I boarded the flight back to Milan just a couple of days after the fourth quarter of the business school had ended. G said he could have come to see me in New Zealand but I wanted to visit him this time. School had drained so much of my energy, so I thought I deserved a three-week holiday in my favourite part of the world.

The first few days in Milan, we barely went out of the city. I was mainly resting and reliving what had become my fondest memories here. We went out for long walks around Duomo, the city’s park and along the canal in Vimodrone. New trees had been planted in the main square. A new bronze sculpture had been erected. Cherry blossoms had begun blooming. But nothing else changed. Spontini was still there in case I crave a slice of mouthwatering Margherita pizza. We still shopped for groceries together and dined while the radio played local news in a language I never managed to learn properly. Just like old times.

It wasn’t until the fourth day or so we started packing for a real vacation in northern Italy, Switzerland, and Slovenia. There wasn’t a concrete agenda though, we just wanted to get some fresh mountain air, visit places we both planned to go for a long time and learn something new. It just felt good to be back and embrace a little adventure again.

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