girlfriend at the time had recently moved to Belgium. Europe seemed like the place to go, the thing to do.
By asking around, I managed to make some contacts in Europe in the hopes of finding a job. I also researched language schools in Italy. Despite this preliminary planning, when I quit my job in October, the only thing I knew for sure was that I was heading to Europe.
Primarily, this book is a compilation of travelogues that I wrote and sent to friends and family via electronic mail during the course of the year. While reading their replies, Id never heard so many people use the term "living vicariously." This was great encouragement, and without my friends, I dont think I could have found the motivation to keep writing. In addition to those original travelogues, there are some newer travelogues that I wrote based on my journal to fill in missing parts of the story. With these, the book provides almost complete coverage of my entire 14 month adventure. In addition, I have supplemented the text with a sampling of the photographs I took as I traveled.
One important clarification: the dates that appear at the beginning of each section are journal entry dates, that is, they indicate the day that the passage was originally written not the day that is being described.
Special thanks to Edie Edelman (mom), Gaelle Glickfield, and Dhara Shah
for their invaluable suggestions and proofreading help. Thanks to everyone
who followed my story as it unfolded and encouraged me to keep writing.
Copyright 1997 by Bradley Edelman